Robin Loznak/The News-Review
After dumping more than 50 pounds of dog and cat hair per week into a local landfill, groomer and shop owner Linda Bruinsma wondered what she could do with the leftover hair that would help the environment, instead of harming it. At a grooming conference, she learned about the organization Matter of Trust
, which works to change surplus materials into eco-friendly items. The non-profit began collecting leftover animal hair in 2000, stuffing it into nylon stockings to create booms to contain oil spills in bodies of water and weaving it into heavy mats to soak up oil leftover from spills, and now, once per month, Bruinsma – along with 7,000 other groomers – ships her clippings to the San Francisco-based organization.
"It's important to me to not abuse our landfill rights," Bruinsma told the News Review
. "Just because it's there doesn't mean we should be throwing everything in it when it could have another use."
Bruinsma uses all-natural soaps, shampoos and conditioners to wash pets, so hair clippings don't transfer any chemicals into the water when they're used as mats or booms. Though it costs her around $60 per month to ship her clippings, she says it's worth it, and even collects clean nylons in her shop to send to Matter of Trust, as well. "I'm not a radical tree-hugger," she says. "I just think we should protect our environment."