Sustainability means something slightly different to each of us. Daily we can all take actions to be sustainable and for each of us we may put our focus on different methods. The important thing is that we each do something to live sustainably. Sometimes it can be as simple as making a decision to make a purchase from a company that is also making steps to lessen their footprint on the earth, to be more sustainable.
Recently when I attended SoFabCon I came back to my room one evening to be surprised with herbal tea from Bigelow Tea. There were several assortment packages so I sent some home with my sister who had made the journey with me to help me with my children. She quickly reminded me just how much she enjoys herbal tea. I sent home some of the tea with her to enjoy. As a thank-you for helping me with the kids I have been wanting to get her something special. The more I learned about Bigelow Tea, the more I knew it would be the perfect way to say thank-you!
These are the perfect sweet treat to enjoy with herbal tea, my favorite double chocolate almond biscotti!
Benefits of Herbal Teas
There are so many health benefits to drinking herbal teas (although scientific research does not support this). Although traditional teas are derived from the camellia sinensis plant, herbal teas are produced from a variety of botanicals. Some herbal teas are specially blended together for specific purposes, others are often found in a singular form. Herbal teas can be made the same way traditional teas are made, they can be brewed and served cold or hot.
Just as is the case with any supplement, some herbs may contain allergens, so consult your doctor before using it for health purposes.
Here are a few of my favorite herbal tea varieties:
While many times you will find the flowers of the chamomile plant combined with other herbs, you will often find a chamomile tea served alone. Some of the benefits of chamomile tea, include the reduction of inflammation and spasms a preventative to gas and infection, and is known for its ability to soothe and calm the nerves and as an aid to promote restful sleep.
Who doesn’t enjoy the scent and taste of fresh peppermint? Peppermint and other mint varities It is not only refreshing but also is very soothing for an upset stomach and aids in digestion.
If you have a sore throat or a cough, orange tea with a little honey can be very soothing.
Due to it being a part of the citrus family, lemon has long been known for lifting the spirits. It is believed to improve concentration and even help prevent nightmares.
Bigelow’s Herbal Tea SustainabiliTea Program
- Zero Waste to Landfill – Sustainability has always been very important to the Bigelow family and they set a goal of being a “Zero Waste to Landfill” company. To meet their strict standards, companies must divert 90% of their waste from the landfill, meaning only 10 of the company’s waste can be trashed. The Bigelow family not only met those standards in three of their facilities but also surpassed them with the support of their teams and by their aggressive recycling, raw material reduction, reuse, and composting methods. That is hard to do just as a family but as a large corporation, that is amazing!
- Energy Conservation – In an effort to reduce their impact, they installed 900 solar panels at their Connecticut headquarters, in an effort to protect the earth by supporting renewable energy and reduce their emissions. This one step produces about 200,000 kWh; that is enough energy to power 16 homes for an entire year. This translates to a reduction in pollution to roughly the equivalent of 200,000 car miles removed from the highways each year. In addition with a little planning, by efficiently shipping their loads and locating their facilities closer to their customers, they have reduced shipping miles by 50,000 miles a year since 2008.
- Land Preservation – Bigelow Tea purchased the Charleston Tea Plantation in May of 2003 to save the 127 acres from future real estate development. The plantation is America’s own tea garden, having over 220,000 visitors tour the plantation since 2006. The Bigelow family also has a strong commitment to support New Hampshire’s land conservation program with a firm commitment to hold and maintain 220 acres they own in its current undeveloped condition by actively supporting New Hampshire’s Statewide Program of Action to Conserve our Environment (SPACE).
- Ethical Tea Partnership – As part of the Ethical Tea Partnership, they work with tea growers to establish methods for responsible conservation of the world’s tea fields and improve the lives of the beautiful people who work them. Bigelow has been working with ethical tea gardens in Sri Lanka, India and China, who understand and have been following sustainable farming practices for over 30 years.
Most companies are focused on their bottom line rather than the impact of their company on the environment. Anytime I can support a company that really focuses on such strong sustainable initiatives I am very excited. To learn more about Bigelow Tea, be sure to stop by and visit their blog.
After falling in love with Bigelow’s initiatives, I stopped in to Walmart to put together a tea gift package for my sister. After selecting a basket to fill, Addie and I headed to the tea aisle. Bigelow offers great varieties and I couldn’t decide what variety to purchase so I picked up several packages of Bigelow Herbal Teas. Next we decided to add in a recycled travel mug as she heads to work before most get up in the morning and it would allow her to take her tea with her on the go. I love that the mug is not only made from recycled materials but also fully recyclable as well.
And what could be more sustainable than picking out a couple of herb plants to get her started herself. We went with spearmint and peppermint, two tea favorites and an organic herb starter kit from Seeds of Change that she can start in her kitchen window.
While we were in the garden center we also decided to pick up two natural air fresheners for our living room. Houseplants are a great way to sustainably give you cleaner indoor air to breathe. Addie loved that I let her pick them out. Although I want to add a few larger plants to our living room, for now the two plants we picked up will be perfect on the media chest until we are ready to move larger ones in. You can see my entire shopping trip in my #AmericaTeas Google + album.