Blue Jeans Go Green

Hingerton-JeansImagine spending your winter months huddled around a stove with your family members, trying to keep warm because you can’t afford heating. Imagine living in a home that is not properly insulated. Imagine the cold creeping in in the middle of the night.

Every winter, members of the Rhode Island community face these challenges. In October, URI Civility Mentors teamed up with a cotton company and ran a denim drive called Blue Jeans Go Green to help make a change in the local community. The goal was to collect jeans and recycle the denim into insulation for houses. The URI students are working with Habitat for Humanity to make Habitat homes insulated with recycled denim. Denim is a great option for insulation because it is ecofriendly and it lasts for a long time.

Junior Kelli Hingerton is a member of the URI rowing team, as well as a Civility Mentor. “We are hoping that we can spread this message and create awareness amongst all of the athletic teams,” Hingerton said.

The goal for this campaign was to collect up to 750 pairs of denim, but the drive led by Hingerton surpassed the goal, collecting more than 1,200 pounds of denim.

“We all have things that we cling to that we know we will never wear again, so why not give it to a good cause?” Hingerton said. “We will make a great change for the local community members we are helping who don’t have heat.”

URI was one of only five colleges across the country picked to take part in the campaign, and the only one from the East Coast.

—Nichole Sarkis ’16