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Why Breathing Leaves?

Shui Xian

Do leaves actually breathe? They absorb carbon dioxide and expel oxygen, whether or not you want to call that breathing is up to you. We don’t typically think of the leaves we use to brew tea as living (because they aren’t), but they once were. Trees are living beings as well - they are not “things” that we can use however we please. They may experience life slowly and silently, but a lot goes on both above and beneath the forest floor that we are not capable of seeing.

If we are going to harvest their leaves then we need to make sure they are taken care of - I believe we should treat all living beings with respect and trees are no exception. When we start to think about what pesticides and fertilizers are used on the trees that make our tea, what our tea is packaged in (single-use plastic, perhaps?) and where that brand new teapot will end up 100 years from now (a landfill most likely), we can have an incredible impact on the environment around us. Hopefully, then, the trees that grow our tea will continue to thrive, and we can keep drinking in good conscience.