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Dec 14, 2007

"Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also -- if you love them enough." --George Washington Carver

Organic Inventiveness

A group of volunteers is cleaning oil from San Francisco's beaches using an unorthodox, albeit totally organic, method: human hair and mushrooms. Using mats made of hair, they are absorbing the droplets of oil that have washed ashore since a cargo ship rammed the base of a San Francisco Bay Bridge tower last week, spilling 58,000 gallons of fuel. Hair, which naturally absorbs oil from air and water, acts as a perfect sponge, said Lisa Gautier of the nonprofit Matter of Trust, who provided 1,000 hair mats. While the mats may not be the obvious choice among hazardous waste experts, they hit San Francisco's green chord: More than 700 volunteers have tried them in recent days. Organizers hope their success will inspire more ecological responses to toxic waste removal.

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