Loading... Please wait...

The Arbor Teas Blog - sustainability

Are You Composting Our Packaging? Here's How to Get Started!

Posted by

Arbor Teas Packaging Being Composted!

At Arbor Teas, our packaging has been backyard compostable since 2010. If you don’t yet have a compost pile, this post is for you! In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps for starting a compost pile that will help you reduce your environmental impact by  diverting your food waste and scraps away from the landfills by turning it into nutrient-rich soil.

What You Need to Get Started

Healthy compost piles require a lot of “brown” matter such as dried yard waste, and a small amount of green matter such as grass clippings and food scraps. The basic rule of thumb is 3:1 brown matter to green matter. So, to get started building a compost pile, it’s important to have a good, constant source of brown matter. Your backyard is a great place to look.

From there, you’ll need a place to build your compost pile, namely a compost “bin” constructed from wire, wood or brick, or an off-the-shelf compost bin or tumbler .

Of course, you’ll also need a bowl or kitchen croc for storing your food scraps. Look for one with a handle for easy maneuvering between kitchen and compost bin.

Building Your Compost Pile

There are as many ways to start a compost pile are there are bins to store it. To ensure success, you will want to make sure that your compost has a healthy combination of carbon-rich materials (brown matter) and nitrogen-rich materials (green matter). To give it a good start, you may also want to add a layer of two of good organic soil.

To start your compost pile, combine your materials in 4-inch layers of soil, brown matter and green matter, maintaining the ratio of 3:1 brown to green, up to 3-feet. You can let this combination sit and then turn it over with a shovel or hoe after 3-5 days.

“Turning” is important because it gives the pile much needed oxygen. But, even if you don’t turn your pile very often, your compost will still break down.

Tip: There are a few things you might not want to put into your compost pile, namely meat scraps (which may attract visitors), living weeds (which may take over your compost in the same way they would your garden), and diseased plants (which may taint the resulting soil).

Managing Your Compost Pile

If you’re at this step, you’re already composting. Doesn’t it feel great?!

The good news is that most compost piles don’t need a lot of attention. (The decomposition process happens whether you’re watching it or not!) The only thing your compost pile wants from you is a 3:1 ratio of brown matter to green matter, a little bit of water (rain is perfect), proper drainage, and a good turn every week or so.

So, as your carry your used tea and other food scraps out to your compost bin, make sure that you’re also adding at least twice as much "brown" yard waste to the mix to maintain a proper ratio.

Using Your Compost

One of the major benefits of starting a compost pile is what you get out of it: a healthy, free supply of soil to be used in your garden season after season. Once your compost is ready, and the materials have broken down, you can add this nutrient-rich soil to your flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.

Composting Our Packaging

Our packaging, made from a cellulose film derived from wood pulp and hemp-based labels, is 100% backyard compostable. To compost it, simply toss it into your compost bin and give it a turn. It will completely disappear within 3-4 months.

Word to the Wise: Not all “compostable packaging” is backyard compostable. Most corn-based compostable packing and disposables on the market today are really only suited for industrial compost settings. To dispose of them properly, contact your local government or waste facility to see if industrial composting is available in your area.

Resources:

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2011/06/28/recycling-conundrum

http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/all-about-composting/5061.html

http://www.arborteas.com/blog/how-to-compost-tea-and-other-organics-in-a-home-compost-pile/

View Comments


Food Waste and Your Methane Footprint

With so much talk of CO2 and our carbon footprints, you might be under the false impression that carbon is the only greenhouse gas that you have to worry about. Unfortunately, there are several “greenhouse gasses,” that is, gasses that are emitted on Earth and that trap heat in the atmosphere, creating a “greenhouse effect.” [...]

Read More »


Arbor Teas celebrates 6 years of partnership with Carbon Fund!

For the past six years, Arbor Teas has "neutralized" its annual operational emissions and its product shipment emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org.  We are committed to making a positive impact on the environment and have taken many steps to reduce emissions by offering only organic teas, packaging our tea in backyard compostable packaging, and using renewable [...]

Read More »


Arbor Teas Packaging Safe for Worm Composting Bins!

On Earth Day 2010, Arbor Teas became the FIRST tea company in the United States (to our knowledge) to deliver a full line of organic loose teas in 100% backyard compostable packaging! With the release of this next-generation packaging, we at Arbor Teas advanced our environmental mission, continuing to lead the tea industry through our [...]

Read More »


Shipping: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

It’s so easy nowadays- just point, click and buy. Depending on where you bought from and the availability, you could have your item delivered to your house in about a week. Sounds easy, simple and energy free, right? Well, sort of. While you didn’t necessarily power up your car and drive from store to store [...]

Read More »


Tips For Having a Sustainable Holiday Season

As an environmentally conscious consumer, it can be tough to reconcile the material excess of the holiday season with one’s concern for the planet. But how do you cut down on your environmental impact without sacrificing the joys of the season? It’s easier than you think, actually. Aside from sticking with gifts that are inherently [...]

Read More »


Cold Brewing Tea: Why You Should, And How To Do It!

Tea is a relatively energy-efficient beverage. A cup of tea, made by boiling only the amount of water you need, produces only about a tenth of the carbon footprint generated by a large cup of cappuccino (Source: “The World’s Water, 2008-2009″ by Peter Gleick, et al, www.waterfootprint.org). To put this into perspective, if you drink [...]

Read More »


Greening Your Tea Brewing in Five Easy Steps!

If you're reading this blog, chances are you're an environmentally-conscious tea drinker like us. While we've made big strides towards comprehensive sustainability (by sticking with organic tea, carbon-offsetting our business activities, using backyard-compostable packaging, etc.), buying your tea from an eco-friendly company such as ours is only part of the equation - the tea still [...]

Read More »


NASA Scientists Agree: 2010 to be Hottest Year on Record

Earlier this week, NASA released a report confirming the meteorological speculations: 2010 is expected to be the hottest year on record, based upon the temperatures witnessed so far this year. NASA's report, which can be found here, states, "2010 is likely, but not certain, to be the warmest year in the GISS record." GISS refers to [...]

Read More »


How to Compost Tea and other Organics in a Home Compost Pile

Starting a compost pile in your backyard is a simple and effective way to lower your home's impact on the planet. Not only does it significantly reduce the amount of waste going into landfills, but it provides an outstanding source of nutrient-rich soil, which might facilitate you growing your own hyper-local food. And if composting [...]

Read More »