Creating a sustainable cup of tea
January is Hot Tea Month!
Nothing warms your heart and soul like a fresh brewed cup of tea. But, did you know that a lot of waste can com from such a simple pleasure?
Growing tea requires the clearing of a lot of land and the use of various pesticides and chemicals. Additionally, the processing of tea leaves and the packaging for consumer distribution is resource intensive. At the end of their life cycle, traditional tea bags (often made with plastics)
Let’s consider the environmental impact of a simple cup of tea and rethink how we can enjoy a global favorite in a more sustainable manner.
Growing tea requires a lot of land and pesticides/chemicals resulting in deforestation and soil degradation. The processing of tea, its packaging and its transportation to consumers uses an enormous amount of resources. Once a consumer has enjoyed their conventionally grown and manufactured cup of tea, the product must be disposed of which can result in pollution or hurt the environment since it contains plastics and microplastics.
Here’s how you can celebrate Hot Tea Month with minimal to zero waste:
- Use locally sourced water. A cup of tea is 99% water. The closer you are to your water source, tap or spring, the less carbon that is emitted into the atmosphere in its journey to you.
- Only boil what you need. Avoid boiling an entire kettle of water for a single cup of tea. This will help prevent wasting water and the energy needed to bring the water to the right temperature.
- Use an electric kettle which is more efficient than boiling water on a stove because they heat quicker preventing major heat losses to the room.
- Drink your tea from a reusable mug or compostable cup rather than from disposable options.
- Choose teas that come in compostable or recyclable packaging.
- Choose loose leaf teas that are organically grown and fair trade.
- Once you’ve enjoyed your cup of tea be sure to compost the leaves which remain rich in nutrients even after several steepings.
1. Add fresh herbs & spices to your tea (mint, cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, etc) for flavor.
2. Save money by brewing your tea at home.
Even if you only use one of these green techniques you will be creating less waste and having less of a negative impact on the environment than you typically would while enjoying a cup of hot tea.
My favorite sustainable tea can be found @ TeaForte.com
You can read more about National Tea Month @ https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-hot-tea-month-january/