Hair is a great thing, let's face it. They characterize us, they keep our heads warm and all when. But when we cut them (or when they fall), they can lend a hand to the planet!
An American charity called Matter of Trust (note the pun in “matter of trust”, literally “matter of trust.” The word “Matter” also means “mat) collects human hair to make carpets and long tubes, called Booms. The target? Clean up oil spills on roads and in oceans.
Donate hair to the cause!
Matter of Trust receives hair cut from beauty salons across the country every day. It inspects and sanitizes the hair, selects it and processes it with a machine that obtains special mats, similar to those usually used to clean dishes and pots.
The idea of using this product to dab oil comes from afar: in 1989 an American hairdresser called Phil McCrory he thought of using fallen braids as duvets. Over 30 years later he has collaborated with Matter of Trust to perfect the idea.
The hair mats and 'booms' have been tested and approved by none other than from NASA. And today they can clean up oil much better of the current mats in biodegradable plastic, disposable and non-biodegradable.
In summary: do they work?
500 grams of hair is enough for a mat that is 20cm square (two square feet) and 2,5cm (one inch) thick. That's enough to collect up to nearly 6 liters (1,5 gallons) of oil.
It's a great alternative, because human hair is a naturally renewable resource that is accessible everywhere, and can absorb five times its weight in oil.
Oil escaped by accident, illegal discharges and other causes enter our waterways and ruin ecosystems and health. These strong, hydrophobic hair mats could help out in a completely sustainable way.
What are you waiting to make yours donation, long-haired friends? The environment needs you, don't be stingy. Friends: they are only two fingers! (They all say so).