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Traditional Medicinals goes solar

Last Thursday evening, on a warm fall evening in Northern California's Sonoma County, I was lucky enough to sit in the audience as Traditional Medicinals' cofounder, Drake Sadler, announced that herbal-tea company had transitioned 75 percent of its energy usage to solar. To wit, there were the panels, black and shiny, soaking up the sun and fueling the factory, which turns out hundreds of herbal teas -- most of them organic.

The solar panels generate about 430,000 kilowatt hours per year and will be supplemented with wind-energy offset credits. Pretty cool, to say the least -- especially when you consider the extreme expense of installing these things.

trad med

Lucky me, I also had the chance to tour the factory, where all of Traditional Medicinals' teas are mixed and packaged. Standing in the quarantine room, where all of the raw herbs shipped from around the world wait to be weighed and tested for quality, I was overcome by the gorgeous smell of fresh peppermint, chamomile, and licorice. Traditional Medicinals imports all of their herbs from areas where the herbs are endemic. India, Kazakstan, and China, for example. So not only are you getting yummy herbs, but also Traditional Medicinals is encouraging economic growth in agrocentric parts of the world. It's a fair-trade bonanza.

The herbs are then weighed, tested for quality, and packaged in sustainable tea bags and boxes. I can't tell you how impressed I was with the company's commitment to sustainability and social equity. Plus, I love their Smooth Move and chamomile teas.

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