This morning I submerged a jasmine tea bag into the hot water inside my lovely little blue mug that I bought from a local potter years ago. I’ve done this most mornings for years, but today I suddenly thought to put a little saucer across the top of the mug while the tea steeps.
Why? Because I’ve learned that heat is so costly to the earth. Even here in Portland Oregon — the land of mighty rivers and hydropower — more than 40% of our energy comes from coal, the burning of which accelerates global warming. Heating water takes a lot of energy. Covering it once it’s hot is common sense, and shows respect for the price the earth is paying.
Now I’m sipping my jasmine tea, both tea and mug delightfully warmer than when they sit uncovered while steeping. It seems to me that life has dozens of these choice-points each day. Dozens of chances to be in the moment and respect the earth by consuming less energy. We have more power than we walk around imagining we have.