WhiteStone Resident Creates Mats from Plastic Bags
Reuse, Reduce and Recycle: WhiteStone Resident Creates Mats from Plastic Bags
Amelia Caison has been an avid recycler for most of her life. She knows that plastic bags don’t completely break down in a landfill, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment. Considering these facts, she knew she had to do something with the stockpile of plastic bags she was collecting during the pandemic. She decided to put her 50 years of stitching skills to the test to make mats out of plastic bags.
One mat is created from dozens of bags. Most of them came from WhiteStone’s dining services department.
“I thought, ‘what am I going to do with all of these plastic bags?’ ” she told Spectrum News Charlotte reporter Taylor Neuman. “I went to YouTube and found a lot of people were making plastic mats, so I followed them.”
Amelia flattens the bags, cuts the handles and bottoms off, then cuts the bags down to thin strips and knits them together. So far, she’s made five mats. Two of them are on display in her home. She says they’re great for cleaning shoes, and you can just hose them off.
She recently had the mats on display at the WhiteStone Fall Festival, where she sold scarves, hot pads and dishcloths. She said people were amazed to see her mats.
“No one could believe they were made from plastic bags,” Amelia said. She’s currently creating two more mats and is using some of her neighbor’s old plastic bags from other Greensboro stores like Walmart, Food Lion and Harris Teeter.
WhiteStone promotes engaging activities for its residents since they know the health benefits of seniors staying physically, mentally and spiritually engaged. In fact, studies show that activities like knitting can reduce the chance of developing cognitive impairment by 30 to 50 percent. It’s also a popular social activity for residents at the community.
Amelia and her husband moved to WhiteStone 2 ½ years ago. “We’re comforted in knowing WhiteStone is a Life Plan Community,” she said. “Our children don’t have to worry about us. We’re both very active. Along with stitching, I enjoy the exercise classes, including chair yoga. I also enjoy having a nice lunch with my neighbors. There are so many opportunities to get involved here.”
Amelia’s story recently aired on Spectrum News 1 Charlotte in North Carolina. You can learn more about her unique hobby by watching the exclusive story below.