Can We Sustain Our Coffee Habit?

Longreads

[Dr. Stephen] Gliessman argues that these resilient coffee forests will be able to survive climate change. “It is the low elevation robusta variety of coffee and the coffee that is grown in large monoculture, full sun plantations (the bulk of the coffee traded on the open commodity market) that will not be resilient.” Single species plantations are more susceptible to disease and pests linked to climate change from lack of genetic diversity, and rising temperatures will make it impossible to grow even low-quality robusta at lower elevations.

In effort to reduce their carbon footprint, companies like Peet’s and Starbucks have LEED-certified facilities. In fact, Starbucks has more LEED certified retail stores than any other company in the world— over 500. A representative for Peet’s explains that the chain recycles all pallets, burlap bags, and plastic packaging. Meanwhile, Starbucks claims to have reduced energy use in stores by 25 percent since…

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