7 Ways to Recycle Tea for the Environmentally Mindful
With an increasing call for sustainable living and a dire need for recycling, it’s a duty that falls upon all of us to do our bit for the environment. And as they say, the best of habits start at home. So why not take a look at unique, simple, and effective ways of recycling daily objects that we use in our home, maximizing their use and also preventing them from entering our landfills and oceans.
If you are a tea drinker, then you probably end up with a lot of used tea-leaves or tea bags. So, today let’s take a look at how we can use these used tea-leaves or bags after we are done steeping them. As we know, all types of tea come from the mother plant Camellia Sinensis, a bountiful plant that offers us this delicious and healthy elixir.
Be it your loose-leaf black tea from Darjeeling or your beloved Green teas which are an essential part of your fitness regime. Once we steep them and have relished a delicious cup of tea, do we simply go ahead and toss them after a one-time use in the garbage bin? No!
Tea is called a magical elixir because it is a powerhouse of essential nutrients and tannic acid, with incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This fact makes tea one of the healthiest beverages on earth which serves a wide variety of uses post steeping as well, ranging from skincare, home and garden management, and much more!
We invite you to be a part of our pro-environment mission where we do our part of reusing, reducing, and recycling.
Let’s take a look at 7 brilliant and simple uses for used tea bags and tea leaves.
Clean & Deodorize Your Carpets, Rugs
Rugs and carpets have the worst of it in our homes. From endless spills of beverages and food, to daily dirt, dust and grime - carpets and rugs tend to have smelly spots or get dirty over time. It’s a tedious and expensive task to get your carpets cleaned every now and then. But what if we tell you that used tea bags offer an effective and cost-free solution to this! Yes, you can use used-tea bags to clean dirty spots and deodorize your carpets and rugs.
For this, simply cut open used tea bags, spread the tea leaves on a tray and set them out in the sun to dry. Once dry, mix these tea leaves with a fistful of baking soda and make a powdery cleaning mixture. Sprinkle and spread this mixture over the dirty and smelly areas of your carpet and let this mixture sit for 10-15 minutes. Now vacuum the area and you will instantly notice that the area is not only clean but smells fresh as well!
Make a DIY Air Freshener with Tea Bags
We are a huge fan of reusing and reducing our everyday waste! Tea bags can be recycled and used in several effective DIY recipes for home management. Start with making your very own customized blend of DIY Air Fresheners with used tea bags and you can carry and place them in a variety of areas in your home like cupboards, living areas, or in your car, office spaces, etc.
You can make customized perfume sachets or air-freshener pouches, by simply adding a few generous drops of your favorite essential oil onto dried used tea bags. Take a few of these perfumed bags and hang them by their strings on a hook. Tea leaves do a great job of absorbing all sorts of bad odors. They make for an excellent air-purifier and freshener as well!
Clean and Polish Wooden Furniture
To maintain hardwood floors and wooden furniture, one needs to invest in either expensive chemical polishes. These polishes surely do clean the wood but often end up harming the quality of the wood. So here’s how you can use tea bags to make an herbal wooden polishing solution which will not only effectively cleans the wood and gives it a shine, but also form a natural protective film on the wood thereby increasing its life.
For this, take some used tea bags and place them in 500ml of water and let them boil for 2 minutes. Let the tea cool down and then dip a clean cloth in this tea. Wring off the excess liquid and then gently polish the wooden surface in circular motions. This will take care of the dirt and also form a protective film. Once done, polish the same area with a dry cloth.
Make your very own Garden Fertilizer
Black Tea is full of tannic acid which is a great nutrient for plants and promotes good growth. They also can be used to protect your garden or potting soil by keeping pests, mice and other fungal infections at bay. Tea is a highly acidic nutritious addition to a compost pile, which also helps speed up the process of decomposition.
Simple take some used tea-leaves and add them to the potting soil or garden soil, near the roots. Alternatively, add used tea-leaves to the compost and you can get yourself an acid-rich, nourishing compost that can be used in your garden to spur the growth of the plants, like rose and common ferns. You can also steep used tea bags in hot water and then pour the tea in a spray bottle. You can use this on your precious house plants to nourish them and also protect them against fungal infections.
Relieve tired and puffy eyes
Everyday stress and lack of proper sleep can take a toll on everyone and the first signs are usually tired, puffy eyes with dark circles. A cheap and effective solution to this is to use a tea bag! You can use any type of tea for this, but we recommend that you use black and green tea bags as they are incredibly rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
For this, take your used tea bags and keep them in the refrigerator. Take them when they cool but haven’t lost its dampness. Place them under your eyes and rest for 15-20 minutes. Remove and wash with water. Do this three or four times in a week for visible results.
Indulge in a Detoxifying Tea Bath
Tea has an abundance of essential nutrients and antioxidants which are considered to be very beneficial for both skin and hair! It can also be very effective on sunburns and minor cuts on the skin. Drawing yourself a pre-soaked tea bath with green tea, Oolong tea or herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, lavender, etc. will make your bath a luxuriant, aromatic spa-like experience!
Take some used tea bags and hang them on the tap/ faucet, or you can also drop them in the tub and let them soak for a while in warm water. Drop a few drops of your favorite essential oil and indulge in a relaxing soak to wash your worries away!
Clean Mirrors & Glass surfaces to a sparkle
The last and possibly one of the best uses of used tea is to make yourself a super effective cleaning solution for mirrors and other glass surfaces. Not only can you recycle your used tea or tea-bags, but you can also make an all-natural, herbal cleaning solution to clean grease off your mirrors and glass surfaces making them sparkle!
To make this cleaning solution, you can use a bunch of used tea-bags or used tea leaves and brew a strong pot of tea. Let it cool down to room temperature and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray this tea solution on the glass surface and wipe it off with a cloth. After this, buff the surface with a separate dry cloth for a sparkly shine!
Bonus Tip : You can also use brewed tea to clean your sink as well!
With these interesting and sustainable uses for your used tea leaves and tea bags, you can be sure of doing your bit towards ensuring that this planet has a better tomorrow!
If you know of more ways, than the ones mentioned above, of using used tea leaves and bags, please tell us in the comments below! We would love to hear from you.
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