Indesit, it’s indecent!

By |2019-08-11T10:59:46+02:00August 11th, 2019|We speak, We try|

Indesit, it’s indecent! Do you know the Indesit brand? If so, it means that, like me, you belong at best to the middle class. We have an Indesit washing machine. For five years. It’s not long five years for a washing machine, is it? Well, for corporations, it’s probably as long as the age of the universe. A device that lasts 5 years is a financial pitfall. We need to find a solution. Scheduled obsolescence What a wonderful invention! The programmed obsolescence, or the continuity of the capitalist logic. How would they do if we kept our appliances for life? Just one purchase for everything and that’s it. Well, the manufacturers of refrigerators and other television sets would soon go bankrupt, poor ones… There is only one acceptable solution for these people: the appliances should not last too long. Scientists are therefore striving to make our devices less efficient and much more fragile. The aim being that these devices die soon after the warranty, unfortunately mandatory.    How do these people do such work, regardless of their salary, knowing that they contribute to the impoverishment of the most fragile populations and, above all, to the impoverishment of our poor Earth, dying beneath our murderous feet? Let’s get back to the topic of the day The scene happens on a misty winter morning. Everything is quiet in the house. The husband works, the child is in school. Only the mother works at home on her new project. Everything’s quiet in this house. Too quiet thinks the mother who started a laundry machine an hour ago. The washer doesn’t make the same noise as usual. You can hear that something is not right. Indeed, everything seems to work normally but there is something that doesn’t work: the drum…. In your opinion, reader technician laughing at her ignorance, what is the problem? Apparently, it looks like the belt blew off. Bingo! You’ve found it! At least, that’s what you think. She dismantles the back of the washing machine to access her bowels. The belt is well out of the wheel. In the evening, when the husband is back home from his exhausting workday, they both try to put the belt back in place. They put it back on, it jumps off. They put it again several times, the belt jumps off irreparably. How much does a washing machine cost? Because right now, they don’t have the money for that! A piece of shit like that already costs at least 400€! They don’t want to buy a new machine knowing that it works very well, when all the parts are linked together. The husband decides to buy a new belt. He goes out to look for a belt he won’t find. The corporations do everything in their power to ensure that your devices break down quickly and nothing is in place for any repair. There’s a store in town that sells [...]

Alternative to conventional laundry detergent

By |2019-08-11T10:48:58+02:00August 11th, 2019|We do, We try|

Alternative to conventional laundry detergent I've been doing my own laundry powder for 3 years now and I have to say that I'm very satisfied with it. It washes as well as industrial detergents and is much environment friendly! In the early days, I used to do my liquid laundry detergent but it takes a lot of time and I inhaled a lot of soap and other products fumes, it wasn't pleasant.  That's how I wondered why I was diluting the soap in water? I've come to make my own laundry powder. It takes me about 1 hour to do 2.5kg of laundry powder. I prepare 10kg of powder a year. Occasionally, I dilute the powder to wash black clothes. Ingredients for 600g of detergent: 300g of Marseille or Aleppo soap flakes 150g of soda crystals (Attention, this is not caustic soda!) 150g of baking soda 100g of sodium percarbonate (optional bleaching agent) 100 drops of blended essential oils to choose from (Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, lemon...) How to Proceed: Blend the soap flakes in a blender. Incorporate the soda crystals, baking soda and essential oils. Mix all the ingredients well. Transfer your laundry powder to your usual container and that's it!   For your white laundry, add one tablespoon of sodium percarbonate to your dose of detergent. Sodium percarbonate is a bleaching agent. It only takes effect from 40°C. The powder is not ideal for washing black laundry, it may leave white spots. It's better to liquefy it. To make liquid laundry detergent, use the same ingredients and dilute them in very hot, but not boiling water, as soap would foam a lot. Introduce essential oils only once the preparation has cooled down. When it cools down, the detergent will harden. If this is the case, add water and stir the detergent until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Store the detergent in a can that you will shake vigorously before each use. As the detergent is diluted, it will be less effective. Is this powder more economical? Let's compare the prices. I am very bad at math and I don't take into account the prices of essential oils in the calculation.  1 packet of laundry powder costs 6.94€ per kg. I chose as reference the big box of 2.5 kg of Ariel at Carrefour - 39 washes at 17,60€   The bag of 1 kg of Marseille soap flakes costs about 10€ 1kg of baking soda is 5€ 1kg of soda crystals is 5€ 10ml HE about 5€ each for medium ranges I do about 40 washes with 2.5kg of powder. 600g of powder costs me 4.83€, so  1 kg costs 8.05 € which is more expensive than the Ariel detergent sold at Carrefour. The funny thing is that the same detergent sold in 650g boxes costs 7,25€ that is 11,15€/kg. In this case, our homemade laundry powder is much more economical! [...]

Synthetic sponges are toxic. Opt for a bio and effective alternative: The Loofah.

By |2019-08-11T10:13:27+02:00August 11th, 2019|We do, We speak, We think, We try|

Synthetic sponges are toxic. Opt for a bio and effective alternative: The Loofah. Did you know that your go-to sponge is stuffed with toxic and eco-toxic chemicals? Up to a few days ago, I didn’t know either. In this post, I will detail how this is. I even made a little experiment of my own... results are quite scary... Then I will present an amazing alternative: The Loofah. Today, my kitchen sponge is a kind of large cucumber: Yes, you read well, a cucumber; a special type of cucumber called a loofah. And it does the job very effectively! A few weeks ago, a friend gave me a piece of Loofah sponge for me to try. It didn’t look too appealing or practical and I kind of forgot about it. Until, one day I ran out of sponges. Looking in my housecleaning closet, I found this thing and gave it a try. I started cleaning the mountain of dishes that had been piling up in the kitchen. Well, I was just amazed. It works really well. Intrigued, I inquired about it, and at the same time investigated the toxicity of the sponges I used to buy in supermarkets. Now, I am ready to replace all sponges in my house with Loofah, you will see, it's really a no-brainer! Let's dive in... What are “supermarket” sponges made of? In essence, synthetic sponges are made from non-biodegradable polymers like polyurethane, synthesized from petroleum. Not really eco-friendly… But wait it gets better… Your supermarket sponges come in all ranges of colors, right? So there must be dyes that are added to give them their specific colors… Remember, when you do your dishes, the sponge you use is in close contact with your plates, glasses and cutlery… What are the compositions of the dyes used? Well good luck finding out… For example I found a blog where the author found out that a ScotchBright sponge from 3M that he had purchased in a supermarket was leaking a blue dye. 3M responded. They wouldn’t inform the person of the composition of the die…”trust us, it is not toxic…”. Appalling… Check the avalanche of comments that followed: Many people using this product complained of the same thing, and some were even feeling sick after using the sponge… I also made my little experiment. I plunged a brand new sponge in the mid price range (2 sponges for 1 Euro) in water. The water didn't turn blue, but was filled of particles of the abrasive side... yuck... But this is not all… A sponge can get quite unhealthy real soon: if just left soaking after use, sponges are great places for bacteria and fungi to develop. So industrials have found a solution - let’s stuff our sponges with chemicals like Triclosan - Triclosan is an antibacterial and an antifungal agent that is known to be a [...]

Winter is coming? Keep calm and breathe!

By |2019-08-11T09:52:45+02:00August 10th, 2019|We try|

Winter is coming? Keep calm and breathe! Winter is approaching and with it, colds and blocked noses, sore throats and coughs. Last year, I tested a homemade recipe of a crème that is very similar to Vicks VapoRub ointment. I easily found all the ingredients in The Netherlands and of course I privileged organic ingredients. Did you know that it is easy to make your own? This ointment has been used for several decades to relieve coughs and other cold symptoms. This decongestant, used to fight common respiratory diseases (colds, coughs, simple bronchitis) is actually easy to make. We can therefore make ourselves an organic and natural version, from vegetable butters, beeswax and essential oils. The Recipe Ingredients: 20g coconut oil 25g Shea butter 4g beeswax (optional) 25 drops essential oil of eucalyptus radiata 20 drops essential oil of menthe piperita 5 drops tea tree essential oil 15 drops essential oil of lavandula angustifolia 10 drops Essential oil of lemon 5 drops essential oil of Ravintsara Procedure: Melt the coconut oil and Shea butter together in a Bain Marie. Let the mix cool down. Add the essential oils one after the other and mix well. When it has become smooth, pour it into a jar previously disinfected with 70° alcohol. Beeswax: Optional To thicken the formula a little bit, it is possible to add 4 g beeswax to the coconut oil and Shea butter mix. Without beeswax, the preparation has the consistency of a creamy honey. Usage As soon as the first symptoms of a cold appear, apply the value of a small teaspoon - or a hazelnut - once or twice a day on the chest and/or back and massage well. Do not use for more than 5 consecutive days. Wash your hands thoroughly after use. This balm is RESERVED FOR ADULTS AND CHILDREN OF 6 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER. Not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Essential oils should be used sparingly. Find out before using them. This article is the fruit of my personal experience. I decline all responsibility for the consequences of improper use of the products mentioned. Illustration credits: Background of initial picture : Joe Yates on Unsplash Post written by Delphine Stein

What to do with all those limes?

By |2019-08-11T09:51:25+02:00August 10th, 2019|We cook, We try|

What to do with all those limes? Some of you have been very creative in using the limes we got in our baskets. As the lime invasion continues, here are 3 recipes to get rid of them all. 1 - Candied limes in olive oil Can be kept 1 year Step 1 Rinse and dry the lemons. Step 2 Cut them into 1/2 cm thick slices. Put them in a sieve, sprinkle with salt. Step 3 Let it drain for 12 hours. Step 4 Wipe them dry and store them in successive layers in a jar. Step 5 Add 3 or 4 cloves and a bay leaf (optional). Step 6 Cover with olive oil. Step 7 Close tightly and store in the refrigerator in a cool place. Step 8 To be consumed only after 6 to 8 days. To use in Tajines, fish dishes... Thanks to Isabelle for the recipe and photo! 2- Lime juice ice cubes In case of urgent need of mojito! The photo is sufficient, isn't it? Thanks to Carine! 3 - The Margarita Mix (Sweet n Sour) For the perfect Mexican evening! Equal parts Simple syrup and lime juice (can also use lemon juice) Simple syrup: Equal parts water and sugar. Put water in a pan and bring to a soft boil, add sugar and stir util sugar dissolves completely. Let cool to room temperature. Combine lime juice and simple syrup to make the The Margarita Mix (Sweet n Sour). Sample it at this point, you may need to dilute this mix with some water. The liquor mix: 2 parts Tequila - Use your favorite 1 part Orange liqueur such as Cointreau, Triple Sec or Grand Mariner The Margarita! In a pitcher mix: 2 parts Margarita mix 1 part liquor mix Use a lime wedge to wet the edge of your class, dip the glass rim in the salt, add ice cubes, carefully pour the Margarita in the glass without washing the salt off the rim. Thanks to David for the recipe! Abusing Alcohol is dangerous for your health and you should drink with moderation. Eco & Co cannot be held responsible for the hangover resulting the reading of this article.