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Detroit activist turns old potato chip bags into sleeping bags for the homeless

It starts with a pile of used potato chip bags and ends with desperately needed sleeping bags to help Detroit's homeless face the freezing winter.
Credit: Courtesy Eradajere Olieta
Environmental activist Eradajere Oleita told CNN how she works her magic. "The process is simple: collect bags, cut them open, iron them and then line with plastic."

DETROIT — It starts with a pile of used potato chip bags and ends with desperately needed sleeping bags to help Detroit's homeless face the brutal winter.

Environmental activist Eradajere Oleita told CNN how she works her magic. "The process is simple: collect bags, cut them open, iron them and then line with plastic."

The idea came from an online video of a woman in England who fashioned sleeping bags from empty snack pouches.

Oleita, 25, started collecting chip bags a few months ago and set up a website to gather more. She points out how the bags' foil lining reflects body heat. They're durable, waterproof and extremely lightweight. It takes about 150 of them to make a single sleeping bag. Oleita wants to make 60 bags by early February.

Making a difference in Detroit

Credit: Eradajere Olieta
Eradajere Oleita is collecting chip bags to help the homeless in Detroit.

The Nigerian-born activist moved to Michigan as a high school sophomore. For the past four years, she worked as a land and water works ambassador at Americorps.

The sleeping bag project is just her latest effort combining her biggest concerns and passions.

"I want people to think about these things and for our products to come full circle. I have never been shy of humanitarian work because firstly I am ... a human."

A human making a difference, one discarded chip bag at a time.