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Hair Stylist’s Invention to Stop Oil Spills Is a Game-Changer

The cleanup method is being used today.

In 1989, disaster struck the seas when the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into the waters off Alaska’s coast. As experts were trying to figure out the best way to solve the ecological crisis, one hair stylist from Alabama was also thinking of ways to help.

Phil McCroy had the idea to stuff stockings with recycled trimmings of human hair. The concept was inspired by what he saw on TV. He found that otters’ fur get saturated with oil and thought that could be the same case with human hair.

McCroy got trimmings from work and used them to stuff his wife’s pantyhose, creating the first hair boom.

Source: Vox

He tested his invention on a small spill he created at his house, and the rest is history. Vox reports that NASA tested his invention and confirmed it worked. McCroy eventually teamed up with Lisa Craig Gautier for the Clean Wave Program, which collects donated hair, fur, feathers, fibers to create hair booms and felted mops that can be used to clean up oil spills.

McCroy’s novel idea paved the way for a more eco-friendly way to address oil spills.

Source: Vox

Hair booms are able to absorb oil in a way that is better for the environment, and so it has become a game-changer in fighting devastating oil spills. When hair booms are used, the oil coats the hair outside, which makes it adsorbent (instead of absorbent). Hair is also a better choice as is it cheap, renewable, and natural.

Hair booms and hair mats have yet to become the main method to clean up major oil spills, but it has great potential.

Source: Vox

During huge oil spills, some cleanup crews use chemical dispersants, oil skimmers, and booms and barriers made of synthetic material. The chemicals used for cleanups can be harmful to humans.

While hair booms and hair mats are not yet the go-to solution for oil spills, the proven effectiveness of these inventions promises a better way to address such disasters. Public support has been shown too, with many people all over the world donating hair to create more hair booms and hair mats.


Scientists Track First Wolf to Walk Away from Radioactive Chernobyl Zone

Could this young wolf be the hope for the emergence of a brand new, mutated specie of wildlife?


For 30 years, the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 is considered the single most destructive tragedy of all times. It left behind an ecological black hole, so to speak and this highly toxic area is still known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ). The good news is, a young wolf seems to inspire hope that the CEZ is now recovering from the damage.

On February 2015, a group of scientists attached a total of 13 GPS collar to wolves born in the CEZ. These collars allowed the scientists to track wildlife explorations in the zone.

For the first time, however, they tracked the first ever wide-range exploration of one of the inhabitants of the CEZ.


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12,000 Tons of Plastic Waste Removed By Volunteers From Indian Beach

“We are clearing the mess created by our parents,” said a young volunteer.

Plastic pollution remains to be one of the biggest and most serious problems plaguing Mother Nature today. In fact, it’s always heartbreaking when we hear about marine life accidentally ingesting our waste since this often leads to their death.

Fortunately, there are concerned people taking matters into their own hands to at least minimize the predicament’s impact. In India, for example, volunteers recently gathered to remove plastic waste in a Mumbai beach – and the result of their efforts is quite astonishing.

Together, hundreds of volunteers managed to remove 12 million kilograms of plastic waste.


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Mexico City Turns Highway Pillars Into Vertical Gardens For Cleaner Air

Adding some green to the unending grey of the city makes this project worth learning about.


Air pollution is one of the biggest problems urban areas face. In fact, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and the World Bank estimated the economic cost of air pollution at a staggering $225 billion.

Even so, there are people who aren’t taking this matter sitting down. In fact, people in Mexico City are taking matters into their own hands by adding some green to the unending gray of the highly urbanized city.

Via Verde means the 'green way'


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