Boston bombing bounces Eco Erek’s People magazine profile from issueWritten by Don Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon pushed a story on Curtice’s Eco Erek out of People magazine for the week, but back home in Toledo, the recycling show goes on.
And on and on and on.
Erek Hansen, 12, better known as Eco Erek for the recycling efforts he’s led for years, was interviewed for a People magazine feature that focuses on children across the country who are doing things to help the environment. That story was to run Friday, but coverage of the aftermath of the Boston bombing pushed the story back, said Erek’s mother, Amy Hansen.
Meanwhile, Eco Erek’s first local recycling collection of 2013 will take place at the Toledo Zoo’s “Party for the Planet” 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 20, two days before Earth Day.
The zoo event is a drive-through drop off collecting batteries, household goods, electronics, appliances, textiles, aluminum cans, tires and denim jeans at no cost. There will also be a document shredding service.
He’ll be part of a denim recycling drive at The Ohio State University on April 19.
Two more events are scheduled for June 1 at Levis Commons in Perrysburg and June 15 at Future Wave, a salon in Oregon, Amy said.
Since he started collecting recyclables in 2009, Eco Erek has gone green in a big way. He’s worked in partnership with everyone from Cotton: From Blue to Green and USAgain to Bowling Green State University, in a campaign called “When You Move Out, Don’t Throw It Out,” encouraging students to recycle their castoffs when they leave their dorms and college apartments. A signature item: Shoes too worn to be worn again, but whose materials can be reused for something such as insulation.
Erek jumped into recycling with a splash in early 2009, when he was 8 years old, his mother said, and “it was a little bit of a surprise.”
He liked reading his National Geographic for Kids magazine and, during a car trip, read about how a group in Washington, D.C., was collecting old jeans for recycling into home insulation. He wanted to do that with an old pair of his own jeans.
Amy said she supported that and suggested he see if his friends wanted to join him.
That was in April 2009. By the contest deadline that June 30, he and his friends had collected 1,000 pairs of jeans to send off, the largest single donation the recyclers received.
Since then, he’s joined with Cotton: Blue to Green to collect and recycle denim on that group’s behalf, and this year will be his fifth season. Since he started, Amy said, Erek has collected 15,000 pairs of donated jeans for recycling — and he’s become something of a youthful institution among the local green crowd.
His website, www.ecoerek.org, is a partnership with Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful Inc. and includes not only a schedule of his recycling activities, but is labeled “a place to share eco-ideas!”
“Not everything can and should get thrown in the landfill,” he writes on the site’s introductory page. “There is only so much room for all of our garbage! I don’t like when I see things that we throw away, especially plastic, end up in our oceans and rivers and trees. Yuck!”
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