Can you imagine 790 Empire State Buildings full of used teabags?
That is the approximate amount of space that the tea bags consumed in the USA in 2012 - 79 billion tea bags - would fill. That was several years ago, and since then, tea has only become more popular.
It may seem shocking, but the sad truth is that our growing preference for healthier foods and beverages doesn't always mean our choices are environmentally responsible.
Cusa Tea is dedicated to making our products a good option for you and the Earth. In April 2019, we joined the Climate Collaborative and pledged commitments in four areas: food waste, forests, packaging and transportation.
Below is some information about how we're making an impact in those areas. You can also read more in our blog post about our decision to commit.
REDUCING FOOD WASTE
Cusa Tea helps combat food waste because we put all of our tea leaves back into organic farm soil. We actually brew the tea for you - and then strain it and compost the solid leftovers (tea leaves, fruit and spices). To read more about how we make our tea, visit our Why Cusa page or check out this video.
This means that every cup of Cusa Tea you consume is one less tea bag or portion of used tea leaves that ends up in a landfill.
PROTECTING OUR FORESTS
Our retail boxes are made with 100% recycled paper and can be recycled themselves. We believe in sustainable sourcing and know that our forests are already disappearing much faster than we can replace them.
Using previously used paper is one small but powerful way we can do our part to avoid making the problem worse.
Besides our retail boxes, other components of our packaging are sustainable. All of our shipping boxes are made of recyclable corrugated cardboard, meaning you can either reuse them or put them in the recycling bin.
When it comes to shipping filling materials - the fluffy stuff that keeps breakable things (like Cusa Tea glass mugs) from breaking in transit - we have never actually bought any. We don't intent to, either. Of course, your items will still make it to you in one piece. We know that there's plenty of filling materials to go around, so we ask our network of family and friends to collect and donate theirs. When they get air pillows or bubble wrap in packages from Amazon or are finished with their old newspapers, they give them to use to re-purpose.
The only exception: Styrofoam. We don't accept it, or use it.
REDUCING TRANSPORTATION ENERGY CONSUMPTION
Our product is extremely small and lightweight. An entire box of Cusa Tea weighs 12-16 grams. We're able to fit over 43,000 servings of tea on a single pallet (or much more when it comes to our bulk tea). In other words, we sell a lot of tea, but we don't have to handle that many pallets.
By way of comparison, when you buy a ready-to-drink bottled beverage that is 16.9 ounces, it was probably shipped on a pallet of 72 cases, holding just 1,728 bottles.