« Back to Blog

‘Brown bag’ volunteers help recycle meal delivery sacks

The Moores posted a notice in the stairwells inviting their neighbors to “save their sacks” and passed them along to thrift stores.

David and Betty Moore have appreciated the convenience of having meals delivered to their door of their Westerly apartment during the pandemic. There was just one problem: the Moores and their neighbors were generating a heck of a lot of trash.

David and Betty Moore pose with a few of the thousands of paper bags they have helped recycle.

David had an idea for cutting down on some of it: They could find a use for the brown paper sacks in which their meals were delivered. After all, once they had fulfilled their original purpose, the bags were still in perfectly good shape.

The Moores put notices on the stairwell doors, inviting their neighbors to drop paper bags off at the Moores’ apartment door or in the mailroom.

Betty and David sorted the bags by size and worked to find organizations who could use them. At the suggestion of a neighbor, they offered bags to the Economy Corner, a thrift store that is a ministry of First Presbyterian Church.

“They were very appreciative,” Betty said. “But we realized we had totally stocked them with sacks for some time, so then we went to the Internet.”

The Moores found other thrift stores that were happy to take the sturdy bags off their hands. As of early March, Betty and David had distributed about 1,000 bags, including to the thrift stores Second Blessing and Secondhand Rose. Even so, they still had plenty of bags to pass on.

“It’s challenging, because we had so many sacks,” Betty said.

The Moores, who have been residents of independent living at the Westerly since 2017, have always been ardent recyclers.

“It’s a good way to help the environment, mainly,” Betty said. “In landfills, trash is not able to decompose because we have it in plastic sacks.”

She also takes pleasure in lightening the load for the Presbyterian Manor maintenance staff, who have had more trash to contend with during the pandemic.

“We’re just happy to put the sacks to good use,” Betty said.

« Back to Blog