The Press Newspaper
Thirteen year-old Erek “EcoErek” Hansen has launched his annual campaign to keep unwanted denim and shoes out of the local landfills.
“I’m excited to get started collecting unwanted denim and shoes again to recycle,” the Curtice youth said. “I am also looking forward to seeing people out at the drives.”
Hansen welcomes stained, holey, past-their-prime denim clothing items and unwanted, worn out, too-big, or too-small shoes of any kind, condition, color or size.
Denim makes it to the Blue Jeans Go Green (www.BlueJeansGoGreen.org), previously named “Cotton. From Blue to Green,” which turns old jeans into new Ultra Touch Denim Insulation. One hundred percent of the insulation is donated to natural disaster victims. To date, Blue Jeans Go Green has diverted more than 600 tons of waste out of landfills and generated approximately 2 million square feet of insulation to assist with building efforts in communities in need.
The shoes are sent to USAgain (www.usagain.com), pronounced use-again, which collects household textiles, shoes and clothing for recycling, reuse and repurpose.
This will be Erek’s sixth summer holding recycling drives. In the past 12 months, he has been named a finalist in The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, in Boulder, Colorado and spoke to students at Ohio State University, about the importance of recycling.
Erek, whose smiling face has appeared several times amid mountains of donated denim, collected 4,477 pairs of jeans and 4,269 pairs of shoes in 2013.
Collectively over the five previous summers, he has recycled almost 20,000 pairs of jeans and over 11,000 pairs of shoes, which is enough denim to insulate 40 homes.
His goal for 2014 is to redirect 4,000 pairs of jeans and 4,000 pairs of shoes from the landfill. A donor at the first drive will likely share a milestone with Erek as he looks to collect his 20,000th pair of jeans.
He’ll kick off the 2014 “collection season” at the Toledo Zoo’s “Party for the Planet,” which will be held April 26 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Only denim will be collected.
Other opportunities to donate denim and shoes of any kind, condition, color or size include:
• June 7, noon-6 p.m., Levis Commons, Perrysburg (in front of the Cinemas) on Saturday (denim and shoes).
• June 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., The Future Wave Salon, 3324 Navarre Ave., Oregon (denim and shoes).
For 2014 drop boxes are located at The Future Wave, CC Bella salon, 530 Commerce Blvd., Northwood and Once Upon A Child locations in Perrysburg and Sylvania. Donations may be dropped off through Labor Day during normal business hours.
Keep track of Erek’s progress at www.ecoerek.org, and www.facebook.com/EcoErek.