Hirman Ahmed comes across a lot of things while on his seven-mile bike ride to work from Edgewater to the Magnificent Mile.
During this coronavirus pandemic, the 40-year-old noticed a mounting problem.
On any given day, Ahmed says he sees 10 or more masks, littered on pathways, in parks and in the grass.
He documented his findings by taking pictures and video, which he shared with NBC 5.
“It’s unfortunate. We have an amazing lakefront,” said Ahmed. “I hope people are just more careful with their masks.”
Even the Chicago Park District acknowledges its landscape crews are finding more masks. However, not an “excessive” amount.
Still, Ahmed wanted to help keep the city litter free, coming up with a fairly simple idea: a mask lanyard.
“I remember seeing my parents and grandparents with their reading glasses. Initially, I started using shoelaces to tie both ends of my mask, and then I said oh, I think I can create something,” said Ahmed. “Hopefully people will not lose their mask. It’s secured.”
Ahmed has already sold more than 100 on his online store.
The mask lanyards come in different colors and patterns.
Ahmed plans to donate hundreds more to local charities and organizations.
For more information on his handmade lanyards, click here.