Every year, on April 22nd (that’s today, for those who don’t have a calendar nearby), the world takes a moment to pay a little extra attention to the planet we inhabit.

Earth Day was inspired by an event in 1969, where sparks from a traveling train fell into Ohio’s Cayahoga River.  While this would usually be a rather benign occurrence, it seems the water was so chock-full of oil and chemicals that the whole river went up in flames.

After that startling look at how terrible the effects of pollution can be, folks started paying more attention to the many ways in which the environment was being harmed and, therefore, how this could be prevented.  Thus, Earth Day was inaugurated.

So for today, this 40th anniversary of Earth Day, I’ve compiled a short list of waystea lovers for earth day in which we tea lovers can help keep our Earth happy and healthy.

Dispose of disposables

Instead of drinking your tea out of a disposable cup while you are at the office or on the go, invest in a sturdy teacup, thermos or mug.  Even if the disposable cups are biodegradable, the amount of packaging you’ll eliminate on a monthly basis will help reduce waste in landfills.

Buy in bulk

Once you’ve found a tea that suits your fancy, buy it in bulk.  By buying it in larger quantities instead of the smaller packaging, you’ll be reducing the amount of packaging you go through.  Remember, even if the material it is packaged in is recyclable (like our jars are), it still takes a considerable amount of energy to turn it back into something of use!

Use filtered water

Instead of using bottled water or spring water from your office’s water cooler, invest in a water filter that you can use with tap water.   The amount of packaging you’ll reduce from bottles and the amount of gas and energy you’ll shave off from shipping those water jugs to your office each month will be astonishing!

No early retirement

Just because your tea leaves have released all the flavor they possibly could into your cup doesn’t mean their work is done.  Used tea leaves can serve a number of different purposes, from composting your garden to washing your floors.  So don’t just toss ’em, use ’em!