12 Nov Zero-Waste Tea Time
What’s the tea? Reusable, organic cotton tea bags! Tea time is a ritual for most and if you’re anything like me, you drink medicinal tea every single day. Did you know by using reusable tea bags you can also cut down on costs, up your sustainability game, and improve your health?
As winter is approaching, I know it is tempting to bundle up with a warm cup of tea and wind down your day. When I bring up the topic of waste accumulated by tea drinking, I get common answers like, “Well it’s just one tea bag!” or “But the tea bags are compostable!” When you go to your grocery and buy tea, remember you are contributing to waste such as the box, the plastic-coated tea bag wrapper, and the tea bag (which is oftentimes leached with chemicals!) Now think about how many people on that planet drink tea this way… that’s a lot of waste. You can easily skip all that wasteful packaging by purchasing bulk loose leaf tea and buy/make your own reusable tea bags from organic cotton.
Although tea bags are a product of convenience, do you really want to sacrifice your health for a slightly smaller time difference in brewing? Tea bags are highly manufactured items. The safety and the quality of tea bags depending on the material and way they are manufactured. Because the bags are extremely processed, they tend to be laced with toxins such as pesticides, carcinogens, and bleach. When certain tea bags are subject to extremely hot water, they can let off bubbles which are from the carcinogen named epichlorohydrin. There are also bags made of nylon and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which are plastics. Some tea brands even have trace amounts of pesticides and artificial chemicals added for “flavor.” These carcinogens are proven to mess with immunity, fertility, hormone health, and MUCH more. Needless to say, the compounds that are in manufactured bags can be extremely dangerous to your health and the environment.
Conventional tea-bags are smaller in size and usually don’t contain high-value leaves. These small bags deprive you of the essential component to brewing tea, the expansion of the leaves, which is how to get the full-flavored, nutrient-dense effect. I know not everyone likes dodging tea leaves while sipping their oolong, but you can easily resolve this problem by making/purchasing your own organic, reusable tea bags. Remember to never fill your reusable bags to the brim with leaves because this will obstruct them from expressing their flavors and nutrients when they fully expand.
Try shopping for bulk tea at your local grocery store or grow your own!