Happy Earth Day!
Every year on the 22nd of April, is it Earth Day. In this article we share with you what earth day is and how you can turn your daily tea drinking habits into an Earth Day proof lifestyle. Perhaps not just for that one day in the year.
There are many holidays and cultural traditions, but this day is a relatively new one. And it is here to stay. It’s a tradition that grown in attention globally every year and for good reason. The effects of climate change are not stopping at nation’s borders or language barriers. How different the global population may be in it’s customs, food practices, beliefs, values or dreams. We have one similarity, we are all living on earth. Well, except for the few residents of the international space station. But they get to look at Earth from a rather unique perspective.
With one earth comes one biosphere. A unique shell of Co2 that provides us with fresh rainwater and oxygen. With wind carrying seeds from one place to another so another flower, tree or plant can grow in a different spot. That protects us from the blazing rays of the sun, but let’s through enough to nurture our plants to life. And perhaps humans too, because, what would we be without sunlight. The idea that we are the only one out of our eight planets in our solar system that can sustain human life is a thought that makes you humble. But did you know that there are at least trillions of planets in our galaxy alone. And remember, our galaxy isn’t alone in the Universe. We are still in the era of space exploration, but no other planet is found that has the likeness of earth. It’s a home to be very thankful and respectful for it.
The day in honor of our remarkable home is being celebrated since 1970, where peace activist John McConnell proposed it a year before on UNESCO conference in San Francisco. Since 1990 the day is celebrated worldwide. Nowadays Earth Day has grown to an international event where nations, communities and companies take a moment to be mindful of how precious our earth is.
For Earth Day 2017, the Earth Day Network created toolkits to aid organizations wanting to hold teach-ins to celebrate the theme “Environmental and Climate Literacy.”. There is also a blog that shares year round valuable information about projects is very educational.
So, how can you turn your daily habit of drinking tea into a sustainable one that is earth day worthy? With all the big issues going on, it seems like a small drop in the bucket. But isn’t that what a green lifestyle is about? About doing lots of small things and changes in your daily lives in order to be a little bit more mindful of the environment that you are living in? How we can reduce the clutter and waste by upcycling, recycling, and repurposing our tea leaves? Here are some tips you can do today.
In the garden
Use your tea leaves as composed
Tea is good for you, but also good for your plants. The most leaves actually speeds up your compose pile.
Tea leaves are a great source of organic material for gardens and compost piles, as well as soil amendments. As a “green” or nitrogen-rich component of compost, it provides a valuable counterbalance to the “browns” or carbon-rich materials. So just take the leaves out of your strainer and toss them in your compost pile. If you brew your tea in a bag, you can compost the tea and the bag as well.The bag can be composted as long as it’s made of biodegradable materials: paper, silk, or muslin; otherwise, just throw away the bag the normal way. If your not sure about the material of your paper bag, look for a heat seal edge. If you found one then it’s likely that the material is a polypropylene material and not degradable. Just cut the tea bag open with a scissor.
To speed up the decomposition process and enhance your compost even further, pour a few cups of strongly brewed tea into the heap of compost. The liquid tea will hasten decomposition and draw acid-producing bacteria, creating desirable acid-rich compost.
If you’re really out of space, or just too busy to put time into these endeavors, simply spread brewed tea leaves directly on the ground around the base of acid loving plants like roses, most fruit and vegetables, and pines. It works just as well and can provide mulch for the plant when it’s dried out, as well as dropping in some nutrients. This use of reusing tealeaves for plant growth will not only nourish the plant as the tea leaves decomposes, but aids in weed repression and moisture retention.
Just remember, it’s not how you do it that matters really. As long as you keep the tea from ending up in a landfill, you’re doing your part.
Water your plants with unused tea
You love your cup of tea. But sometimes distractions happens and your brew is left cold on the table. When you walk to your kitchen to boil some water again, give your plants your discarded brew instead of dumping it in the sink. It’s like treating your houseplant with a little nutrient.
Prepare planter for potting
For healthier potted plants, place a few used tea bags on top of the drainage layer at the bottom of the planter before potting. The tea bags will retain water and leach nutrients to the soil.
When you pot a new plant, place a handful of tea leaves or a couple of tea bags (dried or steeped) in the drainage layer at the bottom of the pot. Since tea is highly absorbent, it will help absorb water that will then get released slowly back into the plant. Instead of pouring unused tea liquid down the drain, use it to water your plants. Or feed your plants by scattering steeped tea leaves into the top layer of the plant’s soil.
In the house
Use dried tea leaves to fight cat odor
Tea leaves are highly absorbent and can attract odor from anything they come in contact with or even sit next to. Which is one reason you should take care to store fresh tea away from pantry items with strong odors, such as coffee and spices. But it’s also the reason you can reliably turn to tea when you need to rid different areas of your household of a stubborn odor.
Sprinkle dried tea leaves into Puss’s litter box and just change them out whenever you change out the litter.
Use green tea bags to deodorize your fridge
Tea can soak up funky fridge odors just like baking soda. Place dried out green tea leaves in the refrigerator in an uncovered container and they’ll soak up those odors in a day or two.
Tenderize tough meat
Even the toughest cuts of meat will melt in your mouth after you marinate them in regular black tea. Here’s how: Place 4 tablespoons black tea leaves in a pot of warm (not boiling) water and steep for 5 minutes. Strain to remove the leaves and stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar until it dissolves. Set aside. Season up to 3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) meat with salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powder, and place it in a Dutch oven. Pour the liquid over the seasoned meat and cook in a preheated 325°F (165°C) oven until the meat is fork tender, about 90 minutes.
Perfume a sachet
Next time you make a sachet for your linnen closet, try perfuming it with the fragrant aroma of your favorite herbal tea. Just open a few used herbal tea bags and spread the wet tea on some old newspaper to dry. Then use the dry tea as stuffing for the sachet.
Since tea leaves are highly absorbent, they are very easy to flavor. Many tea companies use natural or artificial flavoring to infuse their teas with cinnamon, lemon, mint, pomegranate or other popular flavors. These flavorings can impart a strong and pleasant aroma as well. Pick any of your favorite flavored, scented teas and scatter them in different places around your house for an easy way to liven up the aroma of your living space. You can scent your own tea by adding a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to the tea leaves. Try oils of peppermint, orange, lemon, lavender, rose or rosemary.
Dye paper with tea
For an antique looking paper to make greeting cards or fill journals, dip a heavyweight paper stock into a cooled, brewed tea and let it dry. Repeat for more intense color. You can also brush brewed tea onto the paper with a paintbrush, or use a steeped tea bag to dab some tea onto the paper.
Use it to get rid of tired eyes
Have dark circles under your eyes? No problem! Cover that area with used green tea leaves or tea bags. Keep it for few minutes. Caffeine in tea can help make the dark circle less visible. Tannins from tea keep skin tight. It’s good in mornings too. If you have puffy and tired eyes the next morning use the tea leaves from your breakfast tea to cover your eyes for few minutes.
Degrease your dirty dishes
You can do it the chemical way, but you can also use a couple of used tea bag to degrease your dished before you wash them. It also helps with loosen the stuck on food on your plates.
To eliminate waste altogether
Bring you own mug
Teashop owners will thank you, not only for your loyal visit, but also because bringing your own mug reduces them both cost and waste. The production of a container for your tea to go is eliminated altogether if you have your own mug or reusable tea holder with you.
Eliminate the tea bag
Why use tea bags when you can also just used the tea’s. With lots of strainers and options to get the leaves out of your brew, the need for a teabag is long gone. For example this strainer might serve your needs.
Buy in bulk and bring your own loose tea container
When you figured out what your favorite blend of loose tea is, why not take your own tea storage container with you? Again, the tea shop owner will be thanking you for being so thoughtful. All packaging cost time, energy and ground materials to be produced. In certain cities there are package free supermarkets for goods other then tea.
Use filtered tap water instead of bottled water
Bottled water may be of good quality, but for every bottle that has been produced chemicals are used to fabricate the plastic. And with the plastic soup in the ocean getting bigger and bigger our world is polluted with materials that would decompose. So, eliminate the plastic bottles once and for all by installing a good filter in your tap of even a water boiled filter.
Upcycle as a tea producer or tea room owner
If you own a tea company and wants to learn about what other business do to upcycle their tea production process, take a look at the this case study and graphical explanation of used tea leave technology (UTL).
Well, that’s it folks. I hope that you found this article useful. If you have earth day tips of your own, leave a comment and contribute to your fellow tea lovers.