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  1. #1
    Registered User Ileah7's Avatar
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    Default Composting Tea Leaves?

    So I'm a tea drinker who starts and ends every day with a cup of tea, and I do the same when backpacking. I was wondering what the general thought is to scattering or burying loose tea leaves on a thru? I am talking about nothing but the leaves, no paper, staples, string or any other trash!!!!! At home we compost tea leaves into the garden and it works great. I know it wouldn't save much weight, but that would be the main reason for doing it, and also to avoid a wet, smelly trash bag because of the tea.

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    Definitely the right thing to do in my opinion. Just do it where it will do the most good, the least harm, and out of site. I call it stealth composting.

  3. #3

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    I think it's a great idea... I can't imagine it harming a thing. My daughter drank tea every night on the trail as well. After she used the tea bag, she washed her face with it. I'll have to tell her about your idea to scatter the tea leaves or bury them. It's a great idea!
    Last edited by HikerMom58; 11-07-2013 at 21:37.

  4. #4

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    I certainly think it is reasonable. Others may not, I once had a long discussion of LNT on a paddling forum over orange peels..... There was a similar thread here about sunflower seeds... Both of those items were argued to be "non-native" and some felt strongly they should be packed out.

    I can not imagine that unless someone saw you drop tea leaves there would be anyone who could ever tell.
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    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Honest I am surprised at the question... As kids we thru apples from the car... its all bio-degradable. Its not going to start a tea bush if you know what I mean.

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    Hopeful Hiker QHShowoman's Avatar
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    Tea leaves are harmless to the environment.

    But apple cores are considered litter in terms of LNT. And throwing them from car windows onto the roadside puts birds and other wildlife who come to feed on them at risk of being hit by a vehicle. I never really thought about it like that until I went to a Raptor Trust rehab place and it changed my behavior forever.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailing_Faith View Post
    I certainly think it is reasonable. Others may not, I once had a long discussion of LNT on a paddling forum over orange peels..... There was a similar thread here about sunflower seeds... Both of those items were argued to be "non-native" and some felt strongly they should be packed out.

    I can not imagine that unless someone saw you drop tea leaves there would be anyone who could ever tell.
    Yea SF ignore the noise.... cant start an orange tree from peels or seeds... on the AT. Sunflower is NATIVE to the America's and honest look at all the non native plants and insects that have been brought in since... too late. Florida has 20+ new insects each year.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasiv..._United_States
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

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  8. #8
    Registered User Ileah7's Avatar
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    We spend most summers out west... and I wouldn't think of composting anything in a lot of areas out there (think high Zion or Bryce NP) where seeing orange peels or apple cores drive me nuts! So I'm in the habit of over thinking things like that here... Thanks for the positive feedback!

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    So long as you dump them in Forested areas full of duff and leaf litter and not on fragile ridge lines, then go for it.

    Also, please don't dispose of anything trail side or in the fire ring, if you're going to dump tea leaves (or other biodegradable stuff for that matter) do so a good ways into the woods, it will cut down on the potential of creating an eyesore and keep the purists from complaining.
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    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    little different out west - I did not consider you were out there. But the sun and microbes will destroy that stuff out there too.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

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  11. #11
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    Make sure you have a tea composting permit. We are experiencing bigger govt every yr.

  12. #12
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Worst case-Use the western smear method.
    Middle case- dump them in your cat hole with your doo doo.
    Best case- don't worry about it.

    Enjoy your tea!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ileah7 View Post
    So I'm a tea drinker who starts and ends every day with a cup of tea, and I do the same when backpacking. I was wondering what the general thought is to scattering or burying loose tea leaves on a thru? I am talking about nothing but the leaves, no paper, staples, string or any other trash!!!!! At home we compost tea leaves into the garden and it works great. I know it wouldn't save much weight, but that would be the main reason for doing it, and also to avoid a wet, smelly trash bag because of the tea.
    I've used them coffee bags (teabag style) on the AT, luckily the did not have a staple, but of course they had the string and paper tab. I threw it all in the leaf litter. I also compost at home and I do the same thing; the string and paper (both the tab and the actual bag) are perfectly biodegradable. If you have a wormbin you learn that they absolutly love paper, it's really no different than leaves or wood chips.


    And don't worry about apple cores or orange peels. They are devoured and returned to the basic elements just like any "native debris", since basic chemistry is not invasive; same all around the world.

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    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QHShowoman View Post
    Tea leaves are harmless to the environment.

    But apple cores are considered litter in terms of LNT. And throwing them from car windows onto the roadside puts birds and other wildlife who come to feed on them at risk of being hit by a vehicle. I never really thought about it like that until I went to a Raptor Trust rehab place and it changed my behavior forever.
    I take your reply seriously - but to be honest isn't that what Johnny Appleseed did from a horse? And just because folks here practice LNT - nobody else does...tons of fast food trash from cars create lots of mice breeding along a highway - running over critters cause roadkill that is an attractive free meal to hawks. Because we eat food around a shelter, we have shelter mice. Preaching to a few to take on LNT isn't going to solve this... I have to freshen my cup of tea.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=road...w=1600&bih=731
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

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    Witnessed a AT thru-hiker GOING OFF on another thru-hiker because he threw a banana peel into the woods. Do you know how long that banana peel takes to fully decompose?, Would you want to see a banana peel in the woods?, Do you know the damage that can occur by doing this? Do you know bananas aren't native to this area? were her questions to the dumbstruck guy. I was ALMOST by the confrontation when she suddenly turned to me and asked: what do you think?, with a huffy tone of voice. I said, "breathe deeply and do be aware of the blades of grass you're crushing underfoot." And hiked off before she could say anything else.

  16. #16

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    i don't have a dog in this fight - the only bananas I take in the woods are already peeled and dehydrated - but apparently the John Muir Trust says DON'T DO IT (capitalized for Dogwoods BENEFIT).

    http://www.theguardian.com/environme...tains-scotland

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Witnessed a AT thru-hiker GOING OFF on another thru-hiker because he threw a banana peel into the woods. Do you know how long that banana peel takes to fully decompose?, Would you want to see a banana peel in the woods?, Do you know the damage that can occur by doing this? Do you know bananas aren't native to this area? were her questions to the dumbstruck guy. I was ALMOST by the confrontation when she suddenly turned to me and asked: what do you think?, with a huffy tone of voice. I said, "breathe deeply and do be aware of the blades of grass you're crushing underfoot." And hiked off before she could say anything else.
    I'm glad she didn't see me feeding iguanas lettuce at my cousins on Big Pine Key.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atmilkman View Post
    I'm glad she didn't see me feeding iguanas lettuce at my cousins on Big Pine Key.
    The proper treatment of iguanas and other invasive reptiles and amphibians to Florida (Cuban treefrogs, Cane Toads) is to place a dab of benzocaine ointment along the spine, and then freeze them.

    Benzocaine, even generic is expensive. Direct placement in the freezer is cheap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WingedMonkey View Post
    The proper treatment of iguanas and other invasive reptiles and amphibians to Florida (Cuban treefrogs, Cane Toads) is to place a dab of benzocaine ointment along the spine, and then freeze them.

    Benzocaine, even generic is expensive. Direct placement in the freezer is cheap.
    Oh my, I forgot......the
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by WingedMonkey View Post
    The proper treatment of iguanas and other invasive reptiles and amphibians to Florida (Cuban treefrogs, Cane Toads) is to place a dab of benzocaine ointment along the spine, and then freeze them.

    Benzocaine, even generic is expensive. Direct placement in the freezer is cheap.
    You ought to see them WM. They're everywhere. Dogwoods post made me think about it. Some lady was giving me a rash of poo-poo cause lettuce was not their ordinary diet. I said lady "the damn things don't even belong here". She just huffed and puffed.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

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