DIY Home + Garden

Published on February 15th, 2008 | by Autumn Wiggins

6

Green Tea Party

Trixie CupI’m an Earl Grey fan myself, and the best kinds, bar-none, are in loose form. Having tried just about every reusable gadget out there for steeping, I have yet to find anything superior to the paper bag filter. Mesh balls are cute, but I like my peanut butter chunky, not my tea. What is the eco-crafty beverage enthusiast to do?

I’m going to create my own reusable muslin tea bag, thanks to this excellent tutorial over at Craft Leftovers! How brilliantly simple. I might add a few glass beads from my stash to the tie strings. Oh, but let’s not stop there…

Did you know you can even DIY the tea itself? Yes, we’ve dabbled our way into gardening here, but I find that a natural by-product of craftiness. Reusable Tea BagSometimes it’s nice to see things pretty much make themselves. All domestic tea comes from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. The classification of white, green, or black is determined by when it is harvested and how it’s processed. Check out “How to Grow & Harvest Your Own Green Tea” over at Gomestic for advice on getting started.

For you “zinger” fans, there’s also an herbal tea garden guide on WikiHow. Utilizing organic growing methods in your own backyard or container garden eliminates your personal footprint in the processing, shipping and packaging waste associated with commercial brands.

To complete the “green” tea trifecta, you’ll need the perfect cup. Here is where I would splurge on an amazing revamped piece by Trixie Delicious! She scours thrift stores to create her “vandalized vintage” ceramics. Indeed, socially unacceptable tableware always puts a smile on my face.

When I’ve drank so much tea that my beloved china is stained brown, it might be a good time to make a bird feeder out of it a-la instructions by the adorable P. Allen Smith.

Armed with all this advice, you should be well equipped to throw an Earth-friendly tea party fit for Mad Hatters and March Hares alike.

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About the Author

This 2008 interview pretty much sums it up: 1. How would you describe yourself? An oddly situated performer of thought experiments 2. Do you have any anecdotes about your work (how you got started, frustrating moments, or funny stories)? At this year's Maker Faire in San Mateo, I gave a presentation on how the trend of green crafting can ultimately address the problem of consumption and waste. Dale Dougherty,the publisher of Make and Craft, later had a gift delivered to me, a staple bound book of poetry: Music Like Dirt by Frank Bidart. This is the last thing one would expect to take home from an event so focused on renegade technology. To my surprise, it was an existential reflection on the human need to make things that I now find myself going back to whenever I need some inspiration to look beyond the materials and processes of crafting. 3. What kinds of things do you do for fun? In my spare time I enjoy amateur astronomy, outdoor adventures, collecting domain names, and hanging out at coffee shops. 4. What interesting projects are you working on right now? I'm working to organize community involvement in upcycling, and have a few top-secret website projects up my sleeves! 5. Where do you live? Kids, pets, spouse, occupation? O'Fallon, IL, a suburb (and I mean a totally typical suburb) of St. Louis, MO. Rather than moving to the more culture friendly urban environment, I am staying put and annoying the heck out of Wal-Mart by throwing a massive indie craft show(Strange Folk) in their backyard. I have a husband, Doug, and two sons: a 7 year old mad scientist named Jack, and 6 year old Max, who we think is an aspiring tattoo artist since he's so fond of drawing all over himself with markers. To pay the bills, I do freelance writing, mural painting, and website design, sell my handmade crafts, teach art classes for kids, and work part -time at a local coffee shop. 6. What new idea (in or outside of your field) has excited you most recently? The concept known as "Cradle-to-Cradle" is a blueprint for sustainability that states everything we manufacture should be either biodegrable, infinitely recyclable, or intended to be upcycled. This is the basis for many of my ideas of how the crafting community can be more widely involved in solving the environmental crisis. 7. What is your favorite food/color/tool? granola/green/sewing machine!



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