Houston Nonprofit Is Using Old Billboard Vinyl To Tarp Roofs Damaged By Hurricane Laura


Published on September 6th, 2020 |
by Johnna Crider

September 6th, 2020 by  

Recycling is a great way to help those affected by Hurricane Laura and other natural disasters. One way it is helping was shared by KHOU 11 reporter Janelle Bludau on Twitter.

In the video Bludau shared, volunteers from the Houston nonprofit Every Shelter are taking old billboard vinyl and using them to tarp the roofs on damaged homes in Lake Charles. Billboard Insider reported where the vinyl came from — it was donated to Every Shelter by IBOUSA, a networking group of companies that focus on promoting things that are important to the Out Of Home (OOH) advertising industry. Chris Cowlbeck, General Manager for IBOUSA, shared that Every Shelter reached out to him for help.

“The email was from Scott Austin Key, Co-Founder, and CEO of Every Shelter,” he said, while adding that the email “said they were stepping up to be the coordinator for an effort in partnership with VOAD efforts to acquire as many billboard vinyls as possible and asked if IBOUSA could help get the message out and assist in any way. We promptly fired out a blast given our efforts to help them with a shelter solution and our Associates already have many pallets ready, but need many many more.”

Habitat for Humanity Houston also played a key role in moving the idea forward. “We will be filming instructional videos for the volunteer crews and will emphasize the need for the ad side to be installed down towards the damaged roof for those concerned about exposing creative inappropriately,” Key added.

Cowlbeck noted that this particular response was similar to one from Hurricane Harvey in Houston in which IBO Associate Sparta Craine coordinated those efforts.

“The OOH industry has a chance now with Every Shelter and folks like Tony Gallager of Sparta to build these efforts to become sustainable. If any of the larger regional independents or field ops persons at the big three have interest, please feel free to reach out to me chris@IBOUSA.org. If we can open a line of communication and coordinate some logistics, we may be able to build stockpiles ahead of time in appropriate staged locations with philanthropic partners.”

How Reliable And Eco-Friendly Is Vinyl For Roofing?

RoofingCompare notes that vinyl is a really durable material that can be used in many ways, such as siding, flooring, and roofing. Many vinyl roofing shingles and membranes can withstand heavy wind and hail and are also fire resistant. Vinyl is also eco-friendly since it is a recyclable material.

Both vinyl roofing shingles and membranes can be recycled at the end of their lifespan — usually after 20 years or so. The only disadvantage to vinyl is that it has a higher initial cost — which is why recycled vinyl is perfect for helping those whose roofs were damaged during the storm.

How You Can Help

A simple donation of only $30 can help Every Shelter send a billboard tarp to help those impacted by Hurricane Laura. $150 sends 5 billboards and $300 sends 10 billboards. Even though the billboards were donated, the costs getting them from Houston to Lake Charles still apply. To donate, click here.

There are many organizations helping the residents of Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana to recover, rebuild, and salvage their lives. Despite the almost nonexistent mainstream and national media coverage of the aftermath, Lake Charles and SWLA are really struggling. The media coverage is vital to helping the relief organizations get the promotion they need to raise funds for the help they are providing.

There are several verified GoFundMe fundraisers that are focused on helping, and many organizations need volunteers. I’ve been promoting and supporting The Cajun Navy and the Community Foundation of SWLA. Helping any or all of these organizations will help those in need. 


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Sign up for our free daily newsletter or weekly newsletter to never miss a story.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest Cleantech Talk Episode

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author

is a Baton Rouge artist, gem, and mineral collector, member of the International Gem Society, and a Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.”

Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter