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The NY Times has a great post today on the art of Ben Wilson, London’s resident chewing gum artist. He works tirelessly with a blow torch, some lacquer and  his paints to create tiny pieces of art throughout the city from blobs of old chewing gum stuck to the pavement. It’s a sweet article, that you should definitely check out. I really appreciate his process and commitment.

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Matter of Trust is a completely amazing nonprofit organization that has taken a really simple idea and has put it into practice in an enormous way.  They are collecting hair, fur and nylons from everyone from individuals to busy salons/groomers to create hair booms. Here’s a picture of the finished booms:

Hair collects and absorbs oil and these booms are being made by volunteers (at Boom-BQs) to place along the shore lines of the gulf coast to prevent the oil from coming further ashore. As of today, 400,000 pounds of hair and fur has been donated and is arriving along the gulf coast via fed ex or ups. You need to sign up to donate because the address is constantly changing with the locations of the clean ups.

They are also creating hair mats which work the same way, through absorption of  oil, to use on already damaged shore lines. These mats have traditionally been made in China for the past 3000 years, but now are being made here in the US creating more green jobs. So many people in the Gulf Coast area are being affected not only on an environmental level but also in their livelihoods, whether it’s direct (fishermen) or indirect (the business owners who are no longer getting the business of those fishermen). The creation of green jobs in these areas is critical.

Matter of Trust has also created posters, flyers and teacher posters to distribute to your community to encourage them to donate their hair, fur and used nylons. They are downloadable here.

Their website is so inspiring, go there, look around and get involved! This is a really, really easy way to do it, but with so much impact. They also have a Facebook page and Twitter account if you want updates. PLEASE feel free to repost this post to get the word out, or copy and paste to your heart’s content!