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On Earth Day, Bigelow Tea Celebrates Success With Waste Reduction

bigelow tea environment

Did you know that 94% of Bigelow Tea’s solid waste companywide is diverted from ending up in a landfill (yes, a just in time fact for Earth Month!)?  As a result of exceeding Zero Waste Alliances’ guidelines where no more than 10% of waste gets dumped, we have worked hard to attain and maintain a “Zero Waste to Landfill” status!

Curious about how we make this happen? Pour a cup of your favorite Bigelow Tea and read on to find out what the Bigelow family and all employees do across three manufacturing facilities in order to stay in the ‘green.’

Reduce: Throughout its various offices, Bigelow staffers have cut down on excess printing. For example, copies of customer service orders as well as overall paper usage has been reduced by a whopping 65,000 sheets! Within the packing plants, Bigelow has lowered the amount of shrink-wrap and foil wrap used for packaging and shipping the teas.

Recycle: Bigelow’s plants and offices are committed to recycling. Along with separating bins, initiatives have extended to collecting and properly recycling common and uncommon items like computers/electronics, printer cartridges, old sneakers, cooking oil, and videotapes. Plus 85% of Bigelow’s packaging is recyclable or biodegradable.

Composting: Composting is nature’s way of recycling organic materials by breaking them down. Since November 2010, Bigelow has been doing its part by composting approximately two tons annually from sources such as the cafeterias and landscaping. Plus, Bigelow Tea drinkers (and we have many of course) can compost their tea bags. Just remove the staple from the bag first.

Now Bigelow wants to know what you do to reduce excess waste. Like Melanie Kissell’s Facebook post notes, she is using a separate recycling bin and is no longer buying bottled water.  During Earth Month and beyond, how are you reducing waste?

Happy Earth Day! Bigelow Sustainabili-Tea Practices Help to Protect Our Planet


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“Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord…”
Margaret Mead

In 1962, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, made it his mission to raise political and social consciousness about environmental issues. After years of demonstrations and speeches in the turbulent 60’s, Earth Day arrived: April 22nd, 1970. Decades later, politicians and scientists are still working to raise our awareness of environmental issues, like Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former Vice President Al Gore, in his book, An Inconvenient Truth.

At Bigelow Tea, our respect for the environment is reflected in everything we say and do, which is why we established a Sustainabili-Tea program. As part of this program, we formed the Trash Hippies (named after the 60’s and 70’s green protesters), a team whose goal was to reduce (by 30%) the amount of trash going to landfill from the Boise Idaho facility. By saving, separating and categorizing all trash into recyclables and non-recyclables, we not only achieved our goal, but exceeded it by an additional 10% – recycling 57,700 lbs of product that would otherwise have gone to the landfill! We continue to recycle: white paper, material cores, brown paper and plastic bags — even utensils and plates in the lunch room! Going green has become a way of life for us.

In the sage words of famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.” We at Bigelow Tea are profoundly committed to sustaining the precious bounty that is our planet Earth. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.

Earth Day Celebrations

We were recently contacted by the city of Fairfield to participate in their town’s Earth Day Celebration.  The town is trying to build the event so more people are exposed to what each and everyone can do to help make the environment better.  Recently we passed around the book “Stirring It Up” which talked about several companies and what they have been doing to make their companies environmentally friendly.  Being able to see what other companies are doing has helped us set higher and higher expectations and look for ways we can make more of an impact. 

As we have taken many steps in the company to be as “green” as possible some of the side benefits have been in our “away from work lives.”  For example, the company had an outside firm come in and offer compact florescent light bulbs for sale at a discount.  Most employees took the opportunity to at least buy one.  The other day one employee told me they were so impressed that they went out and replaced all their old light bulbs with the compact florescent bulbs.  Now they are seeing their electric bills being $30 per month lower, needless to say they are very happy.  The Earth Day celebration is another opportunity to expose people to practices and actions we have taken as a company and as individuals.  One by one people are making a positive impact on the environment and are raising the bar for all to follow.