Hello, my fellow coffee and ecology lovers! As I am sure most of you already know, one of the core values here at Dean’s Beans is respect for the earth and ecological responsibility, so we love celebrating Earth Day. We take every opportunity we can to celebrate Mother Earth and all of her flora, fauna and inhabitants all year round, but on Earth Day, we all get to celebrate together. To kick off the fun, here are a few Earth Day Fun (and some not so fun) Facts!
- On the first Earth Day in 1970, 20 million Americans (!!!) took to the streets in every kind of civic gathering imaginable to show their support
- The inspiration for Earth Day came from Senator Gaylord Nelson witnessing the damage wrought by a 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara
- Earth Day actually led to environmental legislation! The EPA, Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts were all inspired by Earth Day
Now that we’ve had our Earth Day history lesson, I bet you’re saying to yourself, “Yeah Dean, we know Earth Day is great, but how does it relate to coffee?”… Oh, let me count the ways! Every year, the good people over at the Earth Day Organization decide on a theme for the day, and for 2021 the theme is Restore Our Earth. I love this theme because it ties in perfectly to the work that we are involved in here at Dean’s Beans. Here is just a smattering of the projects that we have been working on and supporting since the last Earth Day!
We have been buying coffee from COMSA in Honduras for years, and have worked on development projects with them in the past. This year, I was inspired by the agroforestry (if you haven’t heard of agroforestry, Grow Ahead’s website has information about their approach here) work that Grow Ahead is doing, especially since their development model is so similar to ours: projects designed and managed by local communities. When we found out that they were working with COMSA on a reforestation project in Honduras, we knew we had to support this important work!
Massachusetts Pollinator Network/ NOFA
I am a huge proponent of protecting pollinators, and have spoken out against the use of “neonic” pesticides here in Massachusetts. There is an incredibly vibrant farming community here in Western Massachusetts, where we all live and work, so sponsoring the Pollinator Network was a no-brainer for us. If you want to get your hands dirty for Earth Day, consider planting a pollinator garden (my seeds are in the mail now!). There are some great local and nationwide resources on the Pollinator Network website.
Smithsonian Bird Friendly Certified Coffee
We have had certified Bird Friendly coffee for about three years now, but things are really starting to ramp up. In addition to our Peruvian and Guatemalan single origins, which are 100% Bird Friendly, we are getting ready to launch a THIRD 100% Bird Friendly offering (stay close to your inbox!). We are also working directly with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center to help the cooperative we work with in Sumatra to make them the first Bird Friendly Certified coffee in Asia. Buying Bird Friendly Certified coffee is another way to show your support for Mother Earth. In addition to protecting migratory birds, Bird Friendly coffee also supports ecological diversity, which leads to healthier soil, healthier farmers, and a healthier you!
I hope this information provided some food for thought for you readers on this 51st Earth Day! Remember, Earth Day is not just about one day of action; it is a jumping off point to inspire action and activism the other 364 days of the year.