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5 Ways to Repurpose Tea

self-care, home-care, friend-care, and earth-care

Tea time doesn’t need to end with your last sip! Check out our list of five - that’s right, FIVE - clever tricks to repurpose every bit of your tea experience. You’ll see self-care, home-care, friend-care, and earth-care. It’s definitely not an exhaustive list, so tag @bighearttea in your creations on Instagram, and we’ll keep this party going.

1. ALL NATURAL GLASS CLEANER

 

The tannins in black tea are a natural shining agent, so with just some used tea bags and water you can make your mirrors and windows sparkle. Feel free to toss that old, toxic glass cleaner you’ve been using. This recipe is a perfect use for the lot of tea bags after having a sip with a friend or two.

WHAT YOU NEED:
3-4 already steeped (used) black and green tea bags*
1-2 cups water (just off the boil)
Glass carafe or other vessel for steeping tea
Funnel
Spray bottle
Microfiber or paper towels for wiping

*Must be a tea (not tisane) containing tannins in order to make your glass sparkle!

HOW TO:
1. Bring water to a boil.
2. Add water to your tea bags and steep in a glass carafe for 5-10 minutes or until color is deep amber - just like it would be when you drink it. This doesn’t need to be very precise, we are just looking for some good concentration.
3. Remove teabags and let cool.
4. Using a plastic funnel, transfer tea from your carafe to your spray bottle.
Use spray in place of other glass/window cleaner and wipe off with microfiber cloth or paper towel. Keeps in your refrigerator for up to a week.

TIP: Your solution will be most effective if you make it from tea bags that are not totally dried out.

 

2. UP-CYCLED GIFT BOX WITH TAG


What says you care more than considerate, sustainable gift wrap? These colorful and happy tea boxes are the perfect way to minimize waste while maximizing your cuteness factor. With a little (preferable re-used) tissue paper or newsprint, you’re all set to wrap a small gift and can skip the trip to the store. Add a personal message on the gift tag for an extra personal touch.

WHAT YOU NEED:
1 empty tea box
Scissors
Tissue paper
Pen

HOW TO:
1. Fully open your empty tea package so that you can see the extended tab.
2. Cut off extended top flap so the box’s walls are the same height all the way around.
3. The piece you removed will become the gift tag. I trimmed off a bit of the tag to make it a rectangle, but this can be cut into any shape to add some flair to your gift wrap.
4. Place your gift inside the box and surround with tissue paper.
5. Don’t forget to write a message to the recipient on the gift tag before tucking it into the box.

 

3. TEA BAG EYE TREATMENT


Steeped tea bags left to cool in the fridge are the perfect addition to your self-care routine. Use the cold tea bags on your eyes in place of cucumbers for a cooling effect and to reduce inflammation.

WHAT YOU NEED:
2 steeped (used) tea bags
Fridge (for cooling)

HOW TO:
1. After making tea, set tea bags aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Once cooled, squeeze out any excess liquid.
3. Place in the refrigerator until properly chilled but not frozen (an hour or two).
4. Rest whole tea bags on eyes for 10-20 minutes. Tea bags can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days for this use.

 

4. BIODEGRADABLE SEED STARTER


Big Heart Tea’s packaging is recyclable and biodegradable. That makes your empty tea box the perfect seed starter! Once your seeds have sprouted, you can plant the whole box right in the soil for a seamless transition.

WHAT YOU NEED:
1 empty tea box
Scissors
Soil
Seeds of your choice

HOW TO:
1. With scissors, trim off top tabs so that the box’s walls are the same height all the way around. The precise height is up to you. If you have a shallow outdoor garden, trim off more than shown in the photos.
2. Add soil to 1 inch below the edge of your box.
3. Add seeds of your choice. (Make sure to read up on how closely together you should plant your seeds. This info can often be found on the back of seed packets and will vary from plant to plant). 
4. Push seeds into soil and top off with enough soil to bury.
5. Water and place in the sun.
6.  Check in and see your seeds sprout.

5. WOVEN BOOKMARK


Is there anything better than tea and a good book? I wanted to foster those vibes and make a bookmark out of Big Heart Tea’s beautiful packaging. Bold colors make a super satisfying pattern and the craft is a fun project for adults and children alike. With this tea bookmark, you can take your ‘curled up and cozy’ feelings along with you anywhere.

WHAT YOU NEED:
1-3 empty tea boxes
Scissors
1 tea tag (optional)
Masking or painters tape (optional)

HOW TO:
1. Start by separating your tea packaging at all seams so that it lays flat. Do the same on the second tea box.
2. Next, trim off all parts of the box except for two panels. 
3. Repeat on all other boxes.
4. Choose a box color to be your bookmark base. Fold the panels along the natural fold.
5. Starting at the folded side, cut at least four slits in the base leaving at least 1/4 inch border at the end.
6. Take your second color and cut short ways into small strips (about 1/2 inch pieces). 
7. In an alternating pattern and starting at the top, weave the second color through the first. About 5-7 strips of the second color will fit (depending on your exact measurements). 
8. Line the back of the bookmark with tape to secure the weaving. If you’d like to add a tea tag as an embellishment, lay the string on the bookmark before adding the tape so that the tape secures it.
9. Trim tape around edge to be flush.
10. Start reading!

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