Bright Green News!
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has already reached epic proportions. On May 7, the corporation began to install a dome to shield the new oil continuing to leak from the drill sites from the formerly pristine salt water.
While the workers from BP and EPA work frantically around the clock to prevent more oil from contaminating the ocean waters, environmental activists are busy putting together grass roots movements to help clean up the open water areas and local Louisiana coastal shores.
The latest idea?
Human hair mats can be used to soak up the oil.
Britney Spears — for the love of all things Southern and American get your clippers ready and shave your head bald for the right reason this time, girl.
DONATE LOCKS OF LOVE TO HELP HEAL OUR AMERICAN SHORES
This is not a joke.
Hair salons and stylists all over the country are being asked to collect their hair clippings from their local salon floors and turn them in as material for recycling to help clean oil from the beaches, waters, and shores.
Human hair — as most people who shampoo and condition daily — has a tendency to get oily if left unwashed. [Especially Caucasian hair.]
As it turns out, if you create a mat or type of filter screen using human hair, it will in fact absorb oil.
Here’s more about the process and request for donation of human hair from every Hair Cuttery, barber shop, and beauty salon around the country from MatterofTrust.ORG (link courtesy of my sweet friend Jungle Pete — who runs one of the funniest and best environmental blogs around when he’s not busy working in the Everglades, saving the environment, or writing articles for Audobon):
GULF OIL SPILL – HOW EVERYONE CAN HELP
Anyone and Everyone: salons, groomers, individuals can sign up to donate hair and fur clippings and nylons for our Oil Spill Booms. Our Excess Access program sign up is FREE, fast and helps us to coordinate the masses of donations.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TO DONATE HAIR / FUR / NYLONS and get a delivery address emailed. Warehouses are small, so we’re not posting on the web, we’re orchestrating how much goes where all along the Coast. We all get it. We shampoo because hair collects oil!
Thousands of pounds of hair and nylons are coming in by UPS and FED EX from every State in the US and from Canada, Brazil, France, UK… Booms are being made all along the Gulf Coast near beaches and marshes. What a community feeling!
MORE ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE IDEA TO USE HUMAN HAIR AND PET HAIR TO ABSORB OIL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER CLEANUP
The idea to use human hair — and even pet hair — for environmental hazard cleanup when oil spills occur actually came about after the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Regarding the bright green idea to use haircut trim waste as a sustainable product Springwise writes:
While watching the coverage of the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, hair stylist Phil McCrory was struck by how rapidly otters’ fur absorbed oil. He soon began testing how much oil he could absorb with the cast-off clippings from his salon, and voilà, the Oil Spill Hair Mat was created. McCrory teamed up with the environmentally-driven fiscal sponsor Matter of Trust, and set up shop in a San Francis warehouse. Following the hair mat’s inception in 2000, thousands of hair salons now donate their excess hair to Matter of Trust to be recycled into absorbent mats. And with salons collecting on average one pound a day, that’s a lot of hair mats.
Hairdressers signing up as donors are asked to cover shipping costs, compensated by the happy knowledge that they’re helping clean up oil spills. The program also accepts other natural fibers such as dog fur from groomers, horse hair, waste wool, and even nylon stockings that can be filled with hair and used to contain spills.
Not-for-profit Matter of Trust is developing other ways to reuse man-made and natural surplus, too: since launching the hair mats a few years ago, they’ve worked with McCrory to explore the use of hair as a natural fertilizer. While the concept might not be entirely new, its combination of eco-action and corporate generosity is definitely of the moment, as is the organization’s focus on creating green collar jobs.