Protecting our planet is a big deal at Arbor Teas. That’s why we’ve made big strides toward comprehensive sustainability and that’s why we are constantly trying to improve. But, whether you purchase your tea from us or not, you can help too! After all, the energy required to simply heat up the water to brew your tea rivals ALL the energy (serving for serving) it takes to grow, manufacture, and deliver it to you in the first place. Your efforts, big or small, really matter! Here are some easy tips to make your daily cup more eco friendly.
Local Water = Smaller Footprint
Your cup of tea is 99% water. So, always opt to use tap water first if you have safe drinking water that is relatively free of strong smells and tastes. If not, use natural spring water when brewing your tea and opt for local sources if available. The less distance your water travels to reach you, the less carbon is emitted into the atmosphere on its journey. If you’re getting water filled in plastic containers, keep refilling them! This reduces packing material and can save you some cash.
Measure and Then Fill
Only heat as much water in your kettle as you need for the amount of tea you're making. In other words, don't boil a full kettle for a single cup of tea! This way, you're not wasting any water, and you're not expending any more energy than necessary to bring the water to the right temperature.
Use an Electric Water Kettle
Consider using an insulated electric kettle instead of the stove to heat your water. The fully-immersed heating element of an electric water kettle couples heat into the water with very high efficiency and boils the water speedily so there's little time for the kettle to lose heat to the room. Stoves transfer heat far less effectively to the water and typically take much longer, resulting in greater heat losses.
Get with Gas if You Can
If an electric water kettle is not an option, typically it’s more climate-friendly to use a gas stove than an electric stove to heat water. Gas burns cleaner than coal, and though it isn’t a perfect solution, it’s still better than the coal that powers the vast majority of residential electricity. If an electric stove is your only option - not to worry, there are still ways you can help! If you drink your tea with a meal, use the same electric burner you cooked with to heat your kettle while it is still hot to take advantage of the residual heat. If you’re planning to re-steep your tea, keep the kettle on the burner so it can absorb any leftover heat. Bonus points if you power your home or office with a renewable source of electricity (like wind or solar)!
Cold Brew Your Iced Tea
If you're making iced tea, experiment with cold-brewing your tea instead of using the traditional hot-brew method. The cold-brew method eliminates the energy needed to heat your water and takes advantage of an appliance (your refrigerator) that is already running in most households and offices. Get creative and find what you like, different teas can give different results when cold brewed!
Once you’ve finished your cup, compost your leaves! Tea leaves can continue to be rich in nutrients even after several steepings, and can be valuable additions to compost bins, gardens and potted plants. If you purchase from Arbor Teas, compost your packaging too. We are proud to pack our teas in backyard compostable bags so that you have a complete no-waste tea option!