Habitat for Humanity’s “Green” Efforts Examined in Environmental Studies Lecture

John Weyenberg, executive director of the Fox Cities chapter of Habitat for Humanity and George Elias, a member of the organization’s board of directors, will discuss Habitat’s efforts to promote “green building” practices in the second installment of Lawrence University’s environmental studies lecture series on green architecture.

Weyenberg and Elias present “The ReStore Recycled Building Materials Project” Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Science Hall, Room 102.

Habitat for Humanity is the only large-scale home builder in the country that adheres to “green building” standards in an effort to provide more energy-efficient and durable housing at the lowest possible cost for its partner families.

In addition to providing an overview of Habitat’s environmental initiatives to promote cost-effective, best-practice construction methods, Weyenberg and Elias will discuss the Fox Cities “ReStore” operations. Opened last September in a former grocery store on Appleton’s east side, Habitat’s ReStore is a retail store that sells reusable and surplus building materials to the public, providing quality construction materials at reduced costs.

A retail hybrid of Goodwill and Home Depot, the Appleton ReStore center is one of only three such operations in Wisconsin. Staffed completely by volunteers, all profits from ReStore sales are used to fund local Habitat house construction. Since it opened, ReStore has averaged $20,000 in sales per month.

Weyenberg has directed the Fox Cities chapter of Habitat for Humanity since 1999. Elisa has been a member of HFH’s board of directors in 2003.

The environmental lecture series is sponsored by the Spoerl Lectureship in Science in Society. Established in 1999 by Milwaukee-Downer College graduate Barbara Gray Spoerl and her husband, Edward, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on the role of science and technology in societies worldwide.