going green – we went green yesterday!


First of all please be aware we are not Eco warriors here! Our new ‘greeness’ has come about in 2 ways – a ring at the door bell and a blocked drain!
Door bell rang one day – a man (Emmanuel) with a van stood in our gate way trying to flog me brushes and products for cleaning… all in very rapid French and also seemingly expensive – I tried to dismiss him, but his persuasive powers won! I made the fatal error of looking and sniffing – before I knew what was happening I was a regular on his round and started to buy more and more of his products, it became a standing joke in our household how much would Emmanuel extract out of me this time! But more importantly I fell in love with the products and they actually are more economical as you use less.
I was sort of aware the products he was selling me were green, more they were compatible with the ‘fosse’, we do not have the luxury of main drains, nursing a fosse d’eaux with the amount of guests we have is actually quite stressful, so products kind to the fosse are incredibly important here in rural France.
This year alone we have had 2 blocked drains, a failed fosse, so the whole garden had to dug up and new tank put in for the cottage plus the main fosse for the main house has continually emitted out dreadful smells on a regular boring frequency!
Then the big decision came about with a 2nd blockage in the drains… water everywhere in the courtyard every time someone had a shower, smells wafting up from the tank – it was horrible and all these smells floating up into one of our rentals.
We called out the local enterprise that deals with all the horrible things, the big lorry arrives with pressure hoses etc. but after half an hour he couldn’t find the block. Our courtyard was due to be dug up to find it – now this prospect of the whole courtyard dug up was totally horrifying as it isn’t exactly small!
Fortunately Andre, (our man who is literally renovating our house),  found the block at the end of the pipe, the unblocking procedure could commence! This is what turned us totally green … the block was probably a meter in length the whole of the 10 cm pipe. The only way to get it out was the literally pick it out with a crow bar. The smell unbelievable and was just black tar like substance with calcium deposits. The really frightening part of this was, this was the pipe out from my washing machines, the black tar stuff was the deposits gathering over the years from the ‘normal’ washing powder… I was vaguely aware petrol is used in washing powders and cleaning products but never again will I use ‘high street’ brands if this is the residue they leave…
Emmanuel called in again yesterday, this time I really paid proper attention to his products and took the decision  to turn away completely from supermarket and well known brands…we now we are completely eco products, no chemicals at all – from our loo rolls, kitchen paper, shampoo, soap (the rose is gorgeous) washing up and washing powder/liquids, polish, floor cleaner, hand cream (best I’ve ever used)… even the deodorants (no aluminum) and the bleach is also friendly for the fosse.
All of this delivered to my front door, in fact I’m even helped to put it away!  The company that makes it is German EMAS (verified products) http://www.hakawerk.com – all containers are recycled and they pick up empty ones, not tested on animals, no chemicals or petrol traces plus the actual products are great!
One step further we are thinking of taking, (we already leave the washing up liquid and cleaning products in the rentals for our guests), to also supply shampoo & soaps in the rentals requesting that our guests use them instead of their normal brands whilst here.

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Filed under biological products, gites, holiday rental, Normandy, rural, Uncategorized

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