Celebrating Earth Day With Tea

earthday

Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd. What are you all doing to show respect for the earth? Kat and I try to do various things on a daily basis to show our love for mother earth. We actually do a few tea-related things, which got me thinking that it’s time to share our tips with everyone! Here’s what you can do to combine staying green with your love for tea:

Composting- You can compost your loose tea or tea bags. Add your leaves or bags right to your compost bin. if you have paper tea bags or tags with staples, you need to remove those staples first. The paper tags are even fine to throw into the mix. You should let the leaves decompose a little bit before you add any of the compost to your garden- tea could change the acidity in your soil. Kat makes sure not to waste a drop of brewed tea, and uses it for her plants.  She dilutes leftover tea (doesn’t happen very often!) and waters her houseplants. If you have acid-loving plants, you can even sprinkle those leaves right over the base of the plants. You’ll want to mix the leaves with a bit of the dirt to get them closer to the roots.

Cleaning with tea- go green with your cleaning supplies. Cleaning with tea is safe and easy! It is all natural and tea is actually quite a good cleanser. You can clean windows, floors, even use as a room deodorizer. Check out my previous post on the subject. I think you’ll find it economical and easy.

Planting herbs- A great way to avoid buying herbal tea and wasting lots of packaging is to grown your own herbs and make your own tea! I posted about great herbs for tea awhile back and you can find the post here. It’s just so lovely to walk into your own herb garden, pick your herbs and brew up a fresh pot of tea. Kat doesn’t have a large backyard, and she grows her herbs in small planters. It still works perfectly! She even has a friend that has a windowsill herb garden. I also recently came across a wonderful idea on pinterest- Dearies, you can make your own tea herb garden seed kit! This would make a lovely gift. You can include seeds for herbs such as chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, mint, and basil. The combinations are really up to you! You can include herb markers, even a little gardening shovel. Put it all in a pretty box, and it’s ready for gift giving.

Dear readers, I know you are all very good and staying green. Do you have any tea-themed tips we can use for Earth Day? Please let us know. We can never do enough to help our earth.

DIY All-Natural Tea-Dyed Easter Eggs

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I know we’ve spoken about dyeing with tea before. But have you thought about dyeing your Easter eggs with tea? It’s actually possible! It’s a natural way to dye your eggs.

This is a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy! You can sip teas, have festive Easter treats, and dye those eggs. The colors may not be quite as neon bright as those store-bought dyes, but they’re natural and beautiful all on their own. And isn’t it fun to incorporate tea into your Easter Egg project? There are endless teas you can use, as long as you use one that has a lovely color you’d like to use.

First, A general recipe for tea-dyeing your eggs:

-hard boiled eggs (at room temperature- use as many as you like!)

– bowls of very strongly concentrated cooled teas (1-3 cups of tea, enough to cover a few eggs). Use 3-4 teabags and steep until the tea is quite dark.

-1 tablespoon of vinegar per bowl of steeped tea

To get even more festive, take crayons and make fun designs on the eggs before dyeing them. The tea won’t stick to the crayon, so your designs will pop and the tea will stain the background!

You can wrap rubber bands around the eggs in any formation you like, and then dye the eggs. Just like tie-dyeing, the bands will block the color and make an interesting pattern while the tea stains the exposed egg shell.

You’ll need to leave the eggs in for long enough to get the color you like. We left ours overnight to ensure they had a nice dark color. Be sure to pop the bowls of eggs in the refrigerator if you’ll be soaking them for this long.

Here are a few colorful teas you can use for your dyes:

Turmeric- you can use a teabag, a tablespoon of dried turmeric, or the grate the natural stuff (you may want to wear gloves if you are a bit messy- that stuff will stain your fingers for a while!). Your eggs will have a nice vivid yellow color from the turmeric.

Berry teas- teas with strong red colors like red berries will actually turn your eggs a vibrant blue!

Matcha- place 2-3 tsps of culinary grade matcha in a jar with 2 cups of water, put the lid on and shake away until it’s combined. The eggs will turn out a pale green-remember that the eggs won’t end up a dark as the tea’s color.

Green tea- this will produce a light yellow egg. It’s subtle but lovely for Easter.

Black tea- it may seem a bit simple, but black tea gives a lovely rustic brown shade to the eggs. This also makes a lovely backdrop for decorating with markers or glitter.

Hibiscus tea- Steeping up a strong bowl of hibiscus actually looks quite dark but it’ll give your eggs a grey/blue color. Sounds strange but it’s quite beautiful! In our picture above Kat used a floral tea with lots of hibiscus and the egg turned out very dark blue!

If you aren’t happy with the colors, you can always add some juices to your tea as well. Beet juice or Cherry juice will give you a lovely pink, for example.

When removing your eggs from the dye, be careful. The dye can still come off so use a spoon or tongs to carefully remove. Kat likes to use the egg carton to rest the eggs in, that way there is less possibility of the dye rubbing off onto a plate or a paper towel To create a marbled effect, gently pat the dyed eggs with a damp sponge. You can rub a little bit of vegetable oil onto your eggs if you’d like to give them a shiny finish.

Enjoy yourself and get creative! Do you have a tea that has an interesting color? Try dyeing your eggs and see what you get! If you are tea-dying your own eggs, I’d love to see them! Tweet them and tag me @thelovelyteacup!