Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

A better environment is in the bag


Being environmentally conscious just got a little bit easier.

Lynn Canal Conservation and Tracy Wirak’s fourth-grade class recently teamed up to make reusable grocery bags out of old T-shirts to jumpstart the “Borrow a Bag” program. Not only are the bags environmentally friendly, they are also available at Mountain Market, Olerud’s and Howsers for when you forget your own.

“So often people will mean to bring a bag but then they leave it in the car or forget it on the counter, so this way it is just there,” said LCC outreach coordinator Lizzie Jurgeleit.

During the Community Cleanup, Jurgeleit said, students who participated noticed that most of what they found buried in ditches and blown up against fences was plastic bags.

“They talked about waste and recycling and things we can do, so I came in and did that project with them for Earth Day,” Jurgeleit said.

The neck seam and arms are cut off the old shirts, with vertical strips of cloth tied together along the bottom to create a strong seam.

The idea is for people to borrow the bags and then return them to one of three locations, where Jurgeleit has stationed “Bag Lady” sculptures she made from Haines Friends of Recycling materials.

Fashioned mainly from rebar, the arms of the “Bag Ladies” are made from old bicycle handlebars, from which the bags hang. The ladies also sport the quintessential Alaskan touch: XtraTuf boots.

“It doesn’t matter what store you go shopping in, you can take it back to any of them,” Jurgeleit said.

To donate an old T-shirt or to learn how to make a T-shirt bag, call 766-2295.


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