Bags to Bedrolls Project

Photo of someone sleeping on wet pavement.
Regularly sleeping on a wet ground can perpetuate the cycle of homelessness.

RISE Learning Institute’s Bags to Bedrolls Project, a collaboration with the Bellevue College Office of Sustainability, repurposes single-use plastic bags into bed mats for locals experiencing homelessness. They create a lightweight water-barrier to help keep sleeping bags and blankets drier. Once completed, the mats are distributed to unhoused locals through the project’s community partner, Facing Homelessness.

Since Winter 2018, the Bags to Bedrolls Project has engaged over 850 Bellevue College students. Through events during Homecoming and Earth Week, the open “plarn” period, and class visits, students have learned about both sustainability and homelessness while contributing to the project.

Students working on project in a class
Students working on creating plastic yarn in their class.

Participating classes have been in: Sociology, Biology, English, Career Education Options, Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, Environmental Science, Occupational & Life Skills, and the English Learning Institute.

When we return to campus, visit the RISE MakerSpace (B237) for Open “Plarning.”

Invite us to your (virtual) class! We can discuss homelessness and/or sustainability along with “plarning.”

People holding up a mat made of plastic
Students and instructor with a finished plastic bedroll.

Last Updated October 27, 2022