The motto of the moment is reuse, reduce, recycle. To keep our environment healthy, we all need to make an effort to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
One part of sustainable living is cutting down on the number of new things we produce, buy, and consume.
Tea enthusiasts face the conundrum that high quality loose-leaf tea often comes in metal tins, which can stark to stack up over time.
Fortunately, there is a long list of things you can do with empty tea tins. Most tea tins are quite beautiful and make for excellent décor when appropriately repurposed.
What to do with empty tea tins?
There are many ways to reuse empty tea tins. A few great options include refilling them with loose-leaf tea at a bulk food store, turning them into pen holders, or using them as pots to grow kitchen herbs. They can also be upcycled as lamp shades, chalk-painted containers, or sewing kits.
Refill your empty tea tins at a zero-waste shop
One of the best ways to reuse your empty tea tins is simply to refill them! Zero waste stores are becoming increasingly popular.
A zero waste store is a grocery store that uses no plastic wrapping or packaging. Food is displayed in bulk quantities and customers bring and fill their own containers.
Many zero waste stores also sell tea. This means that you can simply bring your empty tea container to your local store and refill it with a loose-leaf tea blend of your choice.
Even if the zero waste store near you does not sell tea, you can still use your empty tea containers to purchase other bulk foods.
Why not fill an empty tea tin with lentils or rice? This will save you having to throw away the plastic packaging they usually come in.
Turning tea tins into organizers
Do you ever feel like there are pens, pencils, scissors, and even glue sticks lying around on all over the tables and counters in your house? Or, alternatively, do you feel like you can never find a pen when you need one?
Tea tins can easily be transformed into pen and pencil holders. Choose your favorite tea tins and simply remove the lid. Voila, you have a new desktop organizer!
The fact that many tea tins have intricate and original designs will give your office space or kitchen table a cool, bohemian aesthetic.
Repurpose tea tins as pots for growing herbs
Anyone who likes using fresh herbs, such as rosemary, mint, tarragon, parsley, or basil in their home cooking, will love this idea!
Why not use your tea tins as plant pots? Their unique designs, especially when combined, make for great kitchen décor.
Drill a few holes in the bottom of the tin to ensure that your herbs will have proper drainage. Then fill the tins with a well-suited soil.
Most Mediterranean herbs, including oregano, rosemary, and thyme, prefer a coarser, fast-draining soil. You can use a combination of cactus soil and regular potting soil to create the perfect blend.
Basil, on the other hand, grows well in regular potting soil and likes to be always kept lightly moist.
For happy, healthy herbs, make sure your plants are getting the right amount of light and water.
Rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano prefer south-facing windows and appreciate bright sunlight, while parsley and mint will do better in an east-facing window with less direct light.
Use a tea tin as a lampshade or standing lamp base
Finding cute, unique lampshades can be a challenge.
If you like quirky interior design, making an upcycled lamp out of a tea tin might be just the thing for you.
That said, be aware that making a lamp is no easy task and you should not attempt to wire a lamp by yourself without specialist knowledge of electrical safety practices.
You can craft the lamp yourself before taking it to a professional electrician to be suitably wired.
You can use a tea tin as the shade for a ceiling lamp, as the shade for a table lamp, or as the base of a table lamp.
Spray your tea tins with chalk paint
A cute way to repurpose your tea tins is to spray them with a “blackboard” chalk paint. This will allow you to write on them with chalk or chalk pens, and to change what they say regularly.
Creating blackboard tins is a great thing to do if you have kids! It allows them to draw all over your kitchen containers with no consequences.
Chalk-painted boxes are also great for storing things like children’s hairclips and barrettes or small collectable items.
Keep them in the playroom with different colored chalk pens. Allow your children to re-label them or draw on them based on what they are being used for at that point in time.
You can also use chalk-painted boxes as a practical and stylish way to keep your pantry organized.
If you have muesli now, but will have granola next week, you can regularly update the labels on your containers with no problem at all.
Plus, white chalk writing looks great against a black matte background, so in addition to being highly practical, they are also a cool design feature.
Use a tea tin as a sewing kit
Have you ever wanted to bring a needle and thread along on vacation, but stopped yourself because you aren’t sure how best to transport the needle?
Or have you ever wanted to mend something at home, and ended up unsuccessfully rummaging through drawers for an hour searching for your needles and enough of the right kind of thread?
Using a small metal tea tin as a sewing kit is a great way to make sure everything is all in one place and easily accessible should you need it.
All you need is a pack of differently sized needles and several spools of thread. You can throw in a few patches and a thimble too, just in case.
A tea-tin sewing kit also makes a great little gift. In a time when homemade and repurposed gifts are all the rage, a self-styled sewing kit is sure to be a hit.