Remember playing with milkweed pods as a kid? If you weren’t careful picking them, you’d get that sticky white sap all over your hands. We’d open the pods and release all the fluff into the wind.
All that fluff was valuable to make life jackets during World War II. The floss was used as a substitute for kapok, which could no longer be imported from Indonesia.
School children in the Midwest collected pods. Five thousand bags of pods were collected in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. The bags were sent to a pod separation plant in Petosky, Michigan. It took eight hundred pods to fill a bag, and two bags per life vest.
Who knew that stuff could save lives? Now you do.