To celebrate Earth Day last weekend, we thought we’d read our tea leaves to look at the future but we’re afraid it doesn’t look good people…
Sure our small cup of tea doesn’t seem like it could do any harm but totting up all the nation’s cuppas, the wider impact is huge, with over 4 million tonnes of tea produced annually.
So how could we best put our used tea bags and leaves to good use?
Here are our top five ways of recycling tea bags and reusing tea leaves.
Now I warn you that some of these involve getting down and dirty with the leaves, but sitting around sipping Earl Grey isn’t going to save the planet I’m afraid, so stop slacking, roll your sleeves up and get to it!
1. Make wooden floors and furniture shine
Tea is a surprisingly good agent for making woodwork shine and it’s simple to do too – just dampen a soft cloth with a small amount of brewed tea, cooled to room temperature, and gently rub it into your wood. We’d always recommend a patch test first though. For lighter wood, or white wood, make sure you use white or green tea, but for dark wood, it’s time to bring out your strongest black teas. Check out the full range here.
2. Get your toilets sparkling
Are you a lover of loose leaf tea? If so, don’t thrown your tea leaves in the bin but throw them down the toilet instead – this seriously works! Let the leaves steep for a couple of hours then remove them before giving it all a good brush. Obviously, be sure not to drink it afterwards…
3. Eliminate odours with a natural air freshener
Plagued by pet smells? Disturbed by the aroma of sweaty feet? Fear not! Never again do you have to put up with these unpleasant odours. Simply put some loose-leaf tea in steeping sacks and put them anywhere that could do with smelling a bit fresher. Gym bags, litter trays, laundry baskets, fridges – you name it.
4. Show your plants some TLC
We’re not the only ones that love tea – your plants do too. As tea is full of nutrients, both your house and garden plants can enjoy a cup of their own. Tea leaves are high in acidity and very absorbent, so just place a small handful in the bottom of your plant pot and whenever your plants are watered, the nutrients will be released and feed their way up into the soil. If you’ve already potted your plants, you can pour a cup of cooled tea in instead. See, we did tell you that your plants could enjoy their own cup.
5. Pour a cuppa and get arty
Why not add some excitement to your plain glass tea light holders by placing a thin layer of dried tealeaves on the bottom? Or put your used colourful tea leaves, from a tea like our super berry tea into a glass jar for the centre of your coffee table. It will still smell fresh and fruity for a good while, and when the smell starts to fade, you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil for instant homemade pot pourri. Voila!
We hope you enjoy getting creative with your teabag recycling projects. If you discover any other uses for your used teabags and tealeaves please do get in touch.