If you recall, Debbie M won this year’s most commenting award! For her prize she got to choose a charity for us to donate to.
She chose The Rainforest Foundation:
Rainforest Foundation US protects rainforests in partnership with indigenous peoples since 1989
Here is their Charity Navigator rating.
We contributed $50 in honor of Debbie M.
January 16, 2023 at 7:58 am
Thank you! I used to enjoy donating to The Nature Conservancy because I liked how they, instead of begging Congress to do something (which, I now know, is very powerful and important) would actually buy land that was ecologically valuable. Then they started working with current landowners because it was more efficient. But they sure spend a lot of money on advertising and whatnot, so I partly switched to Conservation International.
Now I donate to Rainforest Foundation because they similarly work with landowners, especially indigenous dwellers who clearly know what they’re doing, and they are focused on rainforests which are the most useful in fighting climate change.
Similarly, I recommend switching to shade-grown chocolate to help reduce the slashing-and-burning of rainforest. (I think the same may be true for coffee, but I haven’t researched it because I don’t drink coffee. I know–it’s like I’m not even a real person, or at least not a real grown-up.) Anything labeled organic, rainforest certified, or fair trade is shade-grown. Of course it costs more, because you have to actually walk around in the rainforest to get to the cacao trees instead of planting them by themselves in easy-to-access rows. With extra chemicals so they’ll grow in the sun.
January 16, 2023 at 9:10 am
I’ve found that fair trade chocolate is generally better quality too. I’m not sure there’s much market for expensive non-fair trade chocolate but I could be wrong.
January 17, 2023 at 6:07 am
I used to be up on the research about this. When I was in grad school for ecology, my neighboring lab studied coffee growing. Shade grown coffee from Central and South America helps the rainforest. I’m trying to remember why shade grown coffee from Africa is not as beneficial.
Okay, in googling, looks like Ethiopian shade coffee is good, according to the literature.
Main risk with shade grown coffee is cutting down native forest to plant non native shade trees with coffee underneath. But it also seems like that’s improving.
In short, yes, shade grown coffee is recommended for birds and for reducing chemicals used. There are still bugs that attack coffee, but the bugs have natural predators present in a forest that are not common in coffee plantations.
January 17, 2023 at 4:31 pm
Thanks for sharing!
January 17, 2023 at 12:56 pm
Debbie – I also do not drink coffee, so you have a fellow “fake grown-up”. But I have become very fond of french press cacao lately – it’s cacao beans roasted and ground like coffee beans that you prepare in a french press like coffee (or I guess you could brew it in other ways like coffee, but since I don’t drink coffee…). I’d highly recommend it!
January 17, 2023 at 4:32 pm
So fancy it’s hard to even imagine. Right now, I stir in cocoa powder with sugar and milk and heat that on the stove for hot chocolate. So making it with water and no sugar sounds not very yummy. But maybe you add cream and sugar?
January 16, 2023 at 11:02 am
I just gave
January 16, 2023 at 11:08 am
January 16, 2023 at 4:12 pm
Wow, thank you!