If you’ve been keeping tabs on the catastrophic (an adjective I feel like I’ve been having to use far too often lately) Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, you’ve probably been wondering how exactly you can help. Well, for those of you with furry, four-legged flatmates, it can be as easy as sweeping the floors and collecting all that errant fur and hair.

So how exactly can hoarding pet fur help with cleaning up one of the worst environmental disasters in recent memory? Enter Matter of Trust, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that’s been accepting donations of non-filthy pet fur and human hair since 1998 to craft oil-absorbing hairmats — described as “flat square dreadlocks” — and hair-stuffed containment booms made from recycled pantyhose. These hairy contraptions are effective at soaking-up oil and they don’t require any new resources … just stuff you’d normally trash (or compost) unless you're into, umm, stockpiling fur.

I must say, sending along fur to Matter of Trust via Excess Access is an eco-ideal spring cleaning mission for folks with critters around the house. In addition to pet owners, groomers and salon owners can get involved too by sending in bulk shipments of hair/fur. In fact, as of today, 400,000 pounds of hair was en route to the Gulf Coast.

Head on over to Matter of Trust for instructions on how you, and Mr. Bojangles the beagle, can help out. 

THIS JUST IN: There's been a few naysayers out there who wonder if hair really can soak up oil. Wonder no more — this YouTube video pits a tub of oil against a hairmat. Guess who wins?

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