Junior Girl Scouts Upcycle Meal-Prep
Packaging for the Homeless
Larchmonter, Danielle Goldsmith, regularly orders dinner prep kits from Blue Apron for her young family but felt guilty about just dumping the big insulated bags that the meals come in. After collecting them in her garage for over a year, an idea hit her: what if her daughter’s Girl Scout troop made them into sleeping mats for the homeless! “It’s a light, insulated, flexible material that’s easy to work with,” said Goldsmith. “I couldn’t bear to throw them away and just knew I’d find a use for them that would give them new life.”
After a few iterations, Goldsmith and her fourth-grade daughter, Josie, came up with a design that involved cutting the bags open, taping the edges with colorful duct tape, adding a carrying string, and finishing it with elastic bands to hold the rolled mat in place.
Goldsmith called the Larchmont Avenue Church, which with Larchmont Temple, does outreach to the homeless in New York City through Midnight Run (midnightrun.org). Once LAC co-coordinator, Jim Hanley, heard about the project, he offered to collect the two dozen mats and share them at the January late-night distribution of food and clothes.
In the meantime, Blue Apron had started using recycled fabric in their packaging which Goldsmith cleverly upcycled into pillows. Linda Riefberg from Larchmont Temple reported, “The mats were popular. We still have a few left but gave out almost all of them including the pillow ones. It’s a smart invention!”
In February, the 12 Girl Scouts in the Troop, decorated Valentine’s face masks for local Veterans.
Now, Troop 2756 is on to their next project creating blessing bags with toiletries for Midnight Run.
For more information about Girl Scouting in the community, visit www.girlscoutslm.org