Has a morning ever started without a jolt of coffee? Not for me. And I’m not alone. More than half of Americans count on a daily cup of joe (or two).
Coffee breaks help us recharge. They also allow us to reset and reconnect with family, friends and coworkers. I, for one, don’t want them to disappear.
Unfortunately, climate change is expected to reduce coffee farmland by half in the next three decades alone. Left unmitigated, we’ll see the number of beans produced decrease, global prices rise and, potentially, that delicious taste diminish.
The good news? We can save coffee, and the environment, with four straightforward steps.
1. Raise awareness. Our voices are the best tool to combat climate change. We can educate our loved ones, neighbors and elected officials about what’s at stake without legislative action. Most importantly, we can — and should — vote.
2. Eat less meat. Red meat is a staple of the Southern diet, but there’s no need to eliminate these products from our shopping lists entirely. Data shows that if every American adult cut beef consumption by 25%, we could significantly decrease annual greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Pursue a green lifestyle. Along with limiting the red meat we eat, we can reduce our carbon footprint by being smarter energy and water consumers. We can adopt simple habits like driving less, taking shorter showers, using energy-efficient appliances or opting for reusable shopping bags.
4. Volunteer. Climate change affects everyone, and everyone must chip in to mitigate its effects. We can spur action by supporting local and national organizations, such as Audubon Arkansas, Keep Little Rock Beautiful, the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club and others.
Who wants to cut coffee from their daily routine? I don’t. By combating climate change, we will help ensure we can enjoy our favorite drinks and food products, now and in the future.
Hallie Shoffner is a sixth-generation row crop farmer and the CEO of SFR Seed, a soybean and rice seed production farm. For more information, visit farmherhallie.com.