I drink tea everyday – usually green tea – so when I needed to restock I decided to make a change. Instead of buying a few small boxes, or even a large box at Costco I ordered tea diffusers and loose tea.
This change that may seem small (and pushing the limits of “green living”), yet it is another step to reduce my waste and save money at the same time. While the debate over the effectiveness “retail activism” continues, and whether or not it simply promotes a different type of consumerism, this is almost a staple product and consumed in high quantities worldwide. If I can change my habits and spend my money in a more ecological and ethical fashion then I still consider it a change worth pursing.
I decided to switch to loose tea for two reasons. First of all it will reduce waste. Though this seems small given that it’s one tea bag on a daily basis, it does compound. After recycling the shipping container, the only waste after brewing is the used tea itself, which is compostable. Therefore I have eliminated:
- The plastic wrapping on the box
- The box
- The wrapper on the tea bag (paper or plastic)
- The tea bag
The second reason is the material for the tea bags. I’ve encountered more teabags that are at least partially plastic, which I don’t want soaking in hot water that I’m going to drink. A few years ago The Atlantic looked into this issue, and the results, as I read them, were inconclusive on the dangers of the plastic used. Until there is a clear answer to the safety of plastic tea bags, I’m going to avoid them when I can.
Though it seems like a small change, like many of the most important changes one makes in improving his or her life, it is about the habit and mentality as much as the impact itself. Small, yes, but hopefully meaningful.