teabagHouse of Sims via Flickr

It’s Tax Day, and since our eco-advice on that front is pretty straightforward (save paper and file online!), we thought we’d focus instead on the other event that’s brewing. Unless you’ve been ignoring cable news altogether for the past few weeks, you already know that lots of people plan to gather at “tea parties” to protest high taxes and government spending.

In the spirit of this (completely wacked) day, we thought we’d offer an eco-tip to the beleaguered politicians receiving tea bags in the mail, and to those who might be gathering tea bags as props for the media: Don’t toss those tea bags in the garbage. For the most part, tea bags — which, as our own Umbra has pointed out, are a perfect example of our throwaway culture — are compostable!

We hope Michelle Malkin, Grover Norquist, and all our pals over at Fox News shopped for tea that comes in unbleached bags, as this handy fact sheet advises. And we hope they avoided bags with staples in them, to keep more metal bits out of the ol’ compost bin. We suppose we should give a shout-out to the yahoos who set up a page that lets people send virtual tea bags, since it’s much less wasteful.

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But for those who have a handful they don’t know what to do with, there are plenty of uses for used tea bags. According to ehow.com, tea bags are great liners for potted plants, helping retain moisture and prevent soil from falling out through the various drainage holes. If the Obamas get enough of them, maybe they can make compost for their new garden.

So, er, happy tea bag day. And bottoms up!

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