Next time you have a spot of tea, don’t throw that tea bag away. Bury it.
No, it’s not for the compost. It’s a simple soil test.
Recently, the Teabag Index created a website to help people learn about soil health and climate change. More people are beginning to make the connection between how soil health means more carbon sequestration which means more carbon in the ground and less in the atmosphere. Helping people understand how a healthy carbon cycle is a good thing and how to help make it healthy is what HMI is focused on.
We’re excited that the Teabag Index is sharing with everyone (not just tea drinkers) that there is a simple way to measure the nutrient cycling on a piece of land by burying tea bags with Green tea and Rooibos and digging them up about three months later. Based on the level of decay you can see how active your soil biology is. You can also Soil Your Undies, which is another decay test we’ve written about as well.
The teabag method was developed and tested by a team of researchers from the University of Utrecht, Umeå University, The Netherlands Institute of Ecology and the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety Ltd. Currently there are experiments running all over the world with many school children and citizen scientists now involved. The data will be used to make a global soil map which can be used to improve climate models.
The basic method is to know what the teabag weighed before and then when you dig it up and weigh it again you can submit the information to the Teabag Index website. They’ll do the calculations from there. It’s a great way to get the kids involved in learning about soil and all the critters in the soil that help “eat up” all that tea.
While you’re waiting for the tea to steep (or decay), you might want to go to HMI’s Regenerative Solution page to learn more about how healthy soil mitigates climate change. Also check out HMI’s What You Can Do page and learn how you can help heal the planet.