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Collecting Fur
Donate your dog’s hair to clean up oil spills

Living with long-haired dogs, it seems all the brushing in the world won’t prevent hair from ending up in every possible crevice of my house.  So last week, when I got an e-mail from Best Friends Pet Care announcing a canine hair drive, I couldn’t wait to sign up. 

It turns out hair is great for absorbing oil, including the oil from the BP spill currently wreaking havoc in the Gulf of Mexico.  The non-profit organization, Matter of Trust, collects donations of human and canine hair to make mats and booms with recycled nylons (yes, the ones you wear under your skirts!).  The mats and booms are then placed in the ocean to soak up oil.

If you’re interested in making a hair donation, visit the Matter of Trust web site for more information.  Your local human salon or canine groomer may also collect for the cause.

According to Matter of Trust, the United States has over 370,000 hair salons, each cutting an average of a pound of hair per day. Dog groomers usually cut three pounds per day. Imagine how much oil could be soaked up using material that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Check out this video for more information on how hair goes from dog to ocean.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by chris.corwin, Flickr.

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