Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Hair Brained Idea

You know, sometimes those hair brained ideas really do work out!

We are all aware of the Gulf oil spill and what a tragedy this is creating for our oceans, our wetlands and our coastal residents (both human and otherwise). Wayne and I are very environmentally conscious people and try to help participate in anything we can that helps to better the earth in some form or fashion. We also run a local environmental organization here in Blue Ridge (Blue Ridge Area Environmental Action) that we have just gotten non-profit status for and that we are working hard on mobilizing more for our community.

A few weeks ago, my mom emailed me with some information about Matter of Trust. I had never heard of this organization before but you may have heard about it by now because they have been getting a lot of attention in the media over the past couple of weeks. This organization takes donations of hair (from hair salons, pet groomers, shearers, etc) to stuff into nylons that they then make into booms that soak up oil spills in waterways. They have been around for a while and ship these booms all over the place for oil spills (because they do happen more than you hear about in the news!). However, they have been getting a lot of attention lately simply because of the giant oil spill that has been going on in the Gulf.

Any kind of debris-free hair will work. Human hair or animal hair. Natural fiber yarn works too since it is animal fiber! We are now saving all of the clippings from our natural fibers as we skein them and when we get a big bag of them we will send them off. I am so happy to find something to do with all of those yarn clippings that really serve no other purpose!

But, know what we did have to send? These:

We have LOTS of alpaca clippings from my dad's alpacas. These are the bags of the second cuts that don't really make great yarn. We kept the bags of the first clipping to sell at SAFF and we kept the cria fleeces to get those spun but - I thought that we could donate the second cuts to a good cause so we packed them all up yesterday and sent them off!!

That's Wayne with our box all ready to go and Frank (the owner of The Mailbox Company where we ship all of our products from - Frank and Tanya are awesome people!)

BP has not been receptive to this idea of using the booms to keep the oil from getting closer to the shore, even though they work great! However, Matter of Trust has been organizing a HUGE drive of product to get there by May 20th in order to show BP how much public interest there is in using these booms to help. Well, apparently it has been working because I was notified yesterday that BP has sent and inquiry email to Matter of Trust asking for more information on the project because they may be interested - so YAY!!!! I don't know why they wouldn't use any means available to them in order to help mitigate this tragedy.

The people who actually go out and place the booms are all HazMat certified and know exactly what to do with the booms once they soak up the oil. So, they are all disposed of properly.

If you are interested in taking this information to your hair salons, pet groomers or indie dyer just have them go to the Matter of Trust website. There they sign up for an account and can get information about their tax deductible donations for sending in their hair. We were proud to be able to donate some alpaca hair to the cause!


idyllicchick said...

Thank you for helping our planet! Poor girl needs all she can get right now. OXOXOXO

Owl Chick said...

I posted this site to a friend's Facebook page as she owns a couple of hair salons and teaches hair styling at a local college.

What a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

moevans said...

Great idea! My shop is partnering with MofT to collect wool and other animal fiber yarn scraps. I got a notification yesterday in my daily updates from MofT and BP has contacted them and is interested in the hair mats and booms! The huge publicity blitz has worked.

Hockey Mom said...

Awesome. Simply amazing.

Turtle said...

i had never thought of the snimals hair! i set up this service at both salon/spa's i used to work at. We sent them to cali where they made the matt's for absorbing. I lvoed the idea as the matts of hair could be rinsed and reused as well. glad your participating!

jomamma said...

I'm going to send the info to my hair dresser (and the local 4-H and FFA groups)... I had sent it a few weeks ago to a local farm who has sheep and alpaca.