A biodiverse habitat under the canopy of shade trees
Coffee is a shade-loving shrub that flourishes amid the cover of diverse tree species. So do the hummingbirds, swallows, warblers, orioles, and other native and migratory birds that find sanctuary in the lush forests, for example, in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Colombia. Under the canopy of shade trees, traditional coffee farms help preserve diverse ecosystems, providing a natural habitat for insects, micro-organisms, animals, and migratory birds. Some 95% fewer bird species are found on large-scale "modern" coffee plantations than on traditional shade-grown plantations.
A way to ensure healthier soil and safer groundwater
Modern large-scale coffee productions often demand intensive clear-cutting of the land, depriving migratory songbirds and other wildlife of their natural habitat. By reducing biodiversity, clear-cutting contributes to soil erosion and necessitates the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that infiltrate local groundwater. By contrast, a tree canopy helps to create natural mulch for coffee plants, preserves healthy soil, and keeps groundwater safe for local populations by eliminating the need for harmful pesticides.
Beyond organic farming practices that preserve the environment and natural biological processes, our commitment to the environment is evident in our local purchasing, transportation, and waste disposal policies and practices.
Our local environmental footprint
We source from local companies, whenever possible, that grow produce or manufacture products locally to reduce transportation requirements, for example, milk, cream, and honey.
We have a recycling (paper, glass, plastics, metal) and composting program in each coffeehouse that reduces our waste substantially. We have invested in reusable shipping containers to transport coffee and kitchen goods to our coffeehouses. We continue to research packaging, service, and cleaning products that have a higher recycled content and that are considered more environmentally responsible by Canadian environmental certifiers.
We’re also pleased to offer you used coffee grounds for your garden. Coffee grounds help to make great compost, particularly when combined with leaves and grass to balance acidity. Compost provides soil with texture and replenishes nutrients needed for healthy plant growth. Grounds can also be applied directly to a garden's acid loving plants such as roses or hydrangeas. Ask for used grounds at any Bridgehead coffeehouse.
Environmental organizations and resources
Peace and Environment Resource Centre [www.perc.ca]
Environmental News Network [www.enn.com]
Worldwatch Institute [www.worldwatch.org]
Environmental Choice Program [www.environmentalchoice.com]
Visit our Shop Online section to purchase our coffees, teas, and gifts for the holidays.