Quantcast

Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
The Green Life: Coffee That's for the Birds

« Book Roundup Wednesday: Books That Give Easy Green Advice | Main | Daily Roundup: December 9, 2009 »

December 09, 2009

Coffee That's for the Birds

Shade grown coffee is better for migrating birds like the oriole More people are flocking to a bird-friendly buzz, says a recent report by the National Zoo's Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC). Sales of the SMBC's certified "Bird Friendly" coffee reached nearly $3.5 million in 2008—an average annual increase of 145 percent from 2000 to 2008. This is good news for the ruby-throated hummingbird, the Baltimore oriole, and the American kestrel—birds that benefit from shade-grown, organic coffee production; Audubon has a helpful list of North American bird species affected by coffee plantations.

Historically, coffee was grown beneath a canopy of diverse trees, where wildlife thrived alongside the coffee bushes. Farmers started clear-cutting trees in the 1970s, hoping to increase yields. These "sun-coffee" farms also tend to rely heavily on fertilizers and pesticides. But as more consumers demand sustainable, ecofriendly beverages, some growers have returned to the traditional method of coffee cultivation, which protects delicate ecosystems.

If you're a bird-lover searching for a feel-good cup of joe, look for SMBC's Bird Friendly seal or the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Check out Sierra magazine's coverage to see how coffee experts rated ecofriendly brands.

--Della Watson

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b96069e20120a7392296970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Coffee That's for the Birds:

User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...