FIfty-eight volunteers have come from all over the United States to Houston, Texas, this week to help take out the trash.

And these Habitat for Humanity Green Team members aren't just coordinating the recycling stations where a dozen different building materials are sorted. They're also traveling between the 100 houses being built during this year's Jimmy Carter Work Project, assisting the crew of each house with energy-efficient building techniques.

"The Green Team is an education/communication network," explains Graham Davis, who coordinates Habitat's Green Team in the United States. A part of Habitat's Environmental Initiative, the team identifies sustainable, energy-efficient building methods and materials, then helps Habitat affiliates put that information to use in ways that conserve resources and lower homeowner utility bills.

This work is largely carried out by "Green Team champions," who learn about efficient building practices and work with their affiliates' construction committees to implement those ideas. "We've got about 415 members signed on now, representing almost 400 affiliates," says Davis. Habitat has teamed up with experts such as the Florida Solar Energy Center and the Southface Energy Institute to provide training and support for team members.

Davis is excited about the chance to educate this year's 6,000 JCWP participants about sustainable building. "We'll have an opportunity to share with them what we're doing and why we're doing it so they can take that back to their affiliates." Habitat for Humanity aims to eliminate substandard housing from the face of the earth, Davis notes -- and crucial to that effort is building resource-efficient houses.

Other Stories from the 1998 JCWP
JCWP Homeowners:
John and Belvin Richard

"We've got ourselves a blessing," says Belvin Richard of the Habitat house under construction.

More stories:
Nancy Rosas
Olga Martinez
Betty and Seff Polk
Wade and Shalina Gibson
JCWP Volunteers:
Always and Forever Hammering

Habitat volunteer Eunita Shields has worked long and hard to help her cousin find decent, affordable housing.

More stories:
First Ladies for Habitat
Joanne and Greg Janson
Campus Chapters
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter
JCWP Behind the Scenes:
Food Service

How do you provide food and water to thousands of people for a week? Becky Neuhaus knows who to ask.

More stories:
Security Volunteers
First Aid
Day-By-Day Photo Journal | 1998 JCWP Home Page

JCWP Overviews: 1984-96 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000

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