by Laura McIlwaine August 04, 2019

How To Enjoy A Sustainable Cup of Tea

I’m a tea drinker and enjoy a wide variety of herbal teas throughout the day. In fact, I often joke that there’s a tea to match my every mood!

If you love tea as much as I do, and want to ensure your tea habit is as green as possible (even when you like a black cuppa), read on!

In this post I’ll share five simple ways to enjoy your cuppa, sustainably. Prefer coffee instead? Click HERE for tips to eco-fy your coffee habit.

1. Use a Reusable Cup

Such a simple change can make such a big difference!

It’s estimated that Australians use over 1 billion disposable coffee cups per year. That’s approximately 2,700,000 single-use coffee cups thrown out each day!

While it looks like many of these cups are made from paper, most have a plastic lining and are therefore not recyclable.

The greenest choice is to carry your own reusable coffee cup. And the bonus is that many coffee outlets will offer you a discount off your tea.

If you have a café in your local area that’s signed up to Responsible Cafes, you can typically save 50c off your brew.

Click HERE to view the range of reusable coffee cups at Sustainahome.

2. Drink Your Tea Loose

Drinking loose tea not only results in a superior brew, it’s also gentler on the environment. Tea bags often come with metal staples and additional packaging, all which took additional resources to produce. The added bonus for you is that loose tea is more economical than tea bags.

3. Pack an Insulated Flask

You don’t need to just be going to a football game to pack an insulated flask of boiling water or tea. Pack one in the car for long trips, take one shopping, even take one to work!

Packing an insulated flask of tea saves you from purchasing tea on the go when out and about. The added bonus if you forget your reusable coffee cup is that you can use the lid of the flask as a cup!

 4. Choose an Ethical Brew

Not all tea was created equal.

To ensure your brew contributes positively to our world, choose a Fairtrade tea (organic if possible).

When consumers purchase products with the Fairtrade Mark, they are supporting farmers and workers as they work to improve their livelihoods and provide better support to their communities. The Fairtrade Mark shows that the Fairtrade ingredients in the product have been produced by small-scale farmer organisations or plantations that meet internationally agreed Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards.

The standards include protection of workers’ rights and the protection of children, the preservation of the environment, payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in initiatives to support local communities or business development. Sounds like a fair enough choice, right?

5. Compost your tea leaves

When you’ve finished your cuppa, pop your tea leaves in your compost or Bokashi bin to guarantee a zero-waste tea. The nutrient-rich fertilizer you produce will be welcomed by your garden.


Final Thoughts

An ethical and sustainable cup of tea is possible! By switching to a reusable cup, drinking your tea loose, packing an insulated flask, choosing an ethical brew and composting your tea leaves you’ll save money, waste and contribute to a cleaner, greener and fairer future for us all.

Over To You!

What’s your best sustainable tea drinking tips? Share in the comments below!



To kick-start your plastic free life, click HERE to join our 5-day Plastic Free Challenge (it's FREE!).

 Plastic Free Challenge


About the Author:

Laura Trotta is an experienced environmental engineer, award-winning sustainable living educator and the founder of Sustainahome. She’s dedicated over two decades of her life to the sustainability cause and her personal mission in life is to make green mainstream.

A passionate believer in addressing the small things to achieve big change, and protecting the planet in practical ways, Laura lives with her husband and two sons in Adelaide, South Australia.

Laura McIlwaine
Laura McIlwaine

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