What sullies your practice environment may save another. The fur floating around your clinic could be used to clean up future oil spills. Matter of Trust, a nonprofit charity dedicated to eco-education programs, is collaborating with thousands of salons, barbers, pet groomers, and wig makers to collect clippings to soak up spills. That’s right, follicles—including fur, horse hair, and waste wool—do a decent job of sopping up oil.
According to Matter of Trust’s Web site, an Alabama hair stylist was the first to notice hair’s absorbent potential. After watching CNN coverage on the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, he noticed how the Alaskan otters’ fur sucked up the oil. After some testing in his salon, he invented the hairmat as a way to help out in the future.
While human hair seems to be more effective than animal hair, Matter of Trust still welcomes donations from veterinary hospitals. To contribute to the program, please visit matteroftrust.org and register with the donor database. The program doesn't require that the fur be shampooed, only that it not be filthy.