Ten years. Ten days. Ten homes. Ten-thousand jeans.
On behalf of the Cotton Incorporated Blue Jeans Go Green™ denim recycling program, nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow is asking consumers to recycle their unwanted denim to help rebuild New Orleans, an area still feeling the repercussions of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Blue Jeans Go Green™ has set a collection goal of 10,000 pieces of denim, which will be transformed into UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation by manufacturing partner Bonded Logic, Inc., and then provided to a ten-home Build-A-Thon being conducted by New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity set for May 20 – 30.
Over the past 40 years, U.S. cotton growers have reduced pesticide applications by 50%, reduced irrigation water applications by 40%, and have grown twice as much cotton on 30% less acreage. Sheryl Crow, who was born and raised in the Cotton Belt state of Missouri, supports the Blue Jeans Go Green™ initiative, which brings the environmental gains cotton growers have made in the field full-circle by diverting textiles from landfills and helping to rebuild communities.
"I hope to influence as many people as possible to recycle their denim through the Blue Jeans Go Green™ program," said Crow. "It's a really simple way to help the environment, help communities in need and complete an environmental cycle that begins on the farm and ends with us. To think that my old jeans could help insulate a house is just an incredible idea, I'm excited to work with Cotton Incorporated on this initiative."
Since 2006, the Cotton Incorporated Blue Jeans Go Green™ program has helped rebuild communities by providing hundreds of thousands of square feet of UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation to Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the country. Over that time span the program has diverted more than one million pieces of denim --- roughly 600 tons --- from landfills, and created approximately two million square feet of insulation for communities in need.
"The average consumer owns seven pairs of jeans," says Andrea Samber, co-director of Strategic Alliances at Cotton Incorporated. "Giving just one of them to the recycling drive can make a big difference in a family's life." Information on where to recycle denim through Blue Jeans Go Green™ can be found at www.bluejeansgogreen.org.
Samber explains that the program has a long history in the New Orleans area. "Participating in a Habitat for Humanity build there in 2007 was one of the first activities of Blue Jeans Go Green™. Since then we have given just over half a million square feet to the Gulf South, alone. We're happy to still be involved, and to be collaborating with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity on this ambitious ten-home, ten-day Build-A-Thon."
"New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity is thrilled to have Blue Jeans Go Green™ support our efforts to build ten houses in ten days to mark the tenth anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita," said Jim Pate, Executive Director of NOAHH."By providing insulation for our build, the program is making a significant contribution to affordable housing and sustainable living that will positively affect families in New Orleans for generations to come. We are also very grateful to Sheryl Crow for her leadership and participation," he said.
More than 600 volunteers will come together in New Orleans to participate in the ten-day build on America Street. Included will be 500 active service AmeriCorps volunteers, as well as alumni and other volunteer groups from around the country that will all will be reuniting in New Orleans for the Build-A-Thon.