Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a mantra that been around for decades, yet has never been more relevant or pressing. When it comes to sustainable living, human beings are becoming more aware of how the way they live impacts the world around them. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, though. Recycling may have become a cultural mainstay, but there’s much less emphasis put on reducing our waste and reusing packaging. We chose tea tins as our packaging as a way to reduce the components in a pack of tea. Tins can also be reused in lots of different ways. Inch your way closer towards more sustainable living by giving these tin upcycling ideas a go:

1) Plant fresh herbs in your tin

Stainless steel tins make perfect plant potters (they won’t rust). For many of us living in the city with no access to a fully fledged garden, one was to get closer to the sustainable living dream is to create an urban garden. Window ledges, window sills, alleyways, patios and floor space can all be used to house potted plants, flowers, herbs and even vegetables. While our tea tins might not be big enough for certain plants, they’re an ideal size for potting herbs like basil, mint, parsley or coriander. If you’re feeling especially green fingered, why not even try a tomato plant? Before potting, we recommend you drill some drainage holes in the bottom of the tin.

sustainable living ideas herbs in tin
This isn’t actually how you’d plant rosemary in a tin (I don’t think).

2) Turn it into a candle (holder)

We’ve got a confession to make: our tea tins are actually candle tins. But we thought they were so pretty and perfect for storing tea, we decided to use them as our packaging. When your tea is finished, you can use them either as candle holders to hold tea lights or else fill with wax for a longer burning candle. If you’re going the tea light route, why not stencil and cut out some patterns in the tin to maximise its light dispersing potential?

3) Use it as a gift box instead of wrapping paper

Gift boxes make any gift that more special – but they don’t always come cheap. If you’re planning on giving someone a small gift and want a beautiful way to present it, use your tea tin. Carefully peel away and recycle the paper label and soak the tin in warm, soapy water if any residue remains. Then, adorn the tin with a ribbon or decorate it with water based paints. This allows the receiver of your gift to remove the paint if they too want to reuse the tin. The tin makes an excellent container for chocolates, sweets or jewellery. 

The perfect tin for your treats or a gift

4) Bake mini cakes in it

On the subject of sweets, who doesn’t love a homemade cake? And if you can bake a cake in a mug using a microwave, you can bake one in a tin in the oven. Just be sure to line the tin with greaseproof paper to make removing the cake from its tin and washing up easier. Also, when you’re filling the tin(s) with cake batter, don’t fill more than three quarters full, or you’ll have a tin that runneth over. Want some baking inspiration? Why not try this gluten free lemon drizzle cake with raspberries that uses our Rose and Ginger blend.

5) Refill it with herbal tea

Finished your tea? Why not top it up with… more tea. You can buy your bulk refill pack of Herbaceous Blends from our shop. Our refill packs comes in a resealable biodegradable pouch that can go straight in your food waste bin.

A very dirty label: a sign of a tin well re-used

Along the same theme, you could also use this to store herbs, spices, sugar and any other store cupboard ingredient that needs a stable home. Storing in a tin will keep them fresh for longer than keeping them in a plastic bag. Plus, it looks more attractive.

Transfer spices from plastic packaging into a tin instead

6) Put your stationery and pencils in it

The classic use for any pot-shaped container: a pencil holder. There’s much debate over whether a messy desk hinders or helps creativity. Whether you favour one style over the other (Einstein is famed for the cluttered kind), being able to quickly locate writing implements can only be a bonus in today’s already over complicated world. Simply remove the lid and fill with your favourite pencils.

Keep your desk tidy

Have you done anything quirky and inventive with leftover packaging? We want to hear about it. Comment in the boxes below or share your photos with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. 

Ready to take the next step in sustainable living and invest in a loose leaf containing tea tin that can be reused (or recycled) infinitely? Check out our tea range in the shop.

Author caroline

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