|Coffee Consuming Countries - from NatGeo|
|Coffee Growing Countries - courtesy of Wikipedia|
There are a lot of things that our modern society overindulges in that negatively impact the environment, and not all are traditional "vices" in the religious sense. Just think about beef, sugar, and beer to name a couple. Look at the impingement on the land required to grow, process, and supply these items at the unnecessary levels of demand we human beings have created. Surely we can all be more temperate in our consumption of such things for both our own health's sake and for the earth's sake.
What about the millions of folks in developing countries who depend on coffee growing to feed their families? Ecotourism may be part of the solution for them. What if every coffee drinking birder ditched the habit and saved their daily coffee money and put it toward a birding trip in Central America? That would have a significant economic impact. But would it be enough? Probably not. Hard working coffee growers would have to transition to new industries. I'm not calling for a complete ban on coffee...just a simple reduction in consumption and demand so that more rain forest and therefore birds can be saved from obliteration. At the very least responsible birders and the environmentally-conscious should be drinking certified shade-grown coffee. As for me, I'll continue to abstain.