SAIMA IBRAHIM (Saima_virgo1@hotmail.com)
Jan 25 - 31, 2010
Tea is an agriculture product of leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of the Camellia sinensis plant, prepared by various methods. Tea also refers to the aromatic beverage prepared from the combination of leaves with hot or boiling water. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavour which many enjoy.
Tea is traditionally classified based on the techniques with which it is produced and processed.
* White tea: Wilted and unoxidized
* Yellow tea: Unwilted and unoxidized, but allowed to yellow
* Green tea: Unwilted and unoxidized
* Oolong: Wilted, bruised, and partially oxidized
* Black tea: Wilted, sometimes crushed, and fully oxidized
* Post-fermented tea: Green tea that has been allowed to ferment/compost Improperly stored tea may lose flavor, acquire disagreeable flavors or odors from other foods, or become moldy.
Tea drinkers use an average of three tea bags a day. Since the leaves, bags, and labels are organic and biodegradable, are there ways to recycle what remains after every cup of tea? The answer is yes.
HOW TO RECYCLE TEA BAGS?
1. Add the used teabags to your compost heap. Some teabags decompose faster depending on the material the bags are made of.
2. Use the teabags to prevent soil from leaking out of the bottom holes of your plant containers. When preparing potted plants, line the bottoms of the containers with used teabags (instead of rocks, pebbles, or foam fillers). The teabags will eventually decompose and become part of the potted soil.
3. Use teabags to help retain moisture for hanging planters. When preparing hanging plants like ferns or ivy, line the empty planters with teabags before adding the potting mix. The teabags will absorb water and retain the moisture longer than sphagnum or peat moss.
4. Cut the teabags open and collect the tea leaves. Mix them with your garden soil or potting soil, or trowel them into the ground around your plants to add nutrients to the topsoil.
5. Use them as an eye compress. Warm or cold, you can use the teabags to help relax tired eyes. Just lie back, place the moist teabags over your eyes, and let the tannins in the tealeaves stimulate blood circulation and reduce those puffy eye bags and dark rings around your eyes.
6. Use the paper packets and colorful labels for artwork. Be creative with art pieces like figures, dÈcor, posters, greeting cards, and handicrafts.
7. Donate dried, empty teabags to native artists who use them as raw materials for original artwork that are sold to raise funds for building their towns and communities.
SOME OTHER IMPORTANT USES OF TEA WASTE
In all industries, there are always leftover or waste products. Tea manufacturing industries throw out lots of waste teas, daily, as leftover. The employees working in tea industry would take the waste home for their gardens. However, some tea manufacturing industries sell these wastes to employees or farmers. Now a day, the waste tea has been mixed with horse stable manure from the local racing stables, sandstone sawdust from a nearby stand stone quarry and sand. This mixture constitutes a fertile potting mix that is utilized in their nursery where they cultivate the tea plants from seed harvested from the full-grown tea plants on the cultivated area.
Similarly, the used tea waste from the instant tea processes of the company is transformed to vermicompost on the estates. The method of vermin composting that the industry attempts ensures a plant-soil cycle thereby facilitating to build vital soil fauna and flora as well as adding to the organic matter content of the soil for enhanced nutritional effectiveness and uptake.
AS COMPOST TEA
All the gardeners know compost is wonderful stuff; however, there is something still better than simple old compost, and that is compost tea. The compost tea is prepared by immersing compost in water. Based on where your plant has problems, it is used as either a foliar spray or a soil drench. Tea waste is also used to prepare compost tea. Compost tea assists to inhibit foliar diseases, increases the quality and quantity of nutrients accessible to the plant, and accelerates the breakdown of toxins. It will influence the plant more rapidly than compost mixed into the soil. The conversion of compost into compost tea cannot ameliorate on the actual quality of the compost.
AS A SOURCE OF POTASSIUM
Ash of old tea plants is a prospective resource of potassium, an essential nutrient for plant growth. Since ash is alkaline, tea plants do not profit from the supplementary alkalinity, except for extremely acidic soils. Rather than using the ash on the plantations, it should be used on the soil of the trees grown from fuel plantations, which will enhance fertility in the fuel-wood farming. The use of compost and organic matter can decrease the necessity for inorganic fertilizers.
AS MEDIUM FOR MUSHROOM CULTIVATION
By growing mushrooms on tea waste, you can maintain double-figure economic growth without wearing natural resources. Mushrooms grow much faster in tea waste than in the normal method. It is not necessary to cut down trees to cultivate mushrooms. A mixture of tea waste with peat in 1:1 ratio improves the yield of mushroom.
Tea waste is virtually as rich in effective antioxidants, such as catechins. Chagra, the used tealeaves, is used to enhance the roses. Remnant brewed tea may be cooled and used to water houseplants on occasion, and infused tea leaves may be scattered in the flower garden for a nutrient hike. It may be scattered all around the gardens. Tea waste can be used as a fertilizer for both indoor and outdoor plants.