Ideas for the Green Initiative do not always come from me or the Green Initiative Committee, such as the Denim Drive. This idea came from Robin, Plant 1, Die Room 1st shift employee. Robin came up to me the end of March and said, "I was reading my daughter, Kristen's National Geographic Kids
(NGK) magazine about a denim drive. Isn't cool that denim can be recycled?" I was intrigued. The employee explained there was an article
in March's issue. I researched the information. Indeed NGK is running a denim drive in an attempt to break a Gunnies Book of World Records for largest amount of clothing recycled. NGK is working with an insulation manufactured called, COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.®
I quickly put together a month long denim drive for the employees. April 1 - 30, 2009 bins were set up at all five plants (we have 440 employees). Additionally, I spoke with our Cintas Uniform Representative and he committed the company for adding the no longer repairable jeans to our drive. The employees cleaned out their closets donating 206 pieces of denim (I put in two pair). Cintas donated 509 pieces. We sent three large shipping containers to Washington, DC this week with 715 pieces of denim, weighing 1,384 pounds.
The NGK article
mentions that it takes roughly 500 pieces to insulate one average sized home. I am proud of our vendor and the employees! No only have we saved so much bulk for going to the landfill, it created awareness for our employees about another green product available to purchase. It began the seeds of thinking about trash becoming something other than "going to that place where I don't have to think about it again" or "the dump" to "cool, it's going to end up in someone's home."
Although we ended our Denim Drive, it is not too late to contribute. The NGK Denim Drive will continue through June 30, 2009. If you want more information and the form you mail in with donated denim check out the NGK article on the Denim Drive
Attached is a photo of Robin, Kirsten, & the three Gaylord containers of denim that were shipped on Wednesday May 6, 2009.