Posts tagged "hair"

How can I reuse or recycle horse hair?

We’ve had an email from Bea:

I’ve always put my horse’s tail and mane clippings on the his manure heap to compost down but I recently wondered if I could use them for something else instead. I’ve heard of horse hair mattresses but don’t think I have enough for that!

According to Wikipedia, horsehair is/has been used “for various purposes, including upholstery, [artists & shaving] brushes, the bows of musical instruments, a hard-wearing fabric called haircloth, and for horsehair plaster, a wallcovering material formerly used in the construction industry and now found only in older buildings. .. [It is also used in] the crafts of horsehair hitching, horsehair braiding, pottery, and in making jewellery items such as bracelets, necklaces, earrings and [hair clips].” I think the latter group is more appropriate to reuses at home – but the former group might provide inspiration on where you could pass it on — for example, if you had a stables and generated a lot of horsehair, a local old-fashioned upholsterer might be interested in it.

You can compost it of course (as Bea has been doing) and some people use it (along with human hair clippings and anything similarly bit-ty) to discourage slugs from delicate.

Any other ideas?

This week’s interesting reducing, reusing & recycling links

How can I reuse or recycle dust/lint from vacuuming?

Polly has emailed us with a Compost This question:

Can I emptied my hoover bag into my compost bin? I know you can compost dryer lint so wondered if it was the same.

Like with tumble dryer lint, it depends what the lint/dust is most made up of – but most of the time the answer would will be yes. The contents of your vacuum’s bag/canister tends to made up of dirt brought in on shoes (compostable), human/pet hair (compostable), human/pet skin skin cells (compostable) and, depending on how tidy you are when you eat, food crumbs (compostable). Probably the biggest thing to be wary of is if your carpet sheds a lot of fibres – if it’s a synthetic carpet, you don’t want to add that to your compost really but if it’s natural fibre (such as wool), then it’s fine.

You should to take to mix it well into your existing compost – that’ll both add moisture to the dry dust (and help start the composting process) and stop it being a suffocating layer on the top. Because everything is in pretty small particles anyway, some people say you can skip the compost stage and just dump it straight onto your garden – again though, dig it in or the dust will just blow around when you get the slightest breeze.

Any other advice? Or other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle hair curlers?

Hair curlersWe’ve had another email from our most prolific suggester of things [Am] (aka Delusion):

Me again! While at my parents I caught my mother about to throw out some very old curlers. I managed to snag them before they reached the rubbish bin and thought they would be a good suggestion idea.

There are two kinds, one are cylinders with elastic looped at the bottom that attaches to the ‘stopper’ part and the other kind are spongy, bendy ones. Any ideas for usage to stop them being dumped in a landfill?

If they’re bendy enough, I imagine the bendy ones would be a great addition to a tool box – you could use them for, say, holding pipes together or tying a garden plant to a support (the foam would stop the wire digging into the stem).

And for the cylinder ones, mini-bird feeders? Or if you could block each end, fill with lavender (or the like) to use as an air-freshner or in a drawer/wardrobe?

Any other ideas?

(Photo by [Am] – thanks :) )

How can I reuse or recycle … shedded animal hair?

Dogs and their fluffOne of the ways we ask for suggestions of items to feature here is for people to send in clever things they’ve done. Wendy Brodie did just that and sent in some great ideas:

I have 2 long haired dogs and the hair when they moult is quite substantial. I used to do some spinning and weaving and it could be used for this.

I also hoover it up and put it straight in the compost heap. However this spring I bent some chicken wire into a cylindrical container, hung it in a handy place in the garden and each time I brush the dogs I put the combings into it.

It is lovely watching the small birds coming for bits of fur to line their nests.

We do the bird nest thing too – using the ivy up the front of our house to hold the wares instead of chicken wire – and if you want to go the other way, there are a couple of companies about the web which will spin the fluff for you (this one gives instructions but has stopped taking in work at the moment).

Animal fluff (like human hair) can also be composted or used around plants to keep slimy things at bay (slugs and snails don’t like the rough texture so are less likely to climb over it to get to your seedlings).

Any other suggestions for ways it can be reused?

(Photos of the lovely Kookie and Rosie, and the chicken wire fluff holder, by Wendy)