New use for old jeans

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Not many 11-year-olds can say they’ve already helped set a world record, but Erek Hansen can. Collecting 1,684 items of denim clothing for a recycling drive, Curtice, Ohio native Erek was one of the National Geographic Kids readers who helped set the record for “Largest Collection of Clothing to Recycle” in 2009. Erek, who has since created his own earth-friendly organization Eco Erek, urges others to recycle, predominately through drives to collect denim, but also through shoe collections. In the past four years, his drives have kept 10,947 denim items from ending up in landfills. The old jeans are shredded and remanufactured into housing insulation, most of which has assisted with rebuilding homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Anyone can drop off denim at four public drop boxes through Labor Day: The Future Wave Salon, 3324 Navarre Ave., Oregon; Dr. Branam’s dentist office, 3140 Dustin Rd., Oregon; Once Upon a Child, 194 E. South Boundary St., Perrysburg; and Plato’s Closet, 144 W. South Boundary St., Perrysburg. For more info, visit www.ecoerek.org —AR