As part of YOKE’s mission to be conscious of the environment and the effects humans have on our planet, we have found an amazing initiative which has allowed us to donate hair.
I read an article last year about a group of environmentalists in America using human hair and fur to create booms and mats to minimise and clean up oil spills. After much hunting and emailing I managed to find a gentleman based in the UK working on the project.
Here is some more interesting info about The Clean Wave Project and how it works…
“There are over 2500 oil spills a year on average. There are also over 370,000 hair salons in the US and over 200,000 pet groomers. They each cut on average two pounds (one kilo) of hair/fur per day. These fibers can be felted into mats or stuffed into recycled burlap sacks or pantyhose in order to make environmentally friendly booms and waddles which soak up oil.
Matter of Trust established the Clean Wave program to promote large-scale waste fiber recycling. Using clippings of hair from salons, fur from pet groomers, fleece and feathers from farmers, even laundry lint. we produce felted recycled fiber mats. These go to public works departments for use in storm drains. We also coordinate with emergency clean water efforts to supply stuffed sausage-shaped booms that can “sandbag” and protect coves and beaches
Matter of Trust uses hair/fur/fleece donations in several ways. Fibers are felted into mats on site or at partner felting sites or they are stuffed into sheaths such as donated nylon stockings or burlap coffee bean bags to make booms.
Mats, booms, and loose fibers are used in classroom oil spill clean up demos. Mats are used by hazmat teams in oil spill cleanups and by public works departments in storm drain cages to keep motor oil drip spills out of waterways. Booms are best for encircling spills or “sandbagging” a beach to keep sands clean.
On November 7, 2007 the cargo ship named Cosco Busan accidentally hit the San Francisco Bay Bridge and spilled 58,000 gallons of Bunker C fuel. Within hours, Matter of Trust coordinated efforts with hundreds of volunteers to place booms and mats along San Francisco’s Ocean Beach.
As SF locals, we were uniquely situated to work with surfers who came out by the hundreds to volunteer. They also sorted the clean-up debris materials on beach tarps. We were then able to conduct a remediation experiment to compost the oily hair waste from the Cosco Busan spill. At the Presidio National Park, we begin by treating the oily mats using oyster mushrooms donated from Fungi.com, then thermophilic composting, and finally vermiculture (worms) to turn the hazardous, bunker fuel waste into healthy compost over 18 months (see the study here). Composting is a viable alternative to conventional methods used for disposal of oil spill waste (for more information on composting visit our Global Compost Project). Haz Mat teams are legally responsible for oil spill waste disposal, which is typically incinerated or buried in lined landfills marked “hazardous waste.”
So rest in the knowledge that when you pop in for a cut, your locks are being sent off to help keep our beautiful and fragile oceans clean.
N.B If you are a hairdresser reading this and would like some more info or the contact details for the guy we donate to please drop us an email & we will gladly help you out!