If you’re a dog groomer or a hair stylist, your excess hair and fur clippings can help to clean up the Louisiana oil spill – and other oil spills that happen around the world.
The hair (which must be relatively clean and debris free) will be woven into mats, or stuffed into nylons to create ‘booms’. The booms help to contain oil as it sits on the water. The mats are used to soak up oil, and as crate liners for oil soaked birds and mammals.
This unique use for salon waste, which would otherwise simply be thrown away, was the brainchild of stylist Phil McCrory.
From the Matter of Trust website:
Phil McCrory, a hair stylist from Alabama, first discovered how hair can help. He was watching CNN coverage on the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. He noticed the fur on the Alaskan otters completely soaked with oil. He began testing how much oil he could collect with the hair clipping from his salon. Phil then invented the hairmat which has other uses as well.
Here’s a video from Matter of Trust, showing how hair mats and booms work.