April 22, 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Over the past five decades, Earth Day has served as a conscious reminder that our actions as individuals have an effect on the planet and that it is important to be mindful of our footprint upon the earth.
The first Earth Day event in 1970 launched a wave of environmentally responsible actions, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. This year, Earth Day organizers are calling for every individual to take action to protect the planet.
From coordinating a trash pick-up to joining a climate march, there are many ways to get involved this Earth Day. Believe it or not, you can even make an impact from your kitchen! In honor of Earth Day 2020, The Republic of Tea is sharing eco-friendly tea habits you can adopt right now to benefit the health and wellness of our planet.
Avoid Single-Use Cups
Single-use cups and accessories may offer convenience for tea drinkers, but they bring dark consequences for Mother Earth. Each year, people around the world discard 500 billion disposable cups. Americans alone throw out 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups every year—and because styrofoam is not biodegradable, the majority of that waste will still be in our landfills years from now.
Purchasing reusable tea cups and mugs is one of the easiest and most effective actions tea drinkers can take to benefit the planet. If you prefer to drink your tea on the go, an insulated travel mug is a convenient option that will significantly reduce waste compared to grabbing a new disposable cup every day.
Compost Used Tea Bags and Leaves
Steeped tea bags and loose tea leaves are rich in nutrients that can supercharge your compost bin or garden. Composting your used tea bags is a “green” way to dispose of them, with the added benefit of enriching your compost and speeding up the decomposition process. Adding steeped tea bags to your garden can also maintain moisture levels and boost the health of your plants.
Before composting your tea bags, it is important to ensure they do not contain materials that could be harmful to the earth. The Republic of Tea’s signature round tea bags are made from unbleached tea paper with no chlorine-containing compounds, and are free of excess wrapping, strings, tags, and staples. They are also kosher certified and gluten-free.
Reuse Tea Tins and Bags
One of the best ways tea drinkers can cut down on waste is by repurposing their empty tea tins and used tea bags. In addition to being good for the planet, reusing these products can save money and inspire creativity.
The Republic of Tea’s signature tins can be used to store pens, pencils, craft supplies, spices, makeup brushes, or anything else that is cluttering up your counters or drawers. Keep the original tea labels visible for an eclectic look, or wrap them in colorful scrapbook paper. You could also spray the tins with black chalk paint for easy labeling.
Our round tea bags can be repurposed in nearly unlimited ways. Place cooled, steeped green tea bags over your eyes for an easy DIY beauty treatment to help relieve redness and puffiness. Cooking rice for dinner? Toss a steeped tea bag into the boiling water to add a layer of delicious flavor to your meal. Tea bags can even be used to scrub burnt pans or greasy dishes, and to remove odor from smelly shoes.
Support Socially and Environmentally Responsible Tea Brands
Voting with your wallet is one of the most impactful steps you can take as a consumer. Buying organic tea and biodynamic tea is a vote for healthy, safe tea and sustainable farming practices. Buying fair trade tea is a vote for living wages and empowerment. Buying tea that supports women and people of color around the globe is a vote for diversity and inclusivity.
Before purchasing tea, spend a little bit of time learning about the company’s socially and environmentally responsible efforts. From leaf to cup, The Republic of Tea is committed to sustainability. Learn more about The Republic of Tea’s commitment to conscious sourcing and our nonprofit partners.
We recognize that our actions create ripples far beyond ourselves, and are proud to support sustainable efforts for the wellbeing of the planet. This April 22nd, we invite all Citizens to celebrate the spirit of Earth Day by committing to one or more of these eco-friendly tea habits.