Archive for the 'Green Business' Category
So Earth Day 2009 is nearly upon us, and that seems like a good enough reason to show off what we’re doing here at Arbor Teas to reduce our impact on the planet. We’re not usually ones for the “hard sell,” but this may be the one time of year that we’ll make an exception. The degree to which we’ve minimized our environmental “footprint” is a real source of pride for us here at Arbor Teas, and every once in a while we can’t help but brag. So, in case you were looking for a few more reasons for Arbor Teas to become your tea source (or if you just want to take comfort in knowing that your source for tea is doing everything it can think of to reduce it’s envirommental impact), here you go!
Reason #1 – Exclusively Organic Teas: We are deeply committed to organic agriculture, offering an entire catalog of organic teas and tisanes. Organic farming excludes the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), resulting in a variety of benefits to flora and fauna, air and water qulity, and our climate. Arbor Teas offers one of the largest catalogs of USDA certified organic teas available.
Reason #2 – Green Packaging: Our packaging is specially designed to minimize its “environmental footprint,” relying on parchment-lined paperboard and glassine-lined kraft paper instead of tin-plated steel. This shift reduced the carbon emissions associated with our packaging by over 80%!
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April 21 2009 | Green Business and Sustainability | 1 Comment »
You know that saying about the postal service, “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night…”? Well the same can be said doubly for our package courier, Dave Askins (aka Homeless Dave) – because he does it on a bike! Every day, Dave and his bicycle-powered hauling company, HD Hauling, loads our outbound packages onto his industrial-grade bicycle trailer and hauls them to the post office and other shipping depots. And we’re not just talking 10 or 20. More like 60 to 80!
This holiday, Dave had to contend with somewhat more generous snowfall than we’ve seen in recent years. And of course, on the morning of our last day of shipping for Christmas Eve delivery, we got a major dump. Even before the City could clear the streets, Dave arrived to haul away the last of our holiday deliveries. And although many, MANY cars and trucks found themselves mired in the snowy mess that day, our packages made it through the first leg of their jouney to our customers safe and sound.
By hiring HD Hauling to help our packages reach their destinations, we not only support a cool local endeavor, but it stands as one more small way we’re working to reduce the carbon footprint of this little tea company of ours. So, next time you place your order with Arbor Teas, think of Dave!
January 06 2009 | Green Business and Miscellaneous | 2 Comments »
Arbor Teas has taken a variety of measures to reduce the overall environmental “footprint” of getting our teas to our customers. Among these is our annual contribution to CarbonFund.org to offset those carbon emissions generated by our business that we haven’t figured out a way to avoid (yet). We are very proud to offset the carbon emissions of our entire operation, including the shipment of our products from origin, to us, then out to our customers. CarbonFund.org has estimated that our “carbon footprint” for the coming year will be just over two tons of carbon dioxide. That sounds like a lot, but I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a drop in the bucket. So, to help shrink the size of that “bucket” even more, we just offset nearly 15 times our expected carbon emissions for the year – 35 tons in all!
June 30 2008 | Green Business | 1 Comment »
As regular readers of SustainabiliTEA know, we recently returned from the World Tea Expo, where we were invited to address the subject of social and environmental responsibility in the tea industry. Before heading off to Las Vegas, our idea of a “successful” trip was this: sit in front of a room full of tea business owners/employees, describe our efforts to improve the social and environmental impact of our company, and maybe get some other people in the industry thinking along the same lines (or maybe even give them some tangible ways to take action). Well, the discussion during and after the session suggests that maybe this initial concept of “success” was achieved. There were many questions about green packaging, carbon offsets, organic certification and fair trade licensing, which, at least to us, hinted at a greater interest in (and awareness of) these issues. But the real “feel good moment” occurred a few hours later on the trade show floor.
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June 29 2008 | Green Business and Sustainability | 2 Comments »
In advance of our upcoming trip to the World Tea Expo this week, I had the pleasure (and privilege) to be interviewed by Ann Arbor’s very own Homeless Dave. But here’s the thing… Homeless Dave conducts all of his interviews on an adult-sized teeter-totter! The interviews are then transcribed and posted to his website, Teeter Talk. Since I’ll be participating in a panel discussion on social and environmental responsibility at the World Tea Expo, Dave and I spent a bit of time talking about Arbor Teas social and environmental commitments, as well as many tangentially-related topics. Click here to the read the interview!
May 28 2008 | Green Business and Media | 1 Comment »
Green. Fair. Two of our favorite words. Well, this year, their not just principles we live by, but a neat outdoor festival highlighting the Earth-friendliest that Ann Arbor has to offer – from clean energy to green construction, to – yes – even environmentally-savvy tea companies! Ann Arbor’s Green Fair will take place on June 13, from 6pm to 9pm. Make sure to stop by – there might even be free samples!
May 28 2008 | Green Business and Media | No Comments »
We’re very proud to tell you all about the recent recognition Arbor Teas received for our sustainability initiatives in this month’s edition of Fresh Cup Magazine! Fresh Cup is a prominent magazine serving the tea and coffee industries, gobbled up on a monthly basis by all of us trying to keep up on the latest and greatest. As with our mention in Organic Spa Magazine last year, it’s quite humbling to be discussed in the media beside the “big guys” like Honest Tea and Rishi Tea, to name a few. Hopefully this means we’re accomplishing what we set out to do: deliver the highest quality loose teas as sustainably as possible. Don’t worry, we won’t let the hype go to our heads (although our hats are fitting a bit tighter lately!).
April 19 2008 | Green Business and Media | No Comments »
Well, we must be doing something right, because this June we’ve been asked to sit on a panel at the World Tea Expo to address social responsibility in the tea industry! Not bad for a little two-person on-line tea company, huh? The World Tea Expo is North America’s most prominent tea event – a marketplace for the products and ideas that fuel the tea industry. We’re absolutely thrilled to have been invited, and want to make the most of the opportunity. Although the session is meant to be a spontaneous discussion focused around certain guiding questions/topics, we’d like to arrive with a few “talking points” or key issues that [we think] should be emphasized during the discussion. And we’re looking to you, faithful readers (and socially-conscious tea drinkers) for a little help! Along the lines of social responsibility, what issues do you see as a priority for the tea industry? Fair trade and other social justice-related issues? Organic farming and other environmentally-sensitive production issues? You tell us, and we’ll tell the industry! Keep in mind that the audience will be primarily composed of tea importers, wholesalers, retailers and other industry representatives. Any feedback would be great – we’ll keep you posted as the event approaches!
February 13 2008 | Green Business and Media | No Comments »
As many of you may already now, we’re always looking for ways to reduce the environmental footprint of our little tea company, Arbor Teas. So in early 2007, after we decided to become USDA organic certified and abandon the “conventional” offerings that remained in our catalog of teas, we turned our attention to our packaging. We had a sneaking suspicion that the tin-plated steel cans that we were using at the time weren’t the most environmentally-sound alternative, and it just didn’t make sense to us to deliver teas that were produced organically (or even biodynamically) in packaging that was damaging to the environment.
Going Back to School
To get us on the right track, we teamed up with a group of graduate students studying industrial ecology at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE, my alma mater). They performed an environmental life-cycle analysis on the tin-plated steel packaging we were using at the time, as well as other “greener” alternatives. Their analysis confirmed our suspicions that other options were available that would serve our needs while being easier on the environment. continue reading »
November 29 2007 | Green Business | 1 Comment »