earth hourTomorrow at 8:30 pm (whatever your local time is) is Earth Hour, so I wanted to share some eco-friendly tips to use your tea (instead of buying other products, which would generate more waste) to help celebrate.

Tenderize tough meat

Even the toughest cuts of meat will melt in your mouth after you marinate them in regular black tea. Here’s one simple recipe: Place 4 tablespoons black tea leaves in a pot of warm (not boiling) water and steep for 5 minutes. Strain to remove the leaves and stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar until it dissolves. Use as a marinade or even as a braising liquid!

Make minty mouthwash

Before your next date, rinse your mouth with a cup of hot mint tea mixed with a pinch or two of salt. Better yet, since peppermint is an antiseptic and contains menthol, it can alleviate pain from toothaches, etc., on contact with skin surfaces.

Clean wood floors and furniture

Freshly brewed green tea is great for cleaning wood furniture and floors. Just boil a quart of water, then throw in a few teaspoons of loose tea, and let it cool. Dip a soft cloth in the tea, wring out the excess, and use it to wipe away dirt and grime. Buff dry with a soft, clean cloth.

Stop foot odor

Put an end to smelly feet by giving them a daily tea bath. Just soak your footsies in white tea for 20 minutes a day and say “so long” to those offensive odors.

Enrich your compost pile

To speed up the decomposition process and enhance your compost, pour a few cups of strongly brewed tea into the heap. The liquid tea will hasten decomposition and draw acid-producing bacteria, creating desirable acid-rich compost.   You can also toss your used tea leaves in the compost – your plants will love them!