Charcoal? What do you have on your mind when you first hear this word? Mostly people would answer, charcoal is a thing used for cooking. But charcoal actually has many uses in our life, especially in our homes. How about when you hear the word “charcoal wall”? Would you also think this wall is used for cooking? Well, let’s find it out and learn more about this charcoal wall. But before that let’s discuss first what charcoal is.
According to The Daily Green, mostly carbon, charcoal is like the most lightweight, porous rock you’ve ever seen. It’s that porous quality that makes charcoal so useful, enabling it to absorb moisture, odor and dirt. Charcoal is a porous, solid product obtained when carbonaceous materials such as cellulose, wood, peat, or bituminous coal are partially burned in the absence of air. Charcoal is the chief fuel used for cooking and is also an effective purifier.
We Filipinos are aware that charcoal is widely used in the Philippines, especially in the Southern region of the country. But are we also aware that charcoal has also many uses aside from cooking? Well, yes, indeed charcoal has many uses. Charcoal can keep a chunk or two in your toolbox or tool- storage cabinet rust off from metal tools. Charcoal is a natural dehumidifier too, helping remove excess moisture from damp areas of the home. Try it in problem damp spots; especially anywhere closets and books are stored. It also makes a great odor neutralizer. Place some in a box or bowl and tuck in back of your closet or dresser drawers. Add some to your shoe storage boxes to keep footwear smelling fresh. Or try keeping a few pieces in your refrigerator or pantry to keep food odors at bay. Remember how charcoal purifies aquarium water? You can also add some to vases to help cut flowers last longer or to encourage plant cuttings to take root. Lots of gardeners swear by charcoal for enriching soil and compost with beneficial carbon. If you try this, make sure to use cheap, horticultural charcoal. There’s no need to bring the expensive activated kind outdoors for these kinds of jobs!
In addition, The Daily Green states that in his ongoing but sporadic series Don’t Throw That Away!, the Green cheapstakeshows you how to repurpose just about anything, saving money and the environment in the process. Send him your repurposing ideas and challenges, but whatever you do, Don’t Throw That Away!Here are some creative repurposing ideas for last summer’s leftover charcoal:
1. Rust-free tool and tackle boxes: Charcoal absorbs moisture, so stick a couple of lumps in your toolbox and fishing tackle box to keep your hammers and hooks from rusting. I also put a few pieces in a garbage bag and wrap the business ends of my gardening tools in it for a rust-free winter’s nap.
2. Compost it: Charcoal can be added to the compost pile — in moderation — and will increase the carbon content of the resulting humus. Of course there are plenty of other unusual thing you can compost as well.
3. Natural air freshener: Charcoal keeps air smelling fresh by absorbing moisture that can cause mold and mildew. Put a few pieces in an old pair of pantyhose and hang it in the basement or other damp room, or put some in drawers, closets, or even in the fridge instead of baking soda.
4. Moisture-free salt and sand: Replacing the bag of summertime charcoal in the garage with sacks of rock salt and sand to handle winter de-icing? Mix a couple of pieces of charcoal in with the salt and sand; it will absorb moisture and keep them from clumping.
5. Flatulence odor control: Okay, so it’s not exactly a do-it-yourself project for leftover charcoal — and in fact I’m not certain that it even works at all — but Flat-D is definitely one of the most intriguing products I’ve unearthed in my tireless research on behalf of The Daily Green.
6. Shoe odor control: So maybe you’re not ready to stick a briquette down you undershorts, but putting a piece of charcoal in an old sock and sticking it in your shoes before you put them away will help reduce odor. It also removes moisture, which will make your footwear last longer.
7. Keep cut flowers fresher: Just like the charcoal filter in a fish aquarium, a couple of pieces of charcoal in the bottom of a flower vase will keep the water clean and clear and make fresh cut flowers last longer.
8. Mark the spot: Use charcoal instead of chalk when marking measurements and construction plans on concrete and other surfaces — not to mention making a hopscotch court for the kids in the driveway. Like chalk, it washes off in fairly short order.
9. Healthier orchids: Some plants, including orchids and bromeliads, thrive in soil enhanced with a small amount of charcoal. It increases drainage and alkalinity.
10. Don’t forget Frosty: Of course, keep a couple pieces of charcoal handy for adding eyes and buttons to your snowmen this winter. Come that first snowfall, you’ll be kicking yourself if you’ve already thrown away — or repurposed — all those dreaded lumps of coal.
Have you ever or even try one of this at home? Well as I can remember, we had used charcoal in our refrigerator at home for some years. For my mother believed that when you put charcoal inside the refrigerator even a small piece of it could prevent the smelly odors and dirt inside the fridge, like the stinky smell of fishes. And also when I was still small or let’s say even until now, I used charcoal as marker, in playing piko and in marking some spots to be easily remembering the spot. Why used charcoal instead of chalk? Chalk is also used in marking, but we prefer used charcoal in playing and marking for it is more convenient than the chalk. Because charcoal can be easily found at home for it is used in cooking, while when we prefer to use chalk we must buy it before we could have it, for not all houses have a stock of chalk. Charcoal is really useful in absorbing odors and dirt, but be careful cause charcoal can also give you dirt and look dirty as well. But don’t worry charcoal dirt can easily be washed off by water.
Hope you got some information and knowledge about charcoal and its other uses aside for cooking. Now, let’s proceed to our next discussion which is also related to charcoal … the Charcoal Wall. Have you already heard the word “charcoal wall”? Or it is your first time hearing this word? What do you have on mind? Remember one of my questions on top? Would you also think that this wall is used for cooking? Well, no of course, because this charcoal is used as a wall. We know that when we say wall, it can be a block, a barrier, or a boundary which could prevent someone or something in passing and reaching the other side of the wall.
Charcoal wall is one of the amazing kinds of wall. Want to know why? Are you wondering what is its purpose and why this wall is called charcoal wall?
Back when I was in my elementary years, I can still remember the time when this charcoal wall was first introduce to me. I was grade V that time and it was during our Christmas party which was held at Garinfarm in Guimbal, Iloilo. Obviously Garinfarm was owned by former mayor of the Municipality of Guimbal, Hon. Oscar “Oca” Garin and managed by the Garin family.Garinfarm was a place wherein anyone could relax and enjoy. Young and adults enjoy their stay in this farm. I am so happy that day, wherein we ride “Caromata” a vehicle used in touring their guests. And while riding in this caromata I first hear the word “charcoal wall”. The tour guide had mentioned that this charcoal wall was used to prevent stinky and foully odors of animals from scattering around the area. Because as our tour goes on, I noticed that there is a restaurant in the center of the farm wherein it was surrounded by different kinds of animals, especially raised animals. And charcoal wall was really an amazing and effective wall in preventing animal odors, because when I reach that restaurant in the center of the farm I really couldn’t smell any odor coming from animals. Charcoal wall was made up of screen or net with a very small holes to prevent charcoal particles from scattering. And this screen or net was tied up into the both end of the pig pens’ post. Charcoals are filled inside the screen.
Most of the ordinary people in the Philippines would relay their livelihood in raising animals, like pigs, chickens, duck, goat, cow, carabaos and many more as a source of their daily income. But there problem was always the stinky odors from the animals. Well, the problem of this animal raisers is not anymore a problem when they will know how to make a charcoal wall in their homes. Because I do believed that Filipinos are creative in nature.