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.