Most of us have old blue jeans with a few too many holes, or that are a bit too tight. Now that old denim can be put to good use - providing insulation for homes built by Habitat for Humanity. Comfort, style, and durability often come to mind when we think of blue jeans, but insulation for a home? Probably not. Cotton Incorporated has teamed up with National Geographic and the Guiness Book of World Records to try to set a world record for recycling jeans, and turning them into insulation for homes. Several local schools are doing their own jean drives. "Jeans that I had outgrown, rather than them go to waste, we figured give back to the community,” said New Hanover High senior Kelly Verkes. “They were using it for something really cool and I never heard about it before so I thought it was an awesome idea. They could turn something like this into something that people could use for their houses." Donated blue jeans are being used to insulate a home, like the ones built by Habitat for Humanity, for families during natural disasters. "You can imagine how someone would feel during a disaster to lose their home and then have a home rebuilt by Habitat turns a very sad situation into a positive one," said Kitty Verkes of Habitat for Humanity. The jean drive started after Hurricane Katrina. Habitat for Humanity built new homes and the jeans provided the insulation. Donated jeans from this drive will provide insulation for homes built after the next natural disaster. Denim insulation costs about ten percent more than standard fiberglass insulation, but it's safer to install, better for the environment, and more energy-efficient. Plus, it is easier for the do-it-yourselfer. "I just think it's so cool that they can insulate walls and stuff in houses for people who need this as oppose to them staying in my drawer,” said Emalyn Penn of New Hanover High School. “What else would I do with them? So it's really cool to be able to give back in that way and help out somebody." You have until June 15th to drop off your old denim. Below is a list of collection sites around town. Donate until June 15th at: - Sapona Green Building Center – 716 17th Street - Cape Fear River Watch – 617 Surry Street - Tidal Creek Coop – 5329 Oleander Drive - B+O Design Studio – 205 Princess Street - LS3P Associates, Ltd. – 2528 Independence Blvd. Suite 200
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