Monday, December 21, 2015
The Practice and Value of Gleaning
Dr Abe V Rotor
To glean is to gather, as scattered grain from a reaped field.
There is a romantic painting of three old women gleaning in a wheat field at sunset by Millet. A religious order - St Paul of Chartres - adopted the painting as symbol of its mission.
But it may mean differently. Markham looked at the painting as a symbol of social injustice, reinforced by Man with the Hoe, also by Millet. Markham wrote his message in forceful language.
Without reference to religious and ideological connotation, gleaning is a good practice. It reduces wastefulness and waste itself. It extends the use of a product, maximizing its value. It is "value added" in itself.
Here are examples of gleaning in our times.
1. Toothpaste. Cut spent tube with blade or scissor and glean. About a quarter of the content is ensconced in the tube. You can also use recovered paste as hand wash. Excellent to remove fishy and foul odor, grease and oil. It is refreshing, too.
2. Pencil stub. Roll a piece of paper (preferably colorful) on butt end of pencil. Flatten and twist end three times at right angle each time. It is self-locking. There is no need of paste or type. Rolled paper extends length of pencil to make writing comfortable. It also serves as tip cover to prevent injury. It is an art, you can add to the crown a message, a cutout of a happy face - your own. The crown serves as clip in your pocket. Use paper that does not stain when wet. Collect those beautiful leaflets - they are indeed useful.
3. Lipstick. Don't throw away your spent lipstick. Dig out the content with lip brush, just as it is shown in the photo. Much of the stuff lies inside the tube. Many cosmetic products can be gleamed: pomade in bottle, face powder in disc canister, perfume in atomizer, and the like.
Remaining shampoo can be recovered by rinsing bottle, or cutting sachet and turning inside out.
4. Coffee. Pour one-half cup water into empty bottle to loosen caked layer. Add hot water in the amount desired. (Don't pour hot water directly, otherwise bottle will break. If you do, be sure to put a spoon first, then pour hot water.) Stir or shake bottle gently. (Warning: don't shake bottle with tight cover. Hot water exerts pressure.)
5. Sugar. Follow the same procedure as in coffee, unless the container is plastic. For cocoa, fruit juice in powder, and salt, follow the same procedure.
6. Other food. Rice crust (tutong) from pot; mayonnaise, jelly, jam, butter, from their containers. Learn practical techniques to glean in the kitchen and good in the refrigerator. You will save a lot. And get rid of the mess and vermin that thrive on our wasteful living.
7. Wax. Gather candle stubs, spills, and broken ones, preferably of the same make and color. Remove impurities. Scrape and chop thinly, and melt in a suitable pan over low fire. Common molds are glass vase, bamboo or PVC tube Use pure cotton thread for wick.
8. Soap. Scrape and dissolve in water. Thoroughly mix, filter with cloth. Transfer filtrate into empty hand wash dispenser. You may adjust concentration according to use or preference. You may add freshener or perfume. You can reprocess remnants into "new soap".
List down at least ten (10) other applications of gleaning, which you can apply in the home and community. ~