AliPants said

How Green Are You With Your Tea?

Hey guys!
I was just reading up on some tea-related things. I came across a site where it told me to compost my tea leaves… In my houseplants. I understand composting in general, obviously, but I don’t do it because I don’t have the facilities (living in an apartment in the city). But do I actually have the facilities without even realizing it?
Does anyone already do this?
Will my tea leaves become moldy and nasty, or will they make my house plants more beautiful than they already are? Any advice?

23 Replies
DaisyChubb said

Interesting topic, I’m quite excited to see some responses!

I would worry about fruit flies personally, even with an unflavoured tea. Thoughts?

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I’m living in a residence hall at college, and I compost all my food waste from my room, as well as tea leaves. I don’t put the compost in my plants, though—I only have four little guys, and so I just fling my Frisbee-full of food waste into the woods behind my tower. I feel like if you put your other organic materials along with tea leaves into an indoor composting container (these do exist), you would definitely be able to use your compost on your plants. Just tea alone might create a compost that’s too acidic for most plants. (Don’t quote me on this; I’m just guessing, because I know that tea has tannins in it, therefore = acidic.)

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I guess if you have Azaleas, Rhodos, Hosta, Cotoneaster, Dwarf Holly, Catnip, Camellias(hehe!), Yomatoes, Dogwood, Hibiscus, or Witchhazel… then yes they will do well in acidic soil (after it’s absorbed the compost)
Also, certain types of roses but I’m not sure how to determine which ones.
—We have very acidic soil in our yard so know the options well! ha.

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I like the idea. I hate throwing away large containers of tea that’s gone stale, this would be a good solution. But I don’t know that I would do the composting indoors unless you had the special bin for it, designed to be air-tight. The fruit fly problem.
There are lots of options per google, from less-expensive ceramic crocks with charcoal filters http://www.gaiam.com/product/kitchen-compost-crock.do to NatureMill, appears to be designed to fit in with kitchen decor like a compactor: http://www.naturemill.com/

I might actually give one of the crocks a try myself, having looked at them.

I highly recommend those crocks! My mom uses one for her composting; we dump our tea bags AND tea leaves in the crock for composting. She uses it nearly every day and the handy lid masks any potential odor, which is a nice feature.

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I dig holes in the backyard to bury some vegetable trash including tea leaves. I recycle some dried used tea leaves to make pillows and fragrance pouches.
I once wrote a blog about using unwanted tea leaves: http://gingkobay.blogspot.com/2010/06/uses-of-unwanted-teas.html
There a couple of other people also gave ideas about using tea leaves. And there is a link to Alex Zorach’s blog about composting tea leaves.

In addition, I never use bottled water. Instead I use a counter top water filter sometimes. And sometimes I just use tap water, as our tap water is better than many bottled spring water products. But I know it would be hard for people in some regions to use even filtered water, when the water quality is bad.

I rarely use an electric kettle to re-heat water. Instead, I keep hot water in thermos most of the time. High quality MEC thermos (every Canadian know it!) conserve heat and energy perfectly.

So I consider myself a pretty green tea drinker :-D

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AJ said

When I had a bonsai, I used to line her soil with my spent tea leaves. But I drink a lot of tea, so most of them just went right out the window, which overlooks a larger garden.

Sadly, that garden’s recently been converted into a sort of rock patio.

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I live in Canada, the land of green bins and recycling. I always compost my tea leaves. Eventually I want to start using them in my garden, but first I have to keep interest in a garden for a full summer. >.>. When we were visiting my parents in the States, I remember the shock of putting everything in the trash…I’ve been up here too long.

I’ve also heard of using (dry) spent leaves to vacuum. Apparently you sprinkle the leaves over the carpet, let sit for a little bit, and then vacuum them up, and it freshens the carpet. shrugs Haven’t tried this (no carpets in our house) but who knows?

Uniquity said

I rarely remember that Green Bins are a Canadian thing…I live in an apartment in a city, but there is a big bad green bin downstairs and I keep a smaller bucket inside which I fill with my compost and empty every couple days. My used tea goes in there along with whatever fruit or vegetable waste I accumulate, and (honestly) makes it smell better! I have seen some very cool freeaer compost bins, but I barely have enough room for food in there, let alone food waste.

I remember my first month here, I went to Tim’s with the mother-in-law and threw everything in the garbage. She was horrified XD. She then set out to make sure I learned about recycling and composting. Now it’s always a shock whenever I’m in the States.

Jessie said

That’s great, Uniquity. I live in a condo building and they don’t have any sort of green bin system! I was shocked when I moved in here. I really need to figure out an alternative.

Uniquity said

In NS at least, every residence has to be provided with a green bin. Or so I understand – Occasionally our neighbouring buildings steal our green bin so we use theirs until it returns. There is always one close, though.

Jessie said

Wow. I don’t think it’s mandatory in Ontario. I just looked it up and in Toronto apparently the program “is now being rolled out to apartments, condos and co-op buildings receiving City collection.” Funny, you’d think they’d want to prioritize the places with the most concentrated population!

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I look somthing spiriitual and nurting when it comes to tea. Every weekend a journeyawaits for the bet herb I’m willing to buy and brew the best cup of my life. Any one agree….?

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seule771 said

I am not touching this issue since I am an apartment dweller. Good luck!

I’m just curious, why comment if you’re not going to add to the discussion?

seule771 said

I am sure at times folks rib at my expense. But I am alone since I am accused of hallucinating at times. Something happens and it is very real to you but others sees/hears nothing.

Anyhow, apartment is too small for composting (not compositional grammar) too small for this as well; group reading etc.

O.k. if I have rambled incoherently how about I do not have greenest in me; none of my digits are green. I attest there is cruelty out here in tea-land’s steepster’s style and perceived only by me…this illustrate the hallucination I am accused of.

Play nice.

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Apartment dwellers can compost too. I’ve seen online some people use a box with earth worms to compost. Earth worms can eat fibers and vegetable trash very fast and they are very clean. But I can understand many people can’t accept this idea. Ultimately the government should make composting project mandatory and offer service to all the people, including apartments, even with a charge.

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