"Everybody has their fat jeans or their skinny jeans or their jeans that are out of date," Crow tells PEOPLE

By Patrick Gomez
Updated May 27, 2015 08:20 PM
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Credit: Michael Kovac/Wireimage

Sheryl Crow has joined more than 600 Habitat for Humanity volunteers for a “Build a Thon” on America Street in New Orleans, where 10 homes will be constructed over the final 10 days of May.

The insulation for the homes will consist of recycled denim provided by Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program.

After spending a day with the volunteers, Crow, 53, explains to PEOPLE why this campaign means so much to her:

I have a long history with New Orleans. I made my second record down there. It has been emotional to watch the city build back over the past 10 years since Hurricane Katrina.

I’m also a huge advocate for the environment. And I actually have a jean line, so the marriage of all these ideas made getting involved in this a no-brainer for me.

I watch the news and I get discouraged because most of what gets covered is negative and this is one of those instances where you know that great things are happening.

It’s important that we all do what we can and that we help each other because we are all renters here on this planet. We share it. And what we do for each other has wonderful repercussions and a wonderful ripple effect.

And it is not about doing everything. It is about just doing something. Like, at home, my kids are growing up knowing that they can’t run the water while they’re brushing their teeth.

They have a limited time they can stand there in the shower – although my 8-year-old [son Wyatt] would stay in there for hours if I would let him. We don’t run the dishwasher unless it is full. We don’t heat or air condition the rooms we aren’t in. We don’t leave the lights on. Those little things everyone can do.

And it’s the same with this campaign.

Everybody has their fat jeans or their skinny jeans or their jeans that are out of date. This is just a great reason to finally get them out of the house.

It’s such a great thing for our souls to be great neighbors and help each other out.

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