EcoErek Collecting Denim at 2013 Scarlet and Gray Ag Day

recycled jeans in the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Erek Hansen, also known as “EcoErek,” will be collecting used denim at the 2013 Micki Zartman Scarlet and Gray Ag Day on April 19 on the campus of Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences for his national recycling initiative.   

Hansen, a 12-year-old of Curtice, Ohio, hosts denim drives in order to recycle the material into UltraTouch Denim Insulation ( More recently, he has also started collecting athletic shoes for reuse and recycling through USAgain (

Hansen has collected denim items at Scarlet and Gray Ag Day since 2010. Last year, he received just over 500 pairs, which helped him reach 10,000 pairs of jeans overall. He hopes to collect more than 500 pairs at this year's event.

It takes approximately 500 pairs of jeans to insulate the average U.S. home. To date, Hansen's denim has insulated 30 homes in just four years.

Hansen has set a Guinness World Record for the “Largest Collection of Clothing to be Recycled” by collecting 1,684 pairs of jeans in just one weekend, and his goal for 2013 is to collect 5,000 pairs.

In addition, in November 2012, he sent 726 pairs of athletic shoes to National Geographic in Washington, D.C., to help set a Guinness World Record for the "Longest Chain of Shoes." He is awaiting results.

Hansen epitomizes this year’s Scarlet and Gray Ag Day theme, AgROUND the World, as he advocates for recycling and promotes a more responsible use of natural resources. His goal is to get everyone to reduce, reuse, or recycle just one item per day, saving the world one pair of jeans at a time.

Collection sites will be located at both the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center and the Scarlet and Gray Ag Day registration tent near Plumb Hall on Coffey Road

For more information on Hansen, see

Scarlet and Gray Ag Day is a one-day educational outreach program to educate central Ohio elementary students about agriculture through hands-on activities. The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with more than 350 students from six schools participating this year.


Editor: For information on Scarlet and Gray Ag Day or to arrange interviews, contact Stephanie Verhoff at 419-796-0055 or, or Leslie Risch at 614-292-4278 or

CFAES News Team