\nHere at Loose Leaf Tea Market, part of our mission is to help humans to reconnect with the Earth through the healing power of plants. As part of our commitment to keep the planet clean and its inhabitants healthy, we wrote this post to inspire our readers with new ways to be Earth-friendly, and reduce their ecological footprints.\n \nAs a customer of Loose Leaf Tea Market, you do a lot to reduce waste. Buying organic loose-leaf tea helps to cut down on one of the world’s biggest sources of trash: commercial tea bags. As it turns out, many billions of commercial tea bags are discarded every year, the vast majority of which are not entirely biodegradable. They pollute our oceans, kill wildlife, and contribute heavily to deforestation. The rotting organic waste trapped inside discarded teabags are unable to fully decompose, and instead remain in landfills where they emit massive amounts of highly toxic greenhouse gasses. This is all in addition to the billions of pounds of pesticides and other poisons that are used to grow commercial teas and in the manufacturing of most tea bags. So, we thank you for being a part of the solution for a healthy, sustainable world. Here are more ideas for how you can be a superhero for the planet!\n \nFor Tea\n \nSave a bag by bringing your own container! Have a favorite jar or canister to store your tea? Bring in your clean container, and we’ll be happy to fill it directly! And if you don’t have one, you can pick up a nifty tea tin or mason jar in-store!\n \nUse washable diffusers to steep your tea! In case you haven’t been in lately, we have tons of awesome and decorative tea-steeping accessories that not only eliminate paper waste, but steep amazing tea and last (almost) forever.\n \nGrocery Bags\n \nHere’s a big one: get a few roomy grocery bags, and be free of wasted bags forever! If you have accumulated free tote bags, and you never knew what to do with them, this is a great way to use them. This saves forests from being cut down, turtles (and pretty much all other kinds of wildlife) from being strangled by plastic, and keeps your house free of piling trash in the form of grocery bags. And as an added bonus, some stores give you cash back for using your own bag. Talk about a win-win!\n \nReusable Produce Bags\n \nPlastic produce bags are a nightmare. These bags become soggy and disgusting by the time you’ve brought your veggies home. They cause produce to wilt, they rip easily, and they have no use after the initial purchase. But the real tragedy is that produce bags are used in extremely high quantities. They go on to fill up the oceans, harm wildlife, and even kill millions of animals, many of which are endangered. There’s a simple solution: bring nut milk bags, or a lightweight reusable produce bag, and be free of all of these problems forever. As an added bonus, you can store your produce in these breathable bags in your fridge directly. You can buy them online through many sites, including Amazon, Target, and The Container Store, and you can even buy organic cotton bags (with tare weight on the label) here.\n \n\n \nBottles\n \nBottled beverages- including water, juices, teas, and sodas- are perhaps the most avoidable sources of waste- and they make a lot of it. Over 20 billion plastic bottles alone go unrecycled each year. And unlike plastic bags, which cannot be readily recycled, recycling bins and facilities that process plastic bottles are ubiquitous, so this number can feasibly be brought down to zero. Here are a few steps you can take.\n \nAlways recycle bottles and cans. It’s not always possible to make your own beverages, but you can do so much good by committing to recycling your drink containers.\n \nGet a good water filter for your home or office. This way, you not only get far cleaner water than what you buy in a bottle (many bottled waters are no purer than what flows out of your faucet), but you save yourself from consuming a lot of hormone-disrupting toxins that bleed out of plastic. Since bottled water has been sitting in plastic for a very long time before you drink it, you are almost guaranteed to get a hefty dose of toxins with each gulp. No good! Save yourself, the oceans, and the landfills at once with one simple act. (As a bonus, try getting your own water from a local spring!)\n \nLoose Leaf Tea Market has a way cooler option than bottled teas. While bottled teas are convenient, they are also old, flavorless, and often laced with large amounts of sugar. Save yourself from bad tea (and landfills from more bottles) with a beautiful tea tumbler that has an infuser built right into it! This awesome accessory not only looks cool and is made of sturdy glass, but it is suitable for even the laziest of humans, as it requires no effort on your part for steeping! As an added bonus, it’s perfect for the summer, as it is insulated and can keep iced teas cold.\n \nFresh juice is the only kind of juice worth drinking on a regular basis. Bottled juice, even when raw, does not have the same nutrition or enlivening qualities. If you don’t have time to make your own, bring a container to your favorite juice bar!\n \nThere’s nothing redeeming about soda. Diet sodas are even worse. This point is self-explanatory. If you’re trying to kick a soda habit, try some of our naturally sweet blends, like Joyful Garden or Cranberry Apple Tart. You’ll get less sugar and a whole lot of nourishing antioxidants without the soda can!\n \nBring your own containers when you are buying beverages to go. This helps to keep paper and plastic out of landfills, as soiled paper cannot be recycled!\n \nIf you must buy bottled beverages, choose glass. Plastic is not biodegradable, while glass eventually breaks down into sand. \n \nSee also: Protect Your Family's Health Naturally with Astragalus\n \n\n \nAdopt a Plant-Based Diet\n \nYou can do your body, the animals, and the Earth a lot of good by filling up on vegetables and reducing your meat and dairy consumption. By doing so, you will dramatically cut down on the amount of water that is required to produce your food- in fact, a vegan can leave his or her shower on 24\/7 and still use less water than the average person! By reducing your dependence on animal products, you also free up a lot of the land that is used exclusively to grow food for livestock, and you help to end deforestation that is driven by an unsustainable demand for meat. In addition, you will dramatically help to limit the amount of toxic pesticides that are sprayed every year, keeping our air and water clean.\n \nIf you have more tips to share…\n \nWe love to hear from you! What steps do you take to limit your ecological footprint? Post in the comments below this article, or share your thoughts in our Loose Leaf Lifestyle page on Facebook!