Seven Amazing & Eco Friendly Uses of Seaweed – Good for you and the planet!
Seaweed is valuable as a source of sustainable and renewable biomass, and here at Teatis Tea we want to help support seaweed farming and show the world the underutilized potential of this amazing ocean resource.
Founder of Teatis Tea
When was the last time you encountered seaweed in your daily life? Maybe in a soup, salad, or with some sushi at a Japanese restaurant? However seaweed is used in a wide variety of industries and has tremendous potential to help with our health and benefit our planet too. Here’s seven amazing and eco friendly uses of seaweed!
1 – Food and Drink for Human Consumption
Seaweed can be used in a variety of delicious and healthy foods and drinks for humans. You might have had nori seaweed with some sushi or a riceball, wakame seaweed in miso soup or a seaweed salad, kombu kelp in kombucha tea, or Arame seaweed in our Teatis Tea. There are many ways to enjoy the taste, textures, and health benefits of seaweed. In addition to valuable vitamins and minerals, Arame seaweed used in Teatis Tea has even been shown to help with obesity and reduce fat.
2 – Cosmetics
Have you ever noticed seaweed or “algae” noted in the ingredients of your makeup? Seaweed is popular to use in skin and hair care products. The minerals, vitamins, amino acids and other ingredients beneficial when you eat seaweed can be valuable as part of your beauty routine too!
3 – Sustainable Edible “Plastics”
As we strive to decrease our use of plastics to protect our planet, seaweed is stepping in as an impressive alternative. Seaweed based “plastic” is edible, biodegradable, and sustainable. This new kind of plastic is already being put to use to decrease plastic waste at events, such as the London Marathon in 2019. As seaweed based alternative plastics become more common we can reduce our global plastic waste.
4 – Fertilizer & Soil Conditioner
In addition to being used as food and drink itself, seaweed farming can benefit traditional land agriculture too. Seaweed can be used as an organic fertilizer and soil conditioner to help in the production of land crops.
5 – Feed for Livestock, Aquaculture, & Pets
Just as humans find seaweed a great source of food, it can be used as feed for livestock, fish (aquaculture), and pets as well. Supplementing feed with seaweed has the benefit of not only being sustainable, but of helping to increase the immunity of some livestock and decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases produced by ruminants such as cows .
6 – Bioethanol – Renewable Energy
Seaweed grows faster than many land crops, making seaweed farming an efficient way to produce biomass usable for bioethanol production. For example, net production of kelp seaweeds is 17.5 t/ha/year while sugarcane is 5–10 t/ha/year . That means it grows over twice as fast! Overall, seaweed is said to have 4 to 23 times the potential of land crops (such as wheat, barley, and sugarcane) in bioethanol production, making it an efficient source of this renewable energy.
7 – Preserving Water Ecosystems
Seaweed can also be used to help build rich sea forests, protect biodiversity in the oceans, and clean wastewater. Seaweed helps to extract organic and inorganic nutrients in the water, preventing harmful algal blooms, and also takes in carbon dioxide.
Food, cosmetics, sustainable plastic, fertilized, even renewable energy, seaweed has a wide variety of amazing and eco friendly uses. Which was your favorite? We hope you discovered some new and interesting applications of seaweed, and hope you’ll join us in supporting the health of both yourself and the planet with Teatis Tea!
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PRODUCTION USING RED SEAWEED EUCHEUMA COTTONII FROM BONTANG SEA WATER”. Journal of Coastal Development. 15 (1).