Coffee could soon be extinct. The scary reason (and how to help now)
Let’s face it – most of us can’t get through the morning without a cup of coffee. Whether you love lattes, pour overs or just a basic cup of joe, nothing beats a good caffeine fix – except, perhaps, climate change.
Here’s the scary news: changes in climate are devastating coffee crops in South America and Africa. Wild coffee species may go extinct as a result.
“At least 60% of all coffee species are threatened with extinction,” says a study from Science Advances. That’s bad news for all us coffee lovers – and it’s really bad news for our planet.
Why is climate change bad for coffee farming?
Deforestation is also taking a major toll on the crops. In order to expand their farms, coffee growers often end up cutting down trees. This releases carbon into the environment, which actually speeds up climate change. It’s an ugly cycle, to say the least.
If things keep going at this rate, half of the land used to grow coffee will no longer be able to grow crops by 2100.
What problems could coffee extinction create?
For starters, as coffee species go extinct, the remaining coffee supply will skyrocket in price and decrease in quality. No one’s going to be happy when they have to shell out a ton of cash for a mediocre caffeine buzz.
But the bigger issue lies in the economy. For countries like Ethiopia that rely on coffee for a major portion of their export income, coffee’s extinction could be a complete economic and social nightmare.
How can we save the coffee industry?
Besides committing to eco-friendly lifestyles, we can all do our part by supporting nonprofits like World Coffee Research who are working hard to save the coffee industry from the effects of climate change.
Other nonprofits like Conservation International and even companies like Starbucks are working with farmers to help them contend with climate change. By making changes to the way they farm, there might be hope for the future of coffee crops – but until then, don’t take your morning cup of joe for granted.
These eco-friendly tips will help you combat climate change every day:
- How to be an ethical coffee drinker
- 5 environmental issues that need to be on your radar this year
- 5 amazing ways being vegan will save the planet