Global Communities Combine Hosiery and Hair to Save the Gulf Coast
A hairy situation is a silver lining in the Gulf oil slick”
SAN FRANCISCO — As oil slick spreads in the Gulf of Mexico, communities worldwide have started showing support for one organization that is all ready to clean up the Gulf Coast with a free, low-tech solution: Boom made of recycled hosiery and hair clippings.
Matter of Trust, an environmental non-profit, has helped clean up oil spills in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond since 1998 by reusing donated hair clippings from hair salons, barber shops, pet groomers, and wool farmers. Stuffing this donated hair into donated nylon stockings, this organization creates highly absorbent booms to contain oil spills.
Matter of Trust is currently coordinating efforts of thousands of participants to match nylon and hair donations to space in temporary warehousing along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. Volunteers are building booms on site hoping to hold off the encroaching oil slick. Through its donor database matching system program called Excess Access, Matter of Trust is notifying salons and groomers… of where exactly to send their boxes to high-priority sites.
The organization is already receiving donations from all 50 states and several other countries.
Donations include hundreds of thousands of pounds of hair, and many washed nylon pantyhose stockings, which they’ll accept even with small runs or tears.
Gulf Coast cities are heralding volunteers that are hosting “Bar B Q parties,” or “Boom B Q’s as they’re calling them, to assemble booms in their own backyards. Other “hair-raising” events include “Cut-a-thon” and “Shave-a-thon” parties to collect hair donations.
ORCHESTRATION AND COLLABORATION
“We all want the same end results,” says Gautier. “We would love to hear from Unified Command, and understand that they’re even busier than we are. We know from past spills that they call you, it’s hard to reach them. It would be nice to connect, to be sure we don’t “
“Simply put, we shampoo because hair collects oil. It soaks up skin oils, grabs oil from the pollution in the air, and it can soak up petroleum in oil spills.” says Lisa Craig Gautier, Executive Director of Matter of Trust.