Sustainability in the Tea Industry

Happy Earth Day! Here at Hackberry, we appreciate and care for our planet every day. To share our love for the Earth with our customers, we would like to discuss the environmental impact of the tea industry and the things we do to make our love for tea as sustainable as possible. 

Tea is the third most consumed beverage on Earth, following only water and coffee. Because of its popularity and the commercialization of the tea industry, a handful of unsustainable tendencies and practices have arisen. These include unnecessary waste, depletion of natural resources, and unethical work practices. Some companies have become careless with their production of tea, giving way to these issues. Here at Hackberry, we make an effort to avoid falling down that rabbit hole. Some of what our efforts entail include sticking to the basics when it comes to packaging, focusing on traceability, and using natural ingredients.

Let’s start with an obvious downside to almost all businesses, waste. Packaging and shipping do produce a considerable amount of waste no matter which industry they fall within. To combat unnecessary waste, Hackberry Tea likes to stick to the basics. All of our teas are loose-leaf, eliminating single-use teabags and packaging. This alone is a big step towards sustainability. Instead of small tea bags that can, depending on the manufacturer, create microplastics, we sell all of our tea in biodegradable rice paper bags. When shipping orders, we use the smallest size package that an order fits in to minimize additional waste and further reduce our carbon footprint. 

When it comes to brewing your loose-leaf tea, you can choose a reusable infuser or tea filter bags. Reusable infusers are always a safe choice because you can use them time and time again without creating waste. We do understand though that there is convenience in single-use bags. Because of this, we offer T-Sac Tea Filter Bags at our shop as well. The T-Sac bags are biodegradable and packaged in recyclable cardboard, which makes them completely plastic free. Additionally, there are many ways you can reuse these plastic-free teabags and give them a second life. The first, and easiest, is to re-steep your tea. Many of our teas can be steeped twice while still producing rich flavor. Second, you can use these teabags in compost since they won’t produce microplastics. Lastly, if you love tea and love skincare we have a fun trick for you! After steeping a black, green, or white tea, let the teabags cool and place them gently under your eyes for about five minutes. The caffeine from the tea will soothe tired under eyes and leave your skin feeling refreshed.

Next, let’s talk about traceability. When tea is traceable to its origin, it is easier to avoid unethical work practices. All of our tea listings on our website include information about where that tea was originally grown. Additionally, all of the vendors that we source from are trusted companies that partake in their own traceability and sustainability efforts.

Lastly, let’s talk about natural ingredients. Drinking tea with natural ingredients is good for the Earth and good for your body. All of the teas we offer are free from artificial dyes and artificial flavors. Instead, our teas are flavored with natural ingredients like flower petals, fruit, and oils. Even our bright-colored fruit teas like Calm Mango Beach and Strawberry Fields are no exception to this claim. The bright blue hue of Calm Mango Beach is made from butterfly pea flowers and the vibrant red of Strawberry Fields is from dried strawberry and apple pieces. We love ingredients that we feel good about, and Mother Nature does too!

So, join us in celebrating Earth Day every day by double-checking the sustainability efforts behind the goods you consume. When it comes to tea, you can always feel good about what’s in your cup if it comes from Hackberry!


Written by Kourtney Camm

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