Eco-hacks – Episode 1: A decent cup of tea.

Today I am launching a  new and possibly short-lived series about eco-hacks for the Sunday Post! Coming up with two extended posts a week is hard! So I am trying to reduce some decision fatigue, ensure my posts are as high a quality as I can, and still post frequently. Quick, themed tidbits are the way to go!

Hence,  the  Eco-hacks Series!  This is the little something I am adding to my daily routine to help reduce my global impact, which is part of my Year of Zero project. Not meant to be earth-shattering news, but, hey, every little bit counts!

Category: Reducing single-use items.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE! I have switched from using single-use tea-bags to loose-leaf tea. The tea leaves themselves are still single-use but the packaging and bag part are now banished.

Benefits of loose leaf tea:

1.  Nicer tea! I have been splashing out and buying some nice Earl Grey tea through A Decent Cup Of Tea. I managed to get a Bodum in cup diffuser from the op shop for $3 and I already had a teapot. So I am actually enjoying the tea more than teabag tea. I also get to use the cute little tea cosy I made. I also like putting the milk in the cup first, which I can with tea leaf tea.

2. Less waste. Even though theoretically the tea bags are compostable, there is still the energy and waste that must go into their manufacture. I dump the used leaves into my worm farm or on the garden. The worms seem to like the tea leaves. I wonder if they are getting a bit high on the caffeine?

 

Eco Hacks: Use Tea posts and diffuers to make a better cup of tea.
My current tea making tools!

Cons of loose leaf tea:

1. It takes more time to make a cup of tea. Not so much a problem at home but at work, yes.  I have taken a small teapot to work and have been brewing a pot of tea in the morning. I also have to toss the leaves in the bin and this gets a bit messy.

2. Not so travel friendly: Tea bags are great to keep in your handbag for when you are visiting people who don’t have Earl Grey tea (my fav).

3. More cost? Marginally. I don’t know exactly how many cups of tea I’m getting out of the 100g packs I am buying so I can not compare accurately.

  • 200 g of tea is lasting me about 3 months. Which pans out to be about $12 a month.
  • 100 tea bags were lasting about a month at $10 – 11 a box.

So there’s not much in it really and not worth worrying about.


SIDE NOTE: There is a great deal of ritual and rule-making around tea making. In my opinion to make a decent cup of tea:

  • The water must be BOILING, like rolling boiling, not just hot.
  • Fresh tea – don’t let it linger in your cupboard for too long
  • You absolutely cannot make a good cup of tea in the microwave so don’t even try! Get a kettle! Or a jug as we call them in Australia.
  • Use glass or ceramic teapots and cups
  • Leave it to brew for at least 3 minutes and use a tea cosy to keep it warm.
  • Milk, if you use it, goes in first.

Stay tuned for more eco-hacks in the coming weeks.

Have you got any favourite eco-hacks you’d like to share? Add them in the comments below.