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If you are a tea lover, you have probably wondered if there were any creative uses for your used tea bags. I know I have! I absolutely adore tea. My pantry is stocked with containers of both loose leaf and bagged varieties. Every morning, I find myself sipping an energizing green tea and evenings often include something soothing and relaxing like a caffeine-free, herbal tea.
As a result of my tea passion, I end up with a lot of used tea bags over the course of the week. What do you do with used tea bags rather than throwing them away? Below are a few creative ways to put your used tea bags to work!
Creative Uses for Your Used Tea Bags
Finding uses for used tea bags is just one of many ways we can try to reduce our garbage output. I encourage everyone to take just a few small steps to help reduce our impact on the world around us.
Reduce under eye circles:
The plant-based compounds in tea help reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. After steeping your tea, place the used tea bags in the refrigerator to chill. Add the cold bags to your eyelids for 10 to 15 minutes. Green tea is especially effective at reducing under eye circles.
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Feed your plants:
Tea leaves are loaded with nitrogen and make wonderful compost that adds nutrients to your garden plants. If you don’t have access to a compost bin, steep your used tea bag in water until it begins to change color. Then, use this to water your house plants or garden. You can also plant a teabag garden the next time you want to sprout seeds. Used tea bags are a great source of nutrients when growing plants from seed.
More Gardening Tips:
- Fall Vegetable Gardening: 5 Things To Plant Now and Preparing Your Garden for Fall
- Cheap and Natural Organic Gardening Solutions for Frugal Gardening!
- Growing Your Own Garlic Starts in the Fall!
Absorb fridge odors:
Store used, damp tea bags in an open mason jar in the refrigerator to stop foul odor. As the bags dry overnight, they will help to absorb odor, leaving it smelling fresh again.
Start your pedicure off right by steeping a few spent tea bags in a basin filled with warm water and soaking your feet for 15 minutes. The tannic acid found in tea helps kill odor causing bacteria and releases antioxidants leaving you with smooth and soft feet.
Tenderize your meat:
Steep a couple of tea bags in warm water until the water turns dark. Use this as an alternative to water for a homemade marinade that adds tender texture to your meat.
Make a soothing mouthwash:
Canker sores can create quite a bit of mouth pain but the anti-inflammatory nature of tea can provide some relief. Steep your tea in a cup of warm water and add a few peppermint leaves. Rinse and spit for fresh breath and a little pain relief! Check out my post on cleaning toothbrushes naturally if you are interested in more tips for natural dental products.
Sustainable Tea Tips
Finding creative uses for your used tea bags is a great way to have a sustainable cup of tea. However, there are many other ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your tea habit. Try a few of these ideas as you warm your insides and sooth your soul with tea!
- Choose Sustainable Tea Brands: Look for organic, Fair Trade-certified teas in recyclable packaging to maximize sustainability. You may want to consider Numi Tea or Traditional Medicines if you are looking for earth friendly tea.
- Buy bulk tea rather than teabags: You can buy a stainless steel tea infuser or reusable tea bags to lessen the trash you toss out after you tea cup is empty.
- Ditch the paper cup: When getting your tea out, bring a reusable stainless steel tea mug rather than taking their paper cup.
How to Grow Herbal Tea at Home
Growing your own tea isn’t as hard as you might think. Watch the video below from BuzzFeed to learn how to grow your own herbal tea. You can also head over to Amazon and buy a tea growing kit. It’s the perfect gift for tea lovers! Pair it with a tea cookbook and you have a simple yet thoughtful gift. Growing lemon balm, catnip, and other herbs is incredibly easy and they make delicious herbal teas.
Having any other ways to use tea bags that you want to share?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.