Home > Topic Type > Environment > Offset your “Coffee Footprint” for World Rainforest Week

What do coffee, a five-dollar bill, and rainforests have in common? Coffee is one of the top ten commodities of the world. In the U.S., most handcrafted lattes and espresso beverages fall somewhere under five dollars. Sadly, rainforests are often compromised to accommodate the need for growing more crops and delivering the beans to caffeine-loving folks around the world.
Why is this important? We lose between 3 and 6 billion trees annually due to deforestation. Our world population is under 7 billion; imagine losing every person living on this planet each year. That is the effect of harvesting lumber for logging and cultivating farm land to grow crops. The pretty penny spent on many cups of java begins with the coffee beans themselves.

 

Many countries near the Equator and around oceans harvest coffee beans.

Many countries near the Equator and world oceans harvest coffee beans. Photo credit: Samson Lee

Preserving our Delicate Ecosystems

Let’s look at Brazil: the world’s highest producer of coffee, churning out an impressive 2,249,010 tonnes in 2007 alone. In response to this demand, many coffee harvesters occupied fertile soil, eradicating many of the lush vegetation in that space. As an effect of this type of production, many forests and habitats have disappeared. By removing the trees, the goal was to maximize the growth period of the coffee plants (via photosynthesis) in order to yield even more product at a faster rate. However, this creates detrimental effects on our global environment such as atmospheric warming and near extinct species of exotic animals.
There is a solution. Allowing native trees to flourish among coffee crops generates seed dispersal from birds, giving birth to a diverse ecosystem of plants and animals. Attracting multiple species of trees is ideal, because the sprouting vegetation that results often unite empty spaces present in rainforests today. This process may also reverse the effects of deforestation over time, Jha claims.  Read the entire report on Shalene Jha and Christopher Dick’s exploration in shade-grown coffee and how it improves the effects of deforestation.

Natural landscapes like this are losing their chance to be preserved.

Natural landscapes like this are losing their chance to be preserved. Photo credit: rumpleteaser

World Rainforest Week

World Rainforest Week is October 10-16; a time of reflection and appreciation for the flora and fauna of every lush forest in the world. Burundi, Brazil, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Mali, Nicaragua, the Philippines, and Senegal are all recognized under Jolkona’s Tree Planting project with “Trees for the Future.”

This year for National Coffee Day on September 29th, I donated to this project by supplying Brazil with 50 more trees.

This week, I challenge you by trading one latte, cappuccino, or cup of drip for 50 trees to replenish our world loss of 3 to 6 billion trees annually. As always, a Jolkona “thank you” for your donation will be real-time updates from our partner about your gracious contribution. Every drop counts, and even one new tree is an additional contributor to future growth!

To learn more about shade-grown coffee and other environmentally conscious actions you can take, visit Green Bean Coffee’s website and mongabay.com

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