Bigelow Tea on YouTube Subscribe Follow Me on Pinterest Follow Us on Instagram

Archives for the ‘Responsibility’ Category

Thank You To All Of Our Troops Who Have Served Our Country!

Bigelow Tea Owned Charleston Tea Plantation, A Tea Journey Past and Present

Bigelow Tea has been an American classic since 1945 and while we all know and love the company’s tasty tea, Bigelow has another gem to celebrate, the Bigelow owned Charleston Tea Plantation which is America’s largest working tea garden located on the historic Wadmalaw Island. This South Carolina destination has ideal climate for growing the Camellia Sinesis (tea!) plant. Bigelow purchased the plantation in 2003 and has created a literal tea oasis; besides producing American Classic Tea, the plantation is also a beautiful setting for weddingseducational tours, and even a variety of music festivals.

NPR shared what life is like on the Charleston Tea Plantation in an interview with America’s only fulltime tea taster, William Barclay Hall. Hall gives fascinating insight into growing tea the old-fashioned way:

  • The Charleston Tea Plantation grows cuttings in a nursery for four years instead of planting seeds. These bushes are, unbelievably, descendants of the same plants that were first brought to region in the 1700s.
  • Talk about a taste for tea — Hall is a third generation tea taster (his father and grandfather held the roles before him) who was trained in London. During his training, he tasted as many as 800 teas a day, five days a week!
  • Tea is one of the only commodities in the world bought and sold based on taste, according to Hall. Because tea is harvested on average every 15 days, the taste is always changing based on everything from the temperature, to the amount of rain, to the time of year.
  • Pests stay away from tea! The caffeine and tannins in tea repel insects, so the Charleston Tea plantation doesn’t need to use any pesticide, herbicides or fungicides.
  • Tea leaves are placed on “withering box” screens for 18 hours, and then macerated in a grinder. Hall then steeps, tastes and blends every single batch until he thinks it tastes absolutely right.

Now you know: a little piece of tea history continues on in the modern world, all thanks to Bigelow!

How To Make An Amazing Outdoor Garden (You Can Use Tea!)

Yes!!! April is National Garden Month so that means it’s time to get ready to enjoy all those gorgeous colors that will bloom soon (if some haven’t already)! Plus, it’s that time of year to take on an outdoorsy project – like making your own garden of course!

Bigelow Tea has a lot of experience doing just this- our community garden 

grows fresh ‘n’ delicious goodies such as tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash and basil. We even donate our bounty to local nonprofit organizations where they help feed those who may be less fortunate.

And of course, Bigelow Tea has also cultivated a rather, um, large garden—the Charleston Tea Plantation! (See the pic of all the rows of beautiful tea above!)

On a smaller scale, whether you are interested in growing your own garden so you can feed your family or help give to others- here’s a super idea: You can start a garden using tea bags! How cool is that? Try some of these tips from a tea fan:

  1. Begin with a plate, platter or disposable serving tray lined with unbleached paper towels.
  2. Place moistened tea bags, which have been prepared normally using boiling water, on the tray.
  3. Using a small blade/knife or your fingers, make a small slit in the tea bags (large enough to plant your seeds).
  4. Take 2-3 seeds and push them into the slit that you made in the tea bag so that the seeds are slightly covered by the tea leaves.  Keep in mind that because the tea leaves are moist, some of the contents of the tea bag will get on your fingers- don’t worry, just make sure that the seed is in place.Put your tea bag garden in a sunny area and wait for your seeds to sprout.  Be sure to keep the paper towels moistened1 Depending on sun exposure, temperature and watering, seeds should begin to sprout in 10-15 days. When watering, pour water onto the paper towels, not directly onto the tea bags.
  5. Once you have a small sprout, take the whole tea bag and plant it in either a raised bed or container.  The tea bag will become fantastic compost for the garden!

Another simple way to get gardening is to start with herbs. It’s an easy way to get going with that farm to table concept!

So how does your garden grow? Share your green thumb tips with us! Be sure to tag #TeaProudly so we can use some tips for our own gardens!

5 Bigelow Tea Sustainability Efforts That Celebrate Earth Month … All Year Long

Earth Month is all of April so let’s celebrate!

Anyone and everyone can do something good for the Earth this month (and, well, all year round!), whether it’s big or small. And that includes Bigelow Tea– it’s about practicing business philosophies that help, not harm. In fact, it’s in our mission statement: “Do the right thing and good things will follow.”

So why do the right thing for the planet? As third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow says, “Being responsible is not something my family does because we can do good things, but because we strongly believe that we should and need to do good things, whether it’s for the community, for our employees, or for the environment.”

Need some inspiration for ways to be earthier this month? Read on for some of Bigelow Tea’s famous “SustainabiliTea” efforts and get motivated!

  1. Supporting renewable energy and reducing emissions, our planet stays in good shape for future generations.  By installing 880 solar panels at our Connecticut headquarters, our yearly effort produces about 200,000 kWh which is enough energy to power 527 homes for an entire year, using nothing but the power of the sun.
  1. We’ve been reducing our energy use for years! This has led to a nearly 10 million kWh reduction where energy has been reduced by over 2.5 million kWh in just our Fairfield plant alone through energy efficiency measures. That’s the equivalent of planting 41 million trees. How have we done this? One way is by replacing light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs in offices in all our facilities. So simple, yet so effective – anyone can change their light bulbs to make a difference!
  1. Bigelow Tea has achieved “Zero Waste to Landfill” status. What that means is we’re following the guidelines of the Zero Waste Alliance, which says that a company can claim being a zero waste to landfill facility if no more than 10 per cent of their waste ends up in a landfill.
  1. Bigelow Tea, with the goal of preserving land, purchased the Charleston Tea Plantation in 2003 to save 127 acres of land from real estate development. Today, the plantation has hosted well over 100,000 visitors.
  1. We try to act on the bees’ behalf! Bigelow’s Green Team has planted flowers on our corporate property along an urban train track fence to help provide bees with a better natural habitat.

Feeling inspired now? We hope so!  And hey if you need more encouragement, check out these Bigelow Tea activities planned for each day of Earth Week (April 17-22):

  • Recycling drives for electronics, towels for local animal shelters and business clothing (women’s and men’s) to benefit  Dress for Success
  • Educational exhibits on container gardening, lighting , recycling and composting
  • Lunch and learn with  the Back Yard Bee Keepers Association
  • Plant tours of our facility to showcase our sustainability efforts and our solar panels
  • Local foods will be served in the cafeteria
  • Raffle prizes – packets of seeds, tee shirts, plants  and more

So how will you observe Earth Month? Let us know by sharing anywhere online and tag with #TeaProudly!

The Many Ways Bigelow Tea is All About Green

bigelow tea sustainability

Bigelow Tea is so much more than just a tasty mug of tea; our company also helps save the Earth. Yes, that sounds like quite the statement, but it’s the truth- we believe in practicing business philosophies that help, not harm. It’s right there in our mission statement: “Do the right thing and good things will follow.” So how does our company do sustainabiliTea proudly? Here are some of our many, many ways:

We’re Powered By The Sun.

We are hugely in favor of supporting renewable energy and reducing emissions, to keep our planet in good shape for future generations.  We’ve done this by installing 880 solar panels at our Connecticut headquarters. Every year, this effort produces about 200,000 kWh, which is enough energy to power 527 homes for an entire year – with nothing but the power of the sun. So how does this affect pollution levels? It equals a reduction in pollution roughly equivalent to 200,000 car miles removed from the highways each year. Sit back and sip to that!

We’ve Made An Energy Efficient Environment.

We’ve spent many years reducing our energy use, leading to a nearly 10 million kWh reduction. And we’ve reduced energy by over 2.5 million kWh in just our Fairfield plant alone through energy efficiency measures. In laymen’s terms, that’s the equivalent of planting 41 million trees. How have we done this? One way is by replacing light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs in all offices in all our facilities. Yes, it can be that simple to save the Earth.

We Say No to Landfills. 

We have a company-wide commitment to achieving “Zero Waste to Landfill” status. What that means is we’re following the guidelines of the Zero Waste Alliance, which says that a company can claim being a zero waste to landfill facility if no more than 10 per cent of their waste ends up in a landfill. Guess what? Our company diverts 94% of its solid waste company wide, meaning we have actually surpassed the official guideline. We recycle, and then recycle some more, and

reduce/reuse/compost, all leading to be a Zero Waste to Landfill Company.

We’ve Made A Modern Tea Plantation.

We purchased the Charleston Tea Plantation in 2003, saving the land from development to turn it into America’s own tea garden. This special spot features 127 acres of beauty (and incredible tea leaves!) and welcomes visits from thousands of tea lovers yearly. We’re proud of the Bigelow family’s hard work to keep the traditional tea plantation alive and well with a modern twist!

We Work With Green Suppliers.  

We’re also very proud to work with an environmentally responsible supplier. A couple of the amazing things being done there to ensure our much-loved drink is created with only the crème de la crème of practices:

  • We’re keeping our tea facilities as warm and cozy as the drink thanks to installation of Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) walls, which are 83% more energy efficient compared to traditional walls;
  • We’re fans of geothermal heating and cooling units; using this method for heating or cooling the entire building expansion uses only 1/14th the energy you would need if you used oil.

We know you love tea as much as we do; that’s why we are so delighted to keep our #TeaProudly community in the loop about all about the modern-day environmental choices that keeps that delicious tea in your cup while saving the planet, especially during Go Green Week. Learn more about all the amazing things we’re up to and share with us how you #TeaProudly the “green” way.

11 Tips To Help Celebrate American Heart Month!

bigelow tea wear red healthRed is Bigelow Tea’s favorite color this month! “Go big or go home” they say, so we’re pulling out all the stops to mark American Heart Month this year. We started by grabbing our most-loved red clothing items (and what a great chance to wear that red lipstick sitting in the drawer!) for National Wear Red Day on February 3rd, we have a “Healthy Eating Challenge” throughout the month of February for all employees, and we have our “Exercise Challenge” where we are urged to exercise 30 minutes, 3 times per week throughout the month.  So why should we all put so much “heart” into this month? Let’s get serious for a second. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year. We can all make a difference by getting the below important info out to friends and family:

  1. study by the Boston University School of Medicine found a strong link between drinking black tea and arterial health in people who have heart disease, and we’ve mentioned before that black tea, studies say, has been shown to reverse abnormal functioning of blood vessels.
  2. Educate yourself on the signs/symptoms of heart disease
  3. Visit your physician for a regular check up
  4. Eat nutritious food
  5. Exercise daily
  6. If you smoke – make the effort to quit
  7. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  8. Try to manage your stress through relaxation techniques/meditation
  9. Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol
  10. Help others by encouraging them to join you
  11. Laugh loud and laugh often!

How are you taking care of your heart this month? Post a pic, either in your fave red outfit or while doing a heart-healthy activity, and tag  #TeaProudly. (Extra points if it features a cup of Bigelow tea!)

Bigelow Tea Remembers Martin Luther King Jr.

bigelow tea lemon ginger

Today we are remembering the great words of #MLK: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” #MLKDay

 

Leadership, Sacrifice And Courage: Bigelow Tea Spends A Day With Retired Navy SEAL Jason Redman

bigelow-tea-navy-seal-motivational-speach
It’s not every day we get to meet a hero. But a few weeks back, that’s exactly what we did. Decorated former United States Navy SEAL Lieutenant Jason Redman spent a few awe inspiring hours at the Bigelow Tea headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he personally addressed Bigelow employees.   The visit was shared via live feed to our teams in Louisville, KY and Boise, ID. As founder and spokesperson of the Combat Wounded Coalition, a nonprofit organization that supports combat wounded warriors and families of the fallen, and author of the memoir The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Officer, Jason spent some time talking about leadership, teamwork and overcoming adversity. It was an honor and privilege to hear him speak.

Jason served 21 years with the U.S. Navy — 11 years as an enlisted Navy SEAL and 10 years as a SEAL officer. In 2007, he was severely wounded in a firefight in Iraq after his team was ambushed. While recovering at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Jason bravely faced his challenges by writing a bright orange sign to hang on his door, which became a statement and symbol for wounded warriors everywhere. It read:bigelow-tea-sign

Attention to all who enter here. If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20 percent further through sheer mental tenacity. This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, go elsewhere.  

— The Management

The original sign on the door, signed by President George W. Bush, now hangs in the Wounded Ward at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda as an inspiration to his fellow service men and women.

After 37 surgeries, Jason candidly shares his experiences and positive attitude to motivate others and to continue to raise awareness of the sacrifices of America’s courageous military forces and their families. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons and the U.S. Army Ranger tab, along with numerous other personal and unit awards.bigelow-tea-cindi-bigelow-jason-redman

Just as Jason is committed to the U.S. military community, so are we. In 2009, we launched the “Tea for the Troops” program, which sends specially designed boxes of 100% American-grown tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation to U.S. military personnel overseas and in the States. To date, we have sent more than 5 million tea bags to service men and women. We also became an official sponsor of the USO in 2015. We deeply appreciate the sacrifices the members of our military—and their families—have made to keep our country free, and we will continue to support them, one tea bag at a time.

Thank you, Jason, for your service. You are an inspiration to us!

Top image: Jason Redman speaking to Bigelow Tea employees

Lower image (L-R): Cindi Bigelow, Jason Redman and his service dog, Kharma, and Jason’s wife, Erica.

Bigelow Tea Honors Our Troops with a Gift to the USO

bigelow-tea-tea-for-troopsBigelow Tea keeps those who have served our country close to our hearts every day including this Veteran’s Day. Recently Bigelow Tea worked closely with the USO and Stop & Shop in Quincy, Massachusetts on a specially developed Support our Local Troops Program that represented 3% of all Bigelow Tea sold at Stop & Shop stores between June 3 and July 7, 2016 and resulted in a final contribution of  $14,100. The contribution will provide support to the USO and the crucial services it provides to forward-deployed service members, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen.

“The USO and their mission, which recognizes the huge sacrifices men and women of our military have made and continue to make, is near and dear to the hearts of everyone at Bigelow Tea. Filled with pride and gratitude for all they do, we love doing all we can, whenever we can, to support them,” says Cindi Bigelow, President & CEO of Bigelow Tea. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Stop & Shop on this program and to all the Stop & Shop consumers for their whole-hearted support. Together we accomplish great things.”

Bigelow Tea’s commitment to U.S. military communities continues to grow since it launched its Tea for the Troops Program in 2009 donating 5 million tea bags to date in support of the USO’s ongoing mission to strengthen America’s military by keeping them connected to family, home and country. The “Tea for the Troops” program sends specially designed boxes of the company’s 100% American-grown tea, from the company’s Charleston Tea Plantation, to U.S. military personnel overseas and in the States. The package was created exclusively for service men and women to thank them for their service.

Additionally, Bigelow Tea became an official sponsor of the USO in 2015 and an enthusiastic participant in USO events such as the organization’s 2015 and 2016 Warrior Weeks that took place in Virginia Beach, Virginia in association with USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia Inc. Their invaluable programs bring together physical, therapeutic and recreational organizations that empower wounded, ill and injured troops with a renewed sense of adventure by providing opportunities to participate in activities from adaptive water skiing and kayaking, to deep sea fishing, horseback riding, surfing, racquetball and tennis.

We encourage you to take a moment this Veteran’s Day to find your own way to honor and support all the men, women, and families who have given so much to our country.

Bigelow Tea: A Green Leader!

bigelow-tea-tea-fieldBigelow Tea puts a lot of work into creating delicious teas for your enjoyment, but did you know that Bigelow puts just as much effort into protecting the planet?

Taking care of the environment is reflected in the company’s mission statement: “Do the right thing and good things will follow.” Since the company’s beginnings, Bigelow Tea has held the philosophy that positive practices within our community, our environment, and our business can only ensure positive outcomes. That’s why our SustainabiliTea program is a leader in green initiatives. Here are just some of the incredible ways Bigelow Tea makes a difference:

Energy Conservation

Bigelow has been harnessing the power of the sun for nearly a decade, with 880 solar panels installed at our Connecticut headquarters. This has led to a reduction in pollution approximately equal to 200,000 car miles removed from the highways yearly. Bigelow also uses energy efficient lighting, heating/cooling, and water flow at office headquarters.

Waste Reduction

We’ve committed to achieving Zero Waste to Landfill status, which means diverting at least 90 percent of waste from the landfill. Our company takes it a step further: a full 94 percent is diverted through reducing, recycling, and composting.

Land Preservation

Bigelow Tea purchased the Charleston Tea Plantation in 2003 to save 127 acres of land from real estate development. Today, the plantation has hosted well over 100,000 visitors.

Supplier Relationships

We’ve been working with the same suppliers in countries such as Sri Lanka for several decades because they share our commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.

Even with so many big initiatives, Bigelow is always on the lookout for more ways to be green. For instance, we recently planted a bee-friendly garden in hopes of attracting more native bee species.

No effort is too big or too small as far as we’re concerned; as David Bigelow says, “We’ve been making tea for three generations, and we get better every year.” The same can be said about our sustainability efforts!

Tell us below: what green practices are the most exciting to you, your family and your business?