Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oil-eating mushrooms?

One of the delights of researching topics is the odd-ball items you run across. In doing research for my lens on hair donation, I hit upon Matter of Trust, a San Francisco-area non-profit involved in eco-type projects. They look for ways to reuse manmade and natural surpluses, as well as fund eco-education.

One of their main natural surplus programs uses human hair swept up by salons to make mats that are then used to clean up oil spills. Pretty cool, huh? But it gets better. After the oil spill in the San Francisco Bay in November 2007, they were hoping to start their treatability study using mushrooms to break down the oil and hair and turn it into landscape-grade compost. I know!! It's just entirely too weird, but that's what makes it so cool.

The hair mat/mushroom science project is just one of the cool things MofT is involved in. So enter my lens on Matter of Trust and some of their projects. There are videos explaining the mushroom study, pictures of the oil spill cleanup and more.

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