Your Coffee Can Help Save the Rainforest
by Jaclin DuRant
Deforestation and the destruction of tropical rainforest has been a hot topic among scientists and conservationist for years, and it continues to be a growing problem. Quoted rates vary, but scientists do agree that tropical rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate (a football field per second, according to the Nature Conservancy). Rainforest destruction occurs when trees are cut down for logging, ranching, mining, and agriculture.
Shade grown coffee is just one of many sustainable agricultural practices that offer indigenous peoples a way to make a living while protecting the rainforest. Rather than clearcutting in order to create a coffee plantation, shade grown techniques utilize native canopy trees which provide soil nutrients and protect soils from erosion, thus minimizing the need for chemical fertilizers. Shade grown coffee plantations also provide habitats for birds and other native animals, protecting the biodiversity of the region.
According to the International Coffee Organization, over 2 million cups of coffee are consumed every day, and in many years, coffee is second only to oil as an export commodity. We drink a lot of coffee! So, choosing coffee that is shade grown is an important step that you can take to help protect tropical rainforests from destruction.