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Mount Kanchenjunga from Darjeeling

Paris Climate Conference and Us

The historic Paris climate change conference will end this week. As experts argue and hussle, the big questions for us are: can we rise above our politics and economics to honor this gift of Mother Earth, and leave it better than we found it for those coming after us? Or are we doomed for self-extinction due to our greed and selfishness?

Mount Kanchenjunga from Darjeeling

Here at Happy Earth Tea we take happiness and earth very seriously. And of course tea.

Having lived for a good part of my life in the Himalayas, I have like many become acutely aware of the natural environment. Too much rain and the hillsides go crumbling down taking highways, villages and parts of towns with it. Too little rain and the taps go dry for days and months. Deforestation has dried up aquifers and summers have become hot enough to introduce electric fans. Mosquitoes, the pestilence of the flatlands, are ascending the hills, like the unending parade of automobiles belching smoke along the ridges and valleys.

Yet, I remain in awe of those mountains, where, our ancestors believed, the gods lived.

At Jun Chiyabari, an Organic Tea Estate in Nepal.

When we started Happy Earth Tea five years ago, we decided that conserving the natural environment would remain one of our main inspirations. Tea, as a “gentle” beverage, leads itself naturally to our philosophy of being kind to the earth. 

One of our first decisions was to sell only certified Organic teas. Besides the health benefits of drinking such tea, we believe Organic farming directly benefits the environment. It reduces runoff of chemicals into the water systems, restores the biodiversity by bringing back insects and bugs into the tea plantations and by allowing “weeds” to grow reduces soil erosion.

Temi Tea Estate

We have also remained mindful of our packaging. So far we have resisted the temptation to use tins - one of the most popular methods of tea packaging - because we feel it is wasteful. Just to think of all that mining that goes into making those tins leave us quite disturbed. Until we find a good alternative we will continue to use the foil-lined kraft stand-up pouches which are recyclable.

Jade Mountain Tea in bag

This Earth Day we also took one more important step. We joined 1% for the Planet. The organization partners environmentally-conscious businesses with the more than 3300 non-profits who are enrolled with them. As a member company, we will be donating 1% of our annual sales  - not profit - to a non-profit actively engaged in the protection of environment. We are very excited about this partnership indeed!

You can watch a short on 1% for the Planet here. 

In the big scheme of things these are small steps. We are a very small business after all. Yet if all of us did our small bit - our 1% so to speak - it could become big enough to keep this earth happy!  

Mount Kanchenjunga from Darjeeling
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