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The Rishi Tea Green Team formed to better represent our core values of Organic and Fair Trade practices at origin into our daily business practices. Comprised of members from various departments within Rishi, the Green Team combines passion and knowledge with a commitment to sustainable actions within the US. Having members from different departments allows us to execute our green projects with a holistic view.

Rishi’s Green Team promotes waste reduction, energy conservation and offsetting energy usage with the ultimate goal of reducing our ecological footprint. We aspire to build a deeper level of consciousness regarding our everyday choices and the power that each of us holds. The choices we make today can help protect and preserve our beautiful planet tomorrow.

A few of our current green initiatives include:

  • Printing all marketing materials on 100% post-consumer waste paper processed chlorine free and printed with soy ink.

  • Packaging our Organic Iced Tea line using paper manufactured with 100% renewable wind energy and 80% post-consumer waste that is elemental chlorine free (ECF), acid free, 100% recyclable and printed with soy ink.

  • Our increased demand for environmentally responsible paper encouraged our local printer to become Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified. FSC Certification ensures that products manufactured with wood have been harvested from sustainably-managed forests under strict environmental and social standards set by the FSC.

  • We teamed up with Clean Water Fund, a grass roots organization working to protect and restore America's waters to promote cleaner water in the United States. By donating 25% of the profits of our limited winter blend, Organic Cinnamon Plum, we raised over $4,200 for Clean Water Fund and their wonderful efforts!

  • Rishi Tea was one of the first companies to use completely biodegradable packaging cushions made from 100% recyclable material. The eco-friendly “Cell-O” air cushions by FP International are 99% air by volume; when deflated, less than 1% of the original volume remains. The cushions require less energy to produce and create fewer air and water pollutants and green house gas emissions than conventional paper products.

  • Composting our used tealeaves with Growing Power – a self-sustaining urban farm in Milwaukee (learn how to start your own compost).

  • Using fully compostable sample cups when serving tea at festivals, demonstrations and trade shows. Regular hot disposable cups contain petroleum based coating that does not degrade in landfills. We use cups made by Eco Products, Inc. which are lined with Ingeo™ plant-based plastic and decompose in as little as 45 days when in a commercial composting facility.

  • Using 100% biodegradable and compostable garbage bags from Eco Safe Plastics, Inc.

  • Offering 100% Organic Certified cotton tote bags and organic cotton beanies.

At Origin:
Our commitment to sustainability stems from the organic tea gardens where our teas are harvested. Our numerous travels to origin allow us to witness firsthand the positive impacts that organic farming has on the environment, the lives of the tea farmers, and ultimately, the quality of the tea.

Rishi Tea has imported premium organic tea under strict European Union Organic standards since 1999. We were among the first to earn organic certification under the USDA’s Natural Organic Program in 2002 and at the forefront in the advancement of Fair Trade Certified tea, becoming one of the highest payers of social premiums from the sale of fair trade tea. The fair trade projects we have established, as well as those we partner with, directly support a better life for the tea-farming families and their communities through fair prices, fair wages, safe working conditions, environmental sustainability, education and community development.

For more information on our sustainability efforts at origin, visit our Organic and Fair Trade FAQs.

Looking Ahead:
We’re diligently working to expand our eco-friendly packaging, available with our Organic Iced Tea products, onto our entire retail line. The new packaging will use a paper manufactured with 100% renewable wind energy and 80% post consumer waste that is elemental chlorine free (ECF), acid free, 100% recyclable and printed with soy ink.

While our green initiatives continue to expand both at home and at origin, by no means have we reached our environmental ideal. We are still on the search for biodegradable bulk tea bags. Despite the advancements in biodegradable plastics, we have yet to find a material with a barrier strong enough to protect the quality of our tea. However, we will not give up!

We’re proactively looking for fun, creative and effective ways to lessen our environmental footprint. If you have suggestions, tips or websites you would like to recommend, please e-mail them to

Not-So-Fun Facts:

Did you know: Conventional farming...

  • Pollutes our fresh water supply with chemicals that soak into the soil and run off into our groundwater.

  • Uses chemical and synthetic pesticides/fertilizers to kill weeds and pests, which leave harmful residues on food and disrupt ecological harmony by killing natural predators along with targeted pests.

  • Uses genetic-engineering and modification to make crops grow faster and larger.

  • Degrades the balance of the soil by leaching nutrients out of it.

Did you know: Plastic bottles...

  • Take 700 years to begin composting.

  • 80% of plastic bottles are not recycled.

  • 24 million gallons of oil are needed to produce a billion plastic bottles.

Did you know: Paper cups...

  • Conventional hot disposable cups contain a plastic lining made from a non-renewable petrochemical.

  • Cups that use petro-based plastic linings end up in landfills where they do not fully decompose.

Did you know: Petroleum-based inks...

  • Contain higher levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), hazardous fumes emitted into the air during the ink’s drying process.

  • Are not sustainable and further our dependence on foreign oil.

  • Paper printed with petroleum based ink is more difficult to recycle than paper printed with soy ink.

  • Green websites we recommend: