Did you know that denim is a large source of textile waste that ends up in landfills, but can be recycled into many different materials? In an effort to reduce this waste, Nesbitt Discovery Academy’s Habitat Collaborative (NHC) organization is currently running a Blue Jean drive to collect jeans to be recycled as insulation for Habitat for Humanity homes. Their goal is 500 pairs of jeans donated by Earth Day 2022 - the amount of jeans needed to insulate one house.
Rachel White, a junior at Nesbitt, founded the NHC to do volunteer work in the community for affordable housing.
“I realized that Nesbitt did not yet have many direct service opportunities nor integrated volunteerism in the curriculum, so I decided that it would benefit all my fellow students by bringing this opportunity to the school,” said White. “We also worked with the administration to make the service opportunity integral to the PLTW Civil Engineering and Architecture curriculum. NHC attracts motivated and altruistic student members. We have full support from and owe many thanks to Mentor Mrs. Jolie Kaiser, Principal Heather Brookshire, and Assistant Principal Josh Fisher.”
This past year, the NHC fundraised over $9,000 to be part of the Habitat for Humanity Buncombe Student Build Home #5 in West Asheville. The donations were collected through fundraising events, community partners, and grants. In the fall, the students started work on the home- already logging over 150 community service hours to the project.
“The build is ongoing and we have two upcoming build days with corporate sponsors State Farm and Bank of America,” said White. “Nesbitt students get to work alongside corporate volunteers exemplifying how our community can come together to make a positive impact on affordable housing.”
The NHC has 35 student members and meets often to do work at the Student Build home and organize other initiatives, such as the Jean Drive. “I cannot emphasize enough how important and impactful service to our community is,” said White. “This volunteer opportunity also allows volunteers to learn collaboration and teamwork while acquiring invaluable technical and other life skills.”
If you have jeans or other denim to donate to help the NHC collect their 500 jean goal, drop them off at Nesbitt Discovery Academy before April 22nd, Earth Day!
This jean drive is in partnership with Cotton Inc.’s “Blue Jeans Go Green” program.