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Pets can lend a paw in BP Whiting oil spill

Pet hair blanket
Pet hair blanket

As you are most likely aware, an unknown volume of oil has been spilled into Lake Michigan from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana. People around Chicagoland could be greatly affected by this latest news.

Not on only are fish and wildlife suffering, but the water is utilized in many home settings as well! Although cleanup efforts have ensued, perhaps there are more economical methods which our pets can help us out with to get the oil cleaned up as quickly and monetarily efficient as possible.

Back in 2010, when once again BP had a spill, this time in the Gulf of Mexico, an organization called Matter of Trust, a San Francisco non-profit organization stepped in to help with the gigantic problem. They asked pet parents and groomers to gather up tufts of canine fur that would ordinarily be disposed of and send them in to be made into oil-busting mats to help clean up the abundance of oil in the Gulf.

People stepped up to help in the past with this ingenious oil sopping idea. They donated Fido’s hair, human hair and nylon hose that were then transformed into “hair booms” and reusable mats called “Ottomats.” Both helped in absorbing the oil in the Gulf of Mexico. What an excellent method of reusing items meant for the trash; items that are mostly natural (except for the pantyhose/nylons). It was ingenious to say the least; utilizing man-made and natural surplus to help save our nation!

That 2010 large oil spill identified the 501 (c)(3) organization, Matter of Trust as an eco-education organization, thrusting them into the spotlight. The Gulf spill was huge, 600,000 to 800,000 gallons spilling out each day.

As of the news release yesterday, it was not mentioned if these type blankets or hair booms were being utilized again – only that BP has deployed more than 2,000 feet of boom to contain the 5,200 gallons of the oil/water mixture from the said location. It would certainly be in their best interest to use the pet hair for this purpose once again!

At least this spill has been contained, perhaps because it is smaller, BP, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the U.S. Coast Guard have some other method to create the booms and clean up the oil spill. It does seem senseless not to use free materials and man-made waste products to help sustain cost as well.

Not that we want more spills, but it would be interesting to find out how much we could save by using these blankets in these situations. Could there be other situations that would require a blanket or boom of this variety?

Dogs seem to come to our rescue even when they are completely unaware of doing so. We really need these furry companions around just in case some other likely scenario pops up!

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