What is a bird-friendly lifestyle? Buying shade grown coffee? Putting out feeders? Supporting bird conservation organizations? All of the above?
I’ve determined this year to be the start of an intentional way of living that specifically considers wild bird conservation in as many consumer streams as I can identify. That’s right, I’m going to approach this wild bird advocacy as a shopper, and advise on what I find for such mainstays as wine, beer, coffee, chocolate, cosmetics, clothing, and so on. It strikes me as an easy place to start being conscientious, and an accessible process to share with readers.
So where to start?
I began here: Bird expert and author Laura Erickson outlines over 100 ways to help wild birds, through her book, 101 Ways to Help Birds, and her up-to-the-minute online version of 101 Ways to help Birds. Her tips are global and touch on consumables as part of many things a person can do in advocating for wild birds—and you should read her list!
I’m going to take on consumables and dig deeper, the way sustainability bloggers do for fashion at ecocult.com or zero waste living at lucylucraft . These bloggers challenge readers to think in terms of end to end process for consumer decision making.
Yes, we’re all used to that when we buy organic or look for fair trade labels but when have you considered the impact on wild birds when making a purchase?
Currently, the only Bird Friendly certification in existence is for coffee, through a rigorous, evidence-based process developed by the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. I’ll use their standards as a starting point for my analysis of other industries, and share what I learn here.
Luckily, USDA Organic, Fair Trade, Rain Forest Certified, Shade Grown and more mostly benefit wild birds, too. But I want to find out WHY and HOW and share that with you. If there’s a bird-complementary piece of an existing third party certification, I’ll tell you about it.
Currently, I’m in the thick of researching the wine industry, or more to the point, grape growers. For your enjoyment, the photos here are from a visit to local estate winery, Wilridge in Yakima, Washington. Wilridge maintains many bird friendly practices in its grape growing, from its biodynamic certification to its proximity to and protection of bird habitat
In lieu of a Bird Friendly certification for wine, watch this space for more about what winemakers are doing and how you can make conscientious wine purchase as a lover of wild birds.
In fact, watch this space for all the consumer products I will address as part of this series! I’m excited to start. Are there are any consumer products I haven’t listed above that you’d like to learn more about in terms of their bird friendliness? Please leave your suggestions in the comments, and thank you!
By the way, this post contains an affiliate link to Indie Bound, supporting Laura Erickson, your local indie book seller, and me! Thank you!