Marlborough High students learn how to save the planet ‘one bag at a time

By Reina Rago

Communications Coordinator

Marlborough Public Schools


Roberta Garcia-Collins and her former student Bonnie Combs. Photos/submitted

Marlborough – Thirty-four years later, Bonnie Combs, a 1983 graduate from Marlborough High School, visited Roberta Garcia-Collins, her sewing teacher. Combs called the high school to inquire if the sewing program was still offered since she wanted to thank Collins for fueling her passion to help save the planet.

Relieved to learn that she was still teaching sewing to students, especially since many schools no longer offer this course, Combs visited Collins.

“I wanted to connect with Mrs. Collins to personally thank her for teaching me valuable sewing skills that have allowed me to sew reusable shopping bags out of different materials,” stated Combs. “It’s important for me to give back to my greater community, so I offered to spend time with Mrs. Collins’ students and teach them how to also make reusable shopping bags.”

After meeting Combs, it’s easy to catch the “green mission bug.”  Her commitment to challenge the habits of a “single-use society that is out of control,” are contagious. Recently, she delivered her passion to a group of Collins’ sewing students and spent an afternoon teaching them how to sew reusable bags out of plastic seed, feed and grain bags. The students were fascinated by Comb’s personal story and mission and quickly revved up their sewing machines to create reusable bags.

Combs’s mantra is “We can save the planet one bag at a time.”

Combs caught her “green mission bug” at Whole Foods where she worked for 15 years in the area of marketing and community relations. Today she is the marketing director for the Blackstone Heritage Corridor where she drives programs to eliminate the “plastic ocean” and save watersheds. Spouting dramatic facts from, Combs shared, “It is now estimated that…

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