July 14, 2024

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Tea’s Carbon Footprint Explored

Tea’s Carbon Footprint Explored

Ever surprise what type of effects tea has on the atmosphere? That depends mostly on the actions of the tea drinker, according to tea technologist and longtime tea sector marketing consultant Nigel Melican of Teacraft, Ltd. who a short while ago did an in-depth examine on the carbon footprint of tea.

Studying tea’s carbon impact from Asian tea farm to American teapot (and landfill), Melican sought to obtain out whether or not tea is an environmental “saint or a sinner” when we evaluate its carbon footprint by a number of requirements. He located that many variables in the area of the tea drinker herself have a excellent effect on the closing end result, and it appears to be worth sharing since we are on this world together. 

“If tea is perfectly created, if we look at the offer chain correctly, if we make some changes, we can in fact get tea to be carbon neutral,” mentioned Melican. “Some tea in some international locations we could get to be carbon damaging. Now that is pretty a thing for a solution which goes from the place its developed, 10 thousand miles [away], to the buyer…” reported Melican.

In his research, Melican learned that tea’s carbon footprint (calculated by the number of grams of carbon dioxide for every cup) can range drastically from above 200g CO2 for each cup to -6g CO2 per cup, based on how the tea is developed, processed, transported, packaged, brewed, and discarded. On typical, a unfastened tea which you consume at a tea lounge has about 20g CO2 for each cup. As a reference stage, the carbon footprint of a cup of beer is 374g, a can of Coca Cola is 129g and a cup of cow’s milk is about 225g. As these types of, free tea is a considerably superior alternative environmentally than any of these.

But listed here is in which the tea drinker comes in. First, the tea collection manufactured by a tea client performs an huge role from the start. . Melican identified that teabag tea has, in simple fact, 10 times the carbon footprint of free tea (all other variables getting equivalent). I’ll repeat it in reverse. Loose tea has one tenth the carbon footprint of teabag tea. Deciding on a unfastened tea around a teabag tea signifies you (and the natural environment) are unencumbered of a number of carbon-intense packaging elements like the nylon or paper teabag and its string, the box and the plastic wrap all around the box. This is potentially the very best PR for unfastened tea I’ve ever uncovered (though consuming loose tea speaks for itself).

Recycling or re-applying tea (as nicely as its packaging) also enhances its carbon footprint.  Free tea typically arrives in small, recyclable or re-usable containers, and this gains the world only due to the fact the packaging is often re-utilized and not discarded in landfill. Composting tea alternatively than tossing it in the trash will also reward the earth.  If you really don’t have a garden, supply your utilized tea leaves to friends and neighbors who do (they will thank you for it and so will the earth).

As properly, the purchaser can re-use tea leaves, bettering its carbon footprint. Steeped tea leaves can be put to good use to fertilize houseplants or gardens, to clean one’s residence or for skincare.  A tea drinker can also re-use tea and tea leaves to cook dinner, to cleanse, and to lower odors in the home (go away unfastened tea out in a bowl or cup to absorb odors in a area, just like baking soda).

How a tea drinker heats the water for tea also has an affect. According to Melican, “Gas is most effective as there is only one particular conversion reduction from burning the fossil gasoline to make warmth electrical power to raise the h2o temperature in the kettle. With electrical power, you get five different losses: 1. turning fossil gas into steam, 2. steam into energy, 3. grid losses alongside the wires (voltage drop), 4. transformer losses as voltage is stepped up and down, and 5. in heating the h2o in the kettle.”

Melican mentioned that when he established out to do the review to existing at the 2009 Globe Tea Expo in Las Vegas, he had no idea what he would obtain. “I was extremely happy to uncover, in real actuality, tea is essentially a saint.” claimed Melican.

Eventually, Mr. Melican would like to see necessary carbon footprint labeling on all food products and solutions, a law which is getting regarded as in England and which shoppers in the U.S. and all-around the globe can request of their reps. In the meantime, sip your unfastened tea guilt-totally free and with abandon!