Hamline News

Hamline’s retired billboards carry on with new life and purpose



Hamline billboards have been carrying a message, now they can carry your keys, wallet, and lunch. Instead of ending up in the landfill, the 100 pound pieces of vinyl are being recycled into handbags and lunch totes by a local small business.

“Each one is an original and a piece of eco-art,” Gail Greengard, co-owner of Drive-By Bags, said. “They are built out of great material; it’s really strong, waterproof, washable, and it would just be thrown away otherwise.”

Greengard and her husband Jeff work out of their home in Minneapolis. They wash the huge former Hamline (and other) billboards in their driveway, cut them into pieces in their garage, and sew the bags in their basement. Just one big billboard can produce 40-50 bags. For Hamline, this was the perfect solution for a pile of retired billboards the university had been keeping in storage.

“I was thrilled with how the bags turned out,” Hamline Marketing Communications Executive Director Breanne Hanson Hegg said. “They’re a great conversation starter, and you can carry around a little piece of Hamline’s history wherever you go!

Check out how the billboard bags are made by clicking here. The bags are coming soon to the Hamline University Bookstore, call 651-523-2270 for more information.