The infamous Deepwater Horizon oil spill is sending an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day.
Gators for a Sustainable Campus is giving UF students the opportunity to help do something about it.
Today at 11 a.m., the group will be giving students free haircuts on the Plaza of the Americas as a part of a hair collection to aid oil spill containment efforts on the coast of Florida.
"We wanted to be a part of this effort at UF to make sure that if oil reaches our shores, we are prepared," said Chris Cano, a former member of the group who will be participating in the event.
The hair that is cut will be collected and placed into nylon oil-containment booms, which are long, snake-like stockings stuffed with absorbent material that may be placed along the shorelines of the Gulf of Mexico.
Though it may seem unconventional, human hair is a good material for the booms because it absorbs oil particles.
The group won't just be collecting hair, however. It is also hoping that donating hair will lead students to become more active in the relief effort and the sustainability cause.
The group will place a table next to the barber shop chair where they will ask people to make a phone call to President Obama.
Heading the relief effort is Gators for a Sustainable Campus member Melanie Richards, who got the idea for hair collection from students at Florida International University in Miami.
Richards also has been working to get local hair salons involved. Avante Garde, Downtown Barber Shop and Salon at 716 have committed to donate their customers' hair, according to the release.
"This is an easy way for students to get involved in the oil relief effort," she said. "The government and BP are not doing enough to fix this situation, so we are taking things into our own hands. If you care, donate hair."
Though collection of hair has been given a newfound prominence due to the catastrophic Gulf spill, the idea is not exactly new.
Hair For Oil Spills was a plan originally devised nearly a decade ago by California-based nonprofit organization Matter of Trust.