Trailhead Tea is now a Certified Sustainable Business at the Conservationist/Bronze level from the Sustainability Alliance.
Sedona AZ (March 18, 2020) – Trailhead Tea has an astounding assortment of teas and if you order a cup there, they set a timer to make sure it’s steeped just the perfect amount of time. They apply this same level of attention to energy conservation, turning the heat off at night and using fans to evenly distribute the air around their two-zone system. They buy in bulk and consolidate shipments where possible. Owners Eileen and Dan Durand drive an electric car and power their home with solar.
Almost all the tea is sold loose, which reduces waste. It’s also safer, since many individual tea bags release microplastics as they steep. When a customer buys tea to take home, it’s sold in a resealable package that Eileen or Dan will refill when the customer returns to buy more. The store also sells samples so customers aren’t left with a big bag of something they don’t end up liking.
Several of the teas are purchased directly from Chinese farmers who use organic practices (although they are not officially certified organic). The Durands personally visited these farms to ensure they had good labor practices and high-quality products.
To save water and energy, they skipped an automatic dishwasher in favor of a tiny three-compartment sink. Used tea leaves are composted in a worm bin. Eileen explains, “We feel connected by our Dark Sky community and enjoy seeing the night sky, but sometimes I worry that people might think we’re closed!”
When a customer orders a cup of tea to go, the Trailhead staff don’t automatically include a straw unless the customer requests it, and they are exploring more ways to discourage straws.
Trailhead Tea supports the local economy by selling ceramic bowls, pot warmers, mugs, tea caddies, jewelry, baked goods, tea socks, and photos. “We always include the artist’s business card with any purchase.” They support a number of local charities like Verde Valley Caregivers and host the Sedona Fine Arts fundraising tea.
Eileen sums their commitment to sustainability this way: “Every decision needs to be evaluated through a sustainability lens. It just makes sense to us to look at future generations.” See who else is certified.