Stereotype or not, the fact remains that we Brits drink an awful lot of tea. The UK consumes a whopping two kg of tea leaves per person every year.
Of course, right after those leaves leave the pot or cup, they go straight into the bin. That’s 75 million kg added to landfill. By weight, tea and tea leaves account for 536,000 tonnes of waste. Three times as much as every other beverage put together.
Luckily, you can reduce the size of your own tea-scented pile to the landfill without giving up any of your allotted two kg. It makes sense to use loose leaves instead of tea bags. This reduces the amount of non-biodegradable material that enters landfill, and you probably also know that tea leaves are highly compostable.
Reusing Tea Leaves
Even if you don’t have a compost heap or collection used tea leaves can find a place in various places throughout your home and garden. (Or check out this article for tips on getting started with composting.) Sprinkle tea leaves directly on your garden or potted plants to help them retain moisture and nutrients.
If you practise yoga at home, try cleaning your yoga mat with water scented with tea leaves to freshen it up. You can even use tea leaves as an undereye treatment — the tannins in tea help to reduce puffiness. If you have some great tips for tea leaves that we’ve missed, please do let us know.