What can you do to start making a positive change? Here are 8 tips for you on being a more sustainable tea drinker and taking steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle! Small changes in your habits and lifestyle can have a huge impact already.
- 1. Use local water
- 2. Boil only as much water as you need
- 3. Use an electric water kettle or boiler
- 4. Avoid Single-Use Cups
- 5. When buying tea, look for the Rainforest Alliance Seal
- 6. Buy loose-leaf tea (best with recyclable or reusable packaging)
- 7. Use a reusable tea strainer
- 8. Reuse, reduce, recycle and compost
- What else can I do?
- 💬 Reviews
Tea is the second most-consumed beverage after water. But did you know that the tea industry faces serious sustainability challenges? Some of the issues include labor rights issues, low wages and yields, as well as generally the climate crisis, and more.
We rarely think about the way how products we consume daily, such as tea or coffee, are having an impact on the world and people around us. But the truth is, depending on where your tea is coming from, what kind of tea it is and how you choose to prepare and drink it, all have a significant impact.
1. Use local water
If you have safe drinking water, always choose tap water first. The less your water needs packaging and to travel the better! At home, we filter our tap water with the water filtration systems from LifeStraw before consuming. They are really amazing and I can only recommend them.
2. Boil only as much water as you need
When you only boil as much water as you need you first of all are not wasting water, but it also takes less energy to bring less water to a boil.
3. Use an electric water kettle or boiler
Using an electric kettle boils your water nearly twice as fast as on the stove, saving lots of energy (and if you’re using a gas stove, gas)! Plus they come with an automatic shut- off control and don't emit a lot of heat.
4. Avoid Single-Use Cups
The greatest issue with single-use cups (or any single-use dishes) is that they are made for just ONE use, while a lot of energy goes into creating them. In addition, many contain a plastic liner, and/or lid.
5. When buying tea, look for the Rainforest Alliance Seal
By supporting socially and responsible tea brands you vote for more biodiversity and better farming practices, better livelihoods, as well as diversity and inclusivity.
Why Rainforest Alliance?
Rainforest Alliance works on tackling social, economic, and environmental sustainability issues. Hence, their seal means that the certified product or ingredient was produced using methods that support these three pillars.
6. Buy loose-leaf tea (best with recyclable or reusable packaging)
For many, it is a surprise that most regular tea bags are made from plastic, polyethylene to be more specific. Steeping your tea in these bags releases billions of nanoparticles of plastic into our teacup and thus, our bodies. In addition to that, the “paper” packaging these tea bags usually come in, has a plastic liner as well.
Compostable tea bags may exist, but they may still release plastic into the environment nonetheless. Brewing loose-leaf tea means no extra single-use materials and often comes in reusable and refillable tins.
7. Use a reusable tea strainer
As you know, most conventional tea bags contain plastic and may not be the healthiest nor environmentally friendly decision to make and enjoy a cup of tea. To steep your loose tea you can choose between several kinds of tea strainers metal tea eggs/balls, spoon-shaped tea infusers, tea cups and pots with metal infusers, or fun-shaped silicone strainers.
8. Reuse, reduce, recycle and compost
Make the most out of your tea! Did you know that most teas can be steeped more than once? Depending on your infusion method, you can steep tea leaves at least two or three times! Over at divinitea they show you how to clean tools with tea, how creative is that?
Recycle as much of your tea packaging as possible and make sure to compost, if you can.
What else can I do?
Always remember: Nobody is perfect and we as individuals can only do so much. It is also the responsibility of companies on how they produce and sell their products, as well as our politics and governments on how they protect our environment and regulate businesses and especially mega-corporations.
Sustainability is a journey, not an end in itself and it is ok to give yourself time and room to change habits, make mistakes and learn. We hope you find these tips on how to be a more sustainable tea drinker helpful!
If you want to take even more steps towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle check our lifestyle section. We have articles on zero-waste products, how to reduce food waste, why choosing to be vegan has an enormous impact on sustainability, and much more!