In recent years,
"bird friendly" coffee has been making a name for itself. Starbucks,
for example, has teamed up with Conservation International to sell
a coffee called Shade Grown Mexico. Some coffees meeting shade-grown
criteria are certified with the Smithsonian Institution's Bird Friendly
label or The Rainforest Alliance's ECO-O.K. label.
From its unassuming origin in the African forest, coffee has taken
on such economic and cultural importance that we have destroyed
forests to cultivate this one species. The United States consumes
roughly one-fifth of the world's coffee. If we bought shade-grown
coffee instead of sun coffee, we could potentially decrease the
use of harmful chemicals, preserve valuable habitat for migratory
birds, and help sustain unique ecosystems.