Ok. So I have a confession… Between my roommate, A, and I I’m pretty sure we have every tea sold in the world. It’s a little bit of an obsession in our apartment.
So… when you have a physics midterm the next day (like I do tomorrow) how exactly do you make your caffeine addiction more environmentally friendly (without kicking it completely)?
- Loose leaf tea! You can get cool tea infusers (basically just wire mesh nets) so that the tea leaves don’t end up floating around in your tea. And you’re not wasting all of those one-use tea bags.
- When you’re on the go, bring your own mug or thermos instead of getting to-go cups.
- If you’re making your own tea or hot cocoa, the teapot does not need to be whistling for the tea to be boiling. By the time it’s whistling you wouldn’t be able to drink it anyways!
- Buy organic fair-trade brews! They’re out there and a lot of times are as or more delicious as other types. (More on why free-trade is more eco-friendly in another post).
- Choose sustainable products! They’re out there. Look for words like “Rainforest Alliance”, “Bird Friendly”, or “Shade Grown”. These may be more expensive, but if you’re avoiding the coffeehouse, you’ll have a bunch of extra money! Woohoo!
- Skip those bottled sodas, coffees, and teas.
The reason you should be worried about where your tea is coming from? How about saving the rainforests! That’s where most of the ingredients for your caffeine addictions come from. And those rainforests are what counter-act the effects of our greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation is leading to an inability to offset carbon dioxide and the harvesting process includes greenhouse gas emissions (Kate Geagan). Teas and coffees are grown in these locations (which should also make you worried about regulation), they are processed products (sorting, roasting, and grinding), and they have to be transported long distances. SO… really look into the “greener” varieties. It could do a lot!