If you’ve been one of our customers for a while now, you may be starting to have the same problem that I have-- you have a shelf full of old, empty tea tins. They’re too small for some use for them to be immediately apparent, and yet too nice to simply throw away. Surely, there must be a use for them.
Don’t despair, dear reader. There is a use for them. In fact, there are at least seven.
If you live near our store, you can bring your tin back in, and get a 5% discount on whatever we fill it back up with. You can fill it with more of the same tea, or try something new. We offer this discount to encourage people to re-use our tins, and to reduce our usage of less-sustainable bags.
However, if you live a little farther away, there are absolutely other things that can be done with them.
Try re-purposing our tins as tiny holiday gift boxes! A little goo-gone, or a long soak in soapy water should lift the label. A bow stuck to the top should give it a festive feel. Our tins should keep delicate gifts from being crushed, even if they find themselves at the bottom of an over-full purse, and should be much less painfully slow to open than something covered in elaborate layers of wrapping-paper. The best part is that you have given your recipient a tiny metal box, which is just a little too useful-looking to throw out, thus passing your own problem on to them.
You’ll want to find something sharp, and try to puncture a hole in the bottom of our tins before you plant anything in them, so that they’ll drain. (Yes, this is why those cute herbs that you tried to grow in mason jars all died.) Then, fill them with a little soil, or composted tea leaves, and plant something that won’t outgrown it’s tiny new home in them, like basil. Keep a dish under them to catch any excess water, and keep them in the proper amount of sunlight. As long as you remember to water them, they should be very happy in their new homes.
If you're looking for more of a challenge in the green growing things department, try stacking several of them into a pyramid, and hot gluing them like that. Then, grow plants which quickly reproduce using runners (such as strawberries or spider plants) in them. Enjoy your tower of greenery.
I, personally, cannot cook without someone telling me exactly what to do every step of the way. Thus, I end up asking friends for recipes constantly. This leads me to a giant pile of haphazard scraps of paper. If you'd like to keep that authentic feel of handwritten recipes, but are not particularly fond of the pile of paper scraps method, try writing them all out on index cards, and putting the index cards in an old tea tin.
Soap dishes always feel too unnecessary to buy, in spite of the fact that they are very necessary things. Therefore, put that goat soap you bought from the nice Amish woman at the farmer’s market (or that other bar soap you happen to own, no judgement) in an empty tea tin. Some coins or clean stones in the bottom of it will help you keep it from falling over, and should also help your soap, which should now be balanced in a more upright position, to dry off more, rather than sitting in that gross puddle of soap-water that ends up in the bottom of conventional soap dishes.
Where do you store your business cards? How are you keeping them organized? Are you keeping them wrapped up with a rubber band? Just a guess. Instead of doing that, imagine putting them all in a tea tin in your car. Going to a networking event? Great. You didn't forget your business cards, because they're in a tin right next to you. Grab a handful of them, and be glad that you drink so much tea. They should even smell faintly of your favorite tea.
Coins eventually add up, but they only add up if you can find a way to keep track of them. Empty the coins from your pockets at the end of each day into one of our tea tins, and you may eventually find yourself with enough coins to buy yourself more tea! The tin should even have a handy lid, for keeping your coins safe and contained while you take them to the bank, to have them processed first. Please do not try to buy your tea all in pennies. It would be a long day for us both.
Flip back the lid of one of our tea tins, and it becomes a cute, quirky desktop organizer to keep all of your pens, pencils, and multiple colors of highlighter in. If you’re having trouble with it falling over, we recommend again filling the bottom with stones or coins, to weight it.
I personally have stacks of flashcards like this laying around everywhere. While a regular 3X5 card is a little large for our tins, cards made from halved index cards (which tend to be too small to contain with rubber bands anyways) fit in them perfectly. Plus, when you’re stressed in those moments before an exam, your cards will all smell like your favorite tea.
If you're ordering online, and you'd like for your tea to come in a tin, you can find them here. Simply specify in the notes which teas you would like in which tins, as we offer a variety of colors. They really are a much better option for storing tea, for reasons which are explained by this blog post.
What do you do with your empty tins? Have you tried any of these things, or have you found other uses for them?