Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How you and your dog can help with the Gulf oil spill

I recently wrote about eco-friendly ways to recycle your dogs hair, and one option seems all too newsworthy these days: you can donate your dog's hair to help clean up oil spills.  When dogs like me get dirty, we get  regular old bath, like this guy pictured here.  But there is a ton of wildlife down in the gulf that can't avoid the oil, and have no way to clean off the toxic gunk once they get dirty. The best thing for those animals is to help prevent them from getting dirty in the first place, but that means cleaning up a huge mess of an oil slick.

You and your dog can help the effort by donating both of your hair to sop up the spill. The hair is collected into pantyhose, as "hairbooms" which soak up the oil floating on the surface of the water. This technique is not new--it was used effectively in the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989.  GOOD has an article about the collection and Matter of Trust is collecting dog and human hair and pantyhose to use.  There are over 2,600 smaller oil spills every year, so they would like to create an ongoing project to collect hair so that clean-up crews can be more prepared. They are even working on eco-friendly ways to compost the oil-soaked hairbooms after the cleanup.  Looks like spring shedding season came just in time for us dogs to help out.

Visit Matter of Trust to find out how to donate.

Wags to my super furry friend Stella for the tip--I know she has plenty of hair to spare for a good cause!  [Image from Photobucket]

UPDATE: Matter of Trust has this very interesting video about how this project works:


  1. Thanks for sharing this! Between Lucas and Emmett, I think we could get a pretty decent "hairboom."

  2. I had no idea this was possible- thanks for sharing!

  3. I have hair collected that I was going to give the birds to make a nest.. Where do we send the hair to help the oil spill cleanup?

  4. I just heard about this. Great post. Woofy Woo!!!

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