Meet Flavien Liottier, an inspiring french man that sold all his belongings, packed his bag, and started a world wide walking adventure.
He began in Soustons (south-west France), made his way down to Portugal, met us along the way at L’Ane Vert and is heading down to Senegal. Following coastlines, climbing cliffs, heading in the direction of the wildest lost tracks, Flavien is searching for the less-beaten path.
He will make his way to Cape Verde and pick up a ride on a boat to travel all the way to Brazil!
What an inspiration to see more and more eco travellers absorbing every step, and making the little things count. We wish you the best of luck Flavien! He has created a great blog where you can follow his adventures and maybe find a little motivation for your next eco holiday/life change.
A bike journey from France to South Africa and maybe further. A photo and a word a day. A snatch of life gleaned and shared.
Always going forward on ecological decisions and environmental caring, We are proud to support Clotaire Mandel, alias Le Pedalistan in his bike journey around the world. For the moment we support him by buying, solar cells, water filter, water tank and USB battery,etc… We hope in the futur, helping him to develop and edit a travel and photography book. Please have a look to his website www.lepedalistan.com
Keep making us dreaming with your courage and your pictures Clotaire.
The country that Clotaire crossed so far; France – Belgium – Netherlands – Germany – Czech Rep – Poland – Ukraine – Moldova – Transnistria – Romania – Slovakia – Hungary – Serbia – Bosnia – Croatia – Monténégro – Albania – Greece – Turkey – Iran – UAE – Oman – Egypt – Soudan -…
Tafedna Vert: First mobilization
“To pass on an awareness of ecology and sustainable development to mobilize the local population to take measures to protect the environment”
“Develop a programme to sensibilise coastal moroccans”
“Help to create a structure of collection and reuse of waste”
– L’ Âne Vert Mission Statement
In this spirit we now help kickstart and support „Tafedna Vert“ as a community based solution to environmental and social problems in the Tafedna Bay Area.
For Tafedna Verts’ first mobilization effort we helped Jamal to organize a soccer tournament for the kids of the Village.
It was a beautiful beach day for the kids and all the rest of us: Guests, Volunteers, Fishermen, Artists, Yoga Instructors…
To our Heros of Tomorrow.
Phytoremeditation: Eco friendly solution for water purification
With the help of some talented Engineer students from France, we constructed a 22m3 water filter to begin the process of Phyto-remeditation.
What does that all mean?
To break it down; Phyto-remediation uses certain types of plants to remove contaminates from water. Along with a system of bassins, made up of layers of rocks and sand that filter the water initially, allowing the solids to settle. The ‘filtered’ water is then directed into the last pond with a specific mix of plants (duckweed and hyacinth ponds or rooted vegetations) that then through the process of phytopurification remove and accumulate the last of the impurities, leaving fresh water that can be recycled into watering the garden. Even broken down the process sounds complicated!
Luckily we had a team of experts helping us from abroad and on site to ensure that the rocks and sand layers where made up of the right sized rocks, the plants were the correct type, the dispersion of water from the pipes, the gravity needed between each bassin, etc!
There have been many dramas along the way, but this way of recycling grey water has meant that our carbon footprint out here really is minimal and we are not pouring dirty water into our precious ocean or waterways. This system, along with the use of natural soaps and homemade cleaning products means that L’Ane Vert really is an ecolodge and your holiday is environmentally guilt free!
Tea for Trash
In an attempt to keep our beaches clean and beautiful we ask our guests to take a recycled trash bag with them to the beach and to pick up the rubbish along the way. When they get back we offer a big pot of sweet Moroccan tea.
Tafedna Village is still hidden from mass-tourism so the rubbish that comes onto the beach is fairly minimal and easy to clean. We hope that this initiative combined with environmental education in the local area will set a responsible example to the locals and help protect our precious bay.
So please, if you visit us come and collect a bag from the upstairs kitchen and help us keep our beautiful beach clean!
How to make a glass bottle wall?
As empty glass bottles were stacking up here at L’Ane Vert, we had the idea of recycling them to make a glass bottle wall in our flowery garden! We’re loving the result!
We were impressed with how easy and cheap it was to make it as well as the little amount of tools it required!
Here’s how you can also make your own!
1) Start by soaking the bottles in water for a little while so you can easily remove the labels. If there’s any sticky residue, we found that mixing equal parts of baking soda and cooking oil and applying it on the sticky parts works well.
2) Drill holes at the bottom of each bottle. Insert the bottle in a bucket of sand so it doesn’t move, and use a drill. Only lightly press the bottom and you should have a drilled bottle!
3) Have fun designing the patterns, mixing the shapes and colors.
4) We used a big log of wood that we buried in the ground as the bottom base, and a metal pipe for the top part because that’s what we had at our disposal. However, the foundations, both vertical and horizontal, can be whatever you want/can be recycled! Put them into place.
5) Pile up the bottles on strong rope strings and fix them onto the two horizontal foundations.
6) You now have your own very cool looking glass bottle wall!
Got orange peels? Got a winter bonfire!
We, at L’Ane Vert, are all about upcycling and recycling as much as possible. And because we’re located in Morocco, we find ourselves with lots of local oranges to use… and reuse! This comes at a perfect time since we need some Vitamin C intake as we’re going into winter!
After offering freshly squeezed orange juice to our customers, we take the orange peels down to our compost area where we lay them to dry in the sun.
Some of the fresh ones are also reused to make natural cleaning products (find the recipes here).
Once dried, orange peels, or citrus peels in general, can be used in many different ways!
We decided to use them for an awesome, cosy, nice smelling bonfire where guests and the team alike joined in for some live drum music and a good time.
Recycling food: when l’ane vert build a new compost system
Composting is getting trendy, and what a nice, encouraging trend it is. We hear of buildings now developing compost areas in big cities, families making their own compost in their backyard and communal areas putting composting at everyone’s disposal… but the truth is, composting is an old science that was already actively used during the Roman antiquity!
While the aim at the time was to make a rich soil fertilizer for better quality harvests, what’s at stake now is even bigger: compost has the potential to make a positive difference to the environment. Since a finished compost is a replenishing humus for the soil, it adds nutrients to your plants and fights off plant diseases naturally, saving the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It also helps retain moisture in the soil, which uses less water. On another level, a huge benefit to composting is managing waste in a more sustainable way. Depending on your use of plastic and industrial wrapping, composting diverts a minimum 30% of household waste away from the garbage bin, thus reducing landfill waste by a third!
L’Ane Vert has had a compost system in place for years, which is part of the reason why we promote sustainable tourism. However, as the team continuously changes, new ideas keep being thrown in, which have inspired us to create a new compost structure. We’re happy to say that we now have 5 bins set up in our kitchen and bar that get emptied and recycled locally: right into our compost area at the back of our garden! Here’s how it goes:
After we make orange juice for our guests in the morning, the orange peels get laid around in the sun to dry. We reuse the dried peels for barbecues and winter fires, as citrus peels burn slower than wood. Some of the fresh peels are also recycled to make our 100% natural all-purpose house cleaner (find the recipe here!).
The meat, fish and dairy leftovers get sent to a different kind of compost: one where the human manure from our dry toilets go. This compost will be used as a fertilizer on our non-edible plants.
Egg shells and coffee grounds are also kept separately as they make a really good immediate soil fertilizer, combined with some soil. It’s ideal for planting seeds and transplanting clones.
Finally, all of our food scraps go in our vegetable compost, together with our dried leaves, branches and flowers from the garden. This one will be used for our edible plants. Two piles are being processed at the moment and we cannot wait to use them in the garden!
Don’t hesitate to come check out our compost area or ask questions when you come visit!
L’ane vert going chemical free (+ recipes of natural products)
Store-bought products contain chemicals that are both harmful to the environment and our bodies. One reason is the substances that are used in industrial products are not biodegradable or only very slow. This means that they stay in the water for a very long time, contaminate soils and eventually kill the flora and fauna.
To fight this, we’ve been working on entirely natural recipes! It is particularly important here at L’Ane Vert as we filter and reuse all of our water for our garden. Indeed, chemical products also kill the good bacteria that is essential to filtering our water in our water-epuration system. One way to solve the problem is to use baking soda as a key ingredient as it has an adverse effect neither on the aquatic ecosystem nor on consumers.
So after trying dozens of combinations and adjusting proportions, we now have our very own 100% natural cleaning products and cosmetics! Here are the recipes for you to try at home as well!
Pour some orange and lime peels in white vinegar in a jar or big plastic bottle, and let it marinate for a couple of weeks. Your all-purpose cleaner is now ready to use everywhere at home, from kitchen sinks and windows to bathrooms and counters.
Tip: it’s an excellent way to easily remove wax stains as well!
1,5L hot water
25g black soap
4 tbsp baking soda
Juice of 2 limes
30 drops of Rosemary and lavendar essential oils each
Mix the hot water, black soap and lime juice together. It helps using a whisk to dissolve the soap. Add the baking soda slowly and mix well. Let it cool, mix some more and finally add the essential oils.
Dissolve 100g of black soap in 1L of boiling hot water. Add 2 tbsp of baking soda. Mix well. When it’s cooled down, add 15 drops of lavender essential oil.
This will depend on what your floors are made of. Using a 70% white vinegar and 30% water mix with 30 drops of tea tree essential oil works really well on hard surfaces such as tiles. If you have wooden floors, diluting a bit of black soap in warm water will do the job, without even having to rinse it!
Mix 100g of sea salt together with 50g of olive oil and 5 cl of argan oil. Pour a few drops of geranium essential oil and you just made yourself a Moroccan scrub!
Dissolve some black soap with hot water until you reach a nice, thick consistency. Finish up by adding some drops of your favourite essential oil if you wish.
3 water filters up and running
Today’s the day all of our water filters are back up and running!
After building a 22 m3 water filter in August with the help of our great engineer students, we’ve had to focus on our older water filter.
After two years of constant use and over 2000 tons of water filtered, this 38 m3 water filter needed an extension as well as a bit of a clean, and what a touch up we’ve given it!
We started by transplanting all of the reefs on top of the filter and by emptying the layer of sand that was clogging the underneath layers of filtration. We’ve replaced it with a layer of thin gravel instead and replanted the reef on each side of the PVC tube that’s now distributing the water evenly all over the filter.
The idea is to switch filters every week or so in order to give a bit of relief to the filter that is resting, which should prevent damage from any overuse of our filters.
So what’s next for us water-wise? Soon we will begin the construction of a retention tank that will ensure a first filtering stage in order to avoid clogging our filters. This will help us reach an even better quality grey water that we will reuse to water our colorful garden all year long!
The first week of engees students
Here starts our work at l’Ane Vert. We are really happy to work in such a unique place, with adorable people and wonderful landscape. During our first week, we made diagnostics of the current systems of the lodge and searched solutions to the different problematics :
Improvement of the phyto-treatment system
The sanitation of l’Ane Vert consists on a phyto-treatment system of wastewater. Thanks to two basins, water gets infiltrated into a sand and gravel filter which helps its purification. At the same time the plants allow the oxygenation of the basins but also a habitat of bacteria which treat water. Unfortunately the current system has got many dysfunctions.
Our project consists on resizing the increasing capacity of the lodge for 2018 by suggesting a sustainable solution which will keep the phyto-treatment effective and environmentally friendly at the same time.
In order to make a global diagnostic of the system, our team had to list all the dysfunctions, after that we studied different simulations with both positive and negative sides. Those simulations leaded to a number of solutions with different techniques of wastewater facilities, so we had to decide which one matches the most to our objectives.
To achieve our project we made a works schedule, starting by fixing the recent dysfunctions and then accomplishing the chosen solution.
Re orientation of rain water
L’Ane Vert has been constructed on a big cliff in front of the beach, so that the lodge is highly exposed to the wind which causes erosion. Furthermore, the region is dry but knows every year important raining events that rise the erosion phenomena, create crumbling and can flood the camp, the garden and the other constructions at the bottom of the cliff.
Our project is thus to convert the cliff to protect the camp and also to collect rain water which can represent an interesting ressource for the lodge.
The layout of the cliff will consist on creating a green platform to slow the water and stop crumblings. The water which falls on the cliff will be collected in a channel at the bottom. This channel will drive water to a tank so that rain water could be used for the garden, showers or else.
We also plan to collect rain water from the roof of the lodge. To do so, we are going to put gutters all around the lodge and collect it in a reservoir which will be used for the alimentation of the third project (the swimming pool).
Environment Art Project
After 48 hours of hard work and good time, we proudly have concluded another amazing beach cleaning with the help of the Surfrider Foundation Maroc that support us every year to keep our bay clean. Also involved in this project were the joyful kids of Tafedna and our fabulous group of engineering students from ENGEES, that are spending the entire month with us working on Ecological projects in L’Ane Vert !
This edition is also a bit special since we gathered our people not only to clean the beach but also to re-use the trash collected and transformed it into a creative piece of sculpture that is now standing around the shores of Tafedna.
This particular initiative wasn’t only about collecting the trash but was mainly aiming to raise the awareness amongst the people that participated in creating it about the massive plastic pollution on the beaches and how to eventually recycle it in
to something useful.
We want to thank all the people that were involved and supported us through this project, we are forever grateful and, mostly, very much excited for our next Project !