Fight The Oil Spill By Giving Your Dog A Haircut

Categories: Environment

dog-grooming poodle.jpg
Blow-drying after the cut is optional.
Until today, Hair Balls thought pet hair clippings were only good for making you sneeze, but apparently the hair is incredibly absorbent, which could come in handy in the case of, say, a gigantic freakin' oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pet Paradise, a chain of chichi pet spas, with two in Houston, has started collecting hair clippings from its 13 locations and is donating them to Matter of Trust, a San Francisco-based charity that uses pet and human hair wrapped in used nylon stockings to make "booms" to help soak up oil spills. Matter of Trust is collecting as much hair as possible to battle the BP oil slick covering about 3,500 square miles. (Weird fact: Pet Paradise Spokeswoman Lisa Pogue tells us that "it's estimated that one pound of dog hair can soak up one quart of oil in one minute.")

The chain collects about 100 pounds of hair a week, which, if our math is correct, means the BP oil spill can be cleaned up in four seconds. But that's just a rough estimate. The hair is shipped off to Matter of Trust's warehouses in boxes lined with garbage bags, to ensure that not one strand goes missing.

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Photo courtesy US Coast Guard
Those booms are filled with WHAT?
​Check out the Matter of Trust website for info on how you can donate your pup's hair. (Or maybe you just want to send the whole dog.) Or, if you don't own a dog but are raising rabbits, horses, sheep or alpacas in the backyard, Matter of Trust accepts their hair, too.

And don't worry, the oily booms aren't just tossed in the trash when they're all used up -- Matter of Trust says they use a totally green disposal method that involves worms eating the booms. That's right: worms eating giant piles of oil-soaked animal hair. Hope we didn't ruin your lunch.


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