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  • Writer's pictureLynn Powell

Small Steps to a more earth-conscious life: 1/100 Serve Shibui teas

Updated: Mar 22

I want to live a more earth-conscious life. And it's no coincidence that many of The Arienas Collective workshops I host at home use recycled materials, and promote skills that encourage re-purposing and re-loving as an alternative to buying new. I often feel overwhelmed by the scale of the environmental challenges we face, but recently I've been inspired by social media accounts I follow to focus on the small things I can do. So, I decided to compile a list of 100 small steps I'm taking to lead a more serene - by which I mean calm, peaceful, earth-conscious and less anxious - life. 

Image: That's TV

As you can see, I love serving up a good cup of tea! I was introduced to Shibui tea in a café under the Waverley Arches (now sadly closed) where my daughter worked - she called to say I had to come and try the Masala Chai. One sip and I was hooked!

I got in touch with John at Shibui and set up a wholesale account with them to supply The Arienas Collective with all our teas, and I've been serving them up ever since.

Image: Shibui

Mostly, I buy loose teas, and you may have spotted a few of the wee re-usable caddies above on my kitchen shelves. But during lockdown, I had to source a more hands-off option so people could serve themselves. I was delighted to discover that Shibui had come up with the perfect solution: individually wrapped teas in compostable wrappers. I hate unnecessary packaging, but I knew their bags and wrappers could be popped straight into our food waste bin.

Like many people, I'd been shocked to learn about the plastic content in many makes of tea bag, and I've learned the hard way not to trust all of those recycled claims and labels to tell the full story. I love that Shibui have taken the time to source the most environmentally-sound options possible, and are actively open and honest about their eco-credentials.

Image: Shibui

I don't know why, but tea always seems to taste better served in a china cup. Or is that just me? I'm fortunate to have inherited a few tea sets from family, and I love to make use of them at our workshops. They hold happy memories of visiting my nana in Glasgow, and helping her serve tea and cakes to her friends. (I wish I had inherited that 3-tier wooden cake stand too.)

Yes, occasionally, they get cracked or chipped, but I'd rather they were used than gathering dust in a box or display cabinet. It gives me such pleasure when people admire them, and my mum's Piquot ware teapot and jug. And I've now found a fabulous way to re-love those chipped cups and saucers by repurposing them into mosaic coasters!

Image: my broken vintage cup being made into a mosaic coaster

You can read more about how I repurposed one of my broken vintage cups here.

Come to think of it, using old china rather than buying new, repurposing broken cups into gifts, and shopping local surely count as three more steps towards that serene, earth-conscious life I seek? It feels like I'm off to a good start!

Lynn x


More information

You can buy Shibui teas here.

Find out more about making mosaics with from broken china with local maker Mossy Mosaic here.

Or if you're looking to repurpose a cup and saucer set instead, you might like to try this super-cute felting workshop with Susan Mitchell.


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