As anyone with greasy hair can attest, human hair has a natural affinity for oil. That's why hundreds of volunteers are sponging oil from San Francisco beaches using doormat-size pads of woven human hair. The pads, provided by the nonprofit group Matter of Trust, are made from hair collected in Bay Area salons.
The oil-soaked pads will be stacked with layers of straw and oyster mushrooms between them. The mushrooms are expected to absorb the oil and turn the pads into nontoxic compost that can be used for landscaping along roads.—Dawn Stover