FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Indiana’s NewsCenter received a special demonstration from Sports Clips Haircuts on how hair can be used to help clean up the massive oil spill in Gulf of Mexico.
Most every weekend… the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum hosts a regional or national convention.
This weekend… the national Alpaca Show is in town.
The show is projected to have a big impact on Fort Wayne’s economy because visitors from as far as Washington and California have traveled to the Summit City for the National Alpaca Show.
“It’s great for Northeast Indiana. We have a lot of alpaca breeders in our area and its really fortunate for us to get word out about what we do in our industry and hopefully have people come visit our farms,” said Lisa Crick, an Alpaca Farmer at Crick’s Alpaca Farm in Laotto, Indiana.
Alpacas are native to South America, so breeders in the United States can fetch anywhere from $8,000 to $40,000 for one female Alpaca.
The animals have lifespans between 18 to 22 years, so multiple years of producing offspring is what makes alpacas so profitable.
Meantime, a grassroots alpaca effort has been created to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Scrap alpaca hair will be donated by the truckload to make oil mats.
Meanwhile, Sports Clips Haircuts in the Pine Valley Shopping Center in Fort Wayne is also saving their clipped ends for hair donations.
The initiative started locally, but now has become a suggested corporate wide program for nearly 700 Sports Clips franchise across the United States.
Sports Clips Haircuts uses a central vacuum system to sweep up all the hair trimmings.
The hair is then bagged and sent to Matter of Trust, a non-profit organization stockpiling hair for oil mats.
But how effective is hair at cleaning up oil?
Indiana’s NewsCenter received a special demonstration where a quart of oil was poured into a container.
After skimming the surface with a hair mat made of scrap hair and a pantyhose netting, 90% of the oil was sopped up in about ten minutes.
“What can we do with hair? This is obviously one of those things that we can do… We’re just going to throw it away anyway but (now) we can actually make a difference,”said Sports Clips Haircuts Manager Tina Kucinsky.
Nearly 3,000 pounds of alpaca hair will be sent down to the Gulf of Mexico.
But According to published reports, hair donations are not being used right now by BP.
The hair is being stored in Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida warehouses.
No word on when or if BP will actually use oil mats made of hair donations.