Here at the tea enthusiasts, we take climate change seriously. We firmly believe that mankind is having a detrimental effect on the planet and each individual, each company and each government has a duty to do what they can to neutralise the impact they have on the world. So today we want to take you through what we as a company do to try and ease our impact on the planet.
Environmental issues are complicated and there is no quick fix and no magic solution so we try to make sure that the planet is considered in each decision we make. Some of these solutions may seem like they only make a tiny difference and we recognise that we are one small family run company but we know that one of the biggest threats to the planet is everyone thinking someone else will save it, and one of the biggest mistakes is thinking if you can only do a little then it is not valuable so you should do nothing.
What we are doing as a company?
Our energy is sourced from green only suppliers.
We believe that there is no need to burn fossil fuels and energy should come from renewable sources. if there is no profit in fossil fuel the companies will stop burning it.
Where there is a low energy option we do it.
This is true of our computers, scales, dishwashers and lights. Especially our kettle as that is very often on.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
76% of our waste is recycled or reused by the community. Packing boxes are easily reused, Used or soiled tea is donated to the allotment association for compost heaps, packing materials are reused by ourselves or a neighbouring company. Anything that can be used for crafts is donated to community organisations.
Over the last year, we have reduced paper use by more than 50% across the company.
Support organisations with similar visions
We donate to One Tree Planted with a monthly subscription to plant 12 trees per month in the amazon rainforest. You can read more of their work here. We need more trees, biodiversity is vital and any work done needs to support the communities they are near.
We use technology and local contacts that we have built up over the last decade to visit and inspect tea plantations. jetting all around the world is bad for the planet. We have relationships with individuals who live in the country of origin, they visit and inspect the tea plantations. This provides work for a local person as well as saving the planet. With the use of satellite phones, a skype call can be made from anywhere.
We support organisations like the Ethical Tea Partnership who invest in environmental projects around tea plantations. We do this with our purchasing and our donations.
Minimal processing, minimum packaging
In our tin caddy packaging, we use cellophane, not plastic, this is
compostable at home. We encourage people to reuse the tins.
The shipping materials we use are where possible compostable cardboard and paper. We have changed to compostable tape this year on all our packages. The last stumbling block is the address labels themselves. We have reduced the plastic in these but it remains an issue to be resolved.
We have just begun to roll out our new cardboard tubes. Not only are these compostable they are also FSA certified and made from mostly recycled material. These also have cellophane inside making this packaging our most eco-friendly yet.
Our cleaning supplies are sourced with care. Bamboo cloth’s, bars of soap with natural ingredients. Where possible we use products like white vinegar rather than man-made detergents.
So what is left to do?
Our biggest challenge is the Stand-up pouches that our teas are often supplied in. These are a mix of foil and plastic and can not be recycled. Our aim is to phase these out at some point in 2020. We feel like we are very close to a solution. Our labels, both on the product and on the shipping are made with plastic elements. we have reduced the amount of plastic used but not eliminated it.
Transporting our teas. Much of this is done by ship but some is flown, we are constantly managing and reviewing our supply chain to see where improvements can be made.
We know we can still do better and we are always open to suggestions. We will continue to support organisations who are helping. We are not striving for perfection as we are not sure it exists, if each month we can make an improvement, a contribution then we are moving forward. We encourage you all to do the same. Look for minimal or compostable packaging (both is best) for instance, Switch to bars of soap or loose leaf tea. Use a reusable cup, straw, bag. Drive less if possible, turn the thermostat down a click if you can, buy less new clothes. If you see an individual or organisation doing something to support the environment take the time to congratulate them before you say “but what about”. Support the businesses and organisations who are trying, who hold the values you believe in.
Last, of all If 7.6 billion people all do something, just imagine the tidal wave of change!