Twelve-year-old Curtice resident, Erek “EcoErek” Hansen has once again launched his annual campaign to keep unwanted, stained, hole-y, out-of-style denim clothing items and unwanted, worn out, too-big, or too-small shoes of any kind, condition, color or size out of the local landfills.
Erek’s mission is to provide an outlet for area residents to recycle these items. By doing so, he also helps out communities that have been hit by natural disasters and provides materials to manufacture items such as playground mulch and tennis courts.
When denim and shoes are donated to EcoErek, the denim makes it to the “Cotton. From Blue to Green®” (www.cottonfrombluetogreen.org) program, which turns old jeans into new housing insulation to be donated to natural disaster victims and the shoes are sent to USAgain (www.usagain.com), pronounced use-again, which collects household textiles, shoes and clothing for recycling, reuse and repurpose. It is important to him that the public is aware of our need to be protective of our Earth’s natural resources.
This will be the fifth summer for Erek’s recycling drives. In the past 12 months, EcoErek has gained a non-profit status, raised funds to pay for shipping, appeared in “chickadee” magazine in an article titled “Heroes of the Planet,” and appeared in the article “Earth Day 2013: Meet Three Kid Crusaders” on www.People.com.
In 2012, he collected 5,019 denim items and 4,402 pairs of shoes. His goal for 2013 is 5,000 pairs of jeans and 2,000 pairs of shoes. Collectively over four summers, EcoErek has recycled more than 15,000 pairs of jeans and more than 7,000 pairs of shoes, which is enough denim to insulate over 30 homes.
Erek will be on hand to collect denim and shoes of any kind, condition, color or size at Levis Commons, Perrysburg (in front of the Cinemas) on Saturday, June 1 from noon-6 p.m. The final drive of the year will be at The Future Wave, Oregon on Saturday, June 15 from 10-4 p.m.
Drop boxes are available in three locations through Labor Day for donations during normal business hours. The locations include The Future Wave salon, 3324 Navarre Ave., Oregon and at Once Upon A Child stores at 194 E. South Boundary St., Perrysburg and 5644 Monroe Street, Sylvania.
For the fifth year, 12-year-old “EcoErek” Hansen, of Curtice, will be collecting unwanted denim clothing and shoes of any kind to be recycled. Learn more at www.ecoerek.org.