Our Commitment to the Earth

  • April 20, 2018
  • valerie

Since 1989 it’s been our mission to create teas that are good for people and the planet. For Earth Month, we celebrate and recognize the role we play not only in making great teas, but in being a responsible, earth-friendly manufacturer and business.

Sustainability in Tea Plant Cultivation

Peacock walking through a tea garden.

A peacock wanders through the Oothu Tea Estate in the Western Ghats of India. Oothu was the first organic and first Fair Trade Certified ™ tea garden in India. The estate is home to a wildlife preserve, maintaining greenbelts that allow safe passage for surrounding animals.

Did you know that the tea plant (camellia sinensis) is an evergreen? That means the plant is hardy and grows year-round, thriving in mild, wet climates. Some tea plants can live hundreds, even thousands of years, producing tea leaves and buds throughout their lifetime.

Our organic tea gardens often have rich history in tea tradition and cultivation, and tea growers have learned to adapt to the land for the best growth rather than relying on chemicals or pesticides to grow the crop. These farmers utilize long-standing methods like bio-dynamic farming, crop rotation, and composting available organic materials, like crop cuttings, to nourish the plants and replenish the soil. Using these organic methods means there is no need for chemical or synthetic fertilizers or genetically engineered crops, resulting in a healthier eco-system, healthier tea workers, and ultimately a healthier cup of tea.

Learn more about where we source our teas and herbs.

Sustainability in Manufacturing

tea bag being checked in our organic tea bagging facility

We check our tea bags every 20 minutes to ensure smooth operation and quality product. Any boxes of tea that don’t pass the QC check go into our “seconds” bin for employees and guests to take home, so no boxes go to waste!

By manufacturing our own products, we have direct control over all aspects of our operations, meaning we can make sustainability our priority. From the gardens where we source ingredients, to the materials that make up our boxes and tea bags, we strive to create products that are kind to the planet.

More on our eco-friendly packaging:

  • Our boxes are made from 100% recycled paperboard and printed with plant-based inks, making them not only recyclable, but compostable in your garden compost or municipal facility.
  • Our staple-free tea bags are made from unbleached natural abaca fiber sewn shut by an unbleached cotton string and paper tea tag (exceptions: Value Packs) No plastics are used to strengthen or seal the tea bag, making it 100% compostable in your garden or municipal facility.

Find more information about our products.

Sustainability in our Community

Last fall, we were certified as Partners in the Washington State Green Business initiative, EnviroStars. EnviroStars is a new program recognizing Washington State businesses that are taking an active part in minimizing their impact on the environment.

Choice Organic Teas was given this certification based on these sustainability practices:

  • Team education and sharing our sustainability mission with customers.
  • Our box packaging is created in the northwest and we use local vendors for other printed materials and office supplies whenever possible.
  • Encouraging alternative transportation with employee incentives.
  • Conserving energy during off-hours with timers for lights and HVAC systems.
  • Our facility uses non-toxic multipurpose cleaners only.
  • Batteries, fluorescent lighting, and electronics are recycled.
  • Clearly marked bins are present around the facility for trash and recycling.
  • In manufacturing, we take measures to reduce waste by sharing product with our employees and food banks that cannot be sold in retail.
  • Our office and warehouse features desks and shelving made from sustainable bamboo or are sourced second-hand.
  • Office paper, cardstock, and printed materials are always composed of the highest post-consumer recycled content possible.
  • Packing materials are re-used instead of recycled whenever possible.

While we demonstrate our commitments daily in manufacturing practices, here are other environmental organizations we partner with across the globe:

Climate Collaborative: A collective of natural product companies committed to reversing climate change.

PCC Farmland Trust: A non-profit dedicated to protecting farmland by securing and preserving threatened land in Washington.

Organic Trade Association: An association of businesses in support of organic agriculture and products in North America.

3Degrees: A business offering services to assist companies in taking immediate action on climate change in the form of renewable energy certificates, green power programs, and more.

Fair Trade USA: A global movement comprised of farmers, producers, manufacturers, and consumers committed to putting people and planet first.

Non-GMO Project: A non-profit devoted to protecting the non-GMO food supply.  

Learn more about our Partners.

We hope you’ll celebrate Earth Day every day with us and make earth-friendly choices daily to create a greener future.

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