Do You Know Where Your Coffee Comes From?

I have a love affair with my Keurig.  Every morning, I get up and tell my Keurig how much I love it and how thankful everyone in my house should be for it’s existence.  Then I drink my coffee.  When I think about where my coffee comes from, I think about where I physically buy it… Target, Wal-mart, online, etc… not where it actually comes from.

The kids and I were invited to a special hands-on lesson on the rainforest at Discovery Place last week.  First, we love Discover Place.  I’ve written about it before.  It’s such an amazing place, so full of fun and educating exhibits, for both children and adults alike.  We even skipped a day of summer camp because the offer of a trip to the rainforest was too good to pass up.
Back to coffee… Did you know that coffee comes from the rainforest?  If that’s not reason enough to be concerned with conservation, I don’t know what is!  Can you imagine a time before coffee?  Or rubber (that you, rubber plant) or cinnamon, tea and sugar?  Over 2000 of the plants we eat originated in the rainforest.  
The amount of gratitude our modern society owes to the rainforest is unimaginable, yet we continue to destroy it.
Discovery Place is trying to do something to stop the destruction by educating children (and adults alike) about the rainforest and what it means to us with their amazing rainforest exhibit.  They’ve taken the various rainforests from around the world and combined them into one beautiful habitat, full of the plants and animals of the world’s rainforests.  It’s unique in that many of the animals and plants in the exhibit would never co-exist in nature, but they do here.
This little guy is a dart frog.  Isn’t he beautiful?
Our rainforest guide introduced us to a few animals, very up close and personal…
This guy is the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.  Can you imagine running into him in the dark?  He’s huge! (At least for a bug.)
This gal is Princess.  She’s an Iridescent Rainbow Boa Constrictor.  She can open her jaw to about 1-1/2 times the size of the largest circumference of her body.  I don’t want to even think of what 1-1/2 times the circumference of the largest part of my body is.  She swallows her prey whole, after the squeezes the life out of it.  Sounds pretty exciting, huh?
Addison didn’t have to think twice about touching her.  While snakes in nature skeeve me out, I touched her too.  She was really quite beautiful, even if she could eat a small mammal.
This is Lizzy.  Lizzy is a Green Iguana.  Lizzy is also a boy.  We learned a lot of cool things about Lizzy, but the most awesome was that he has a ‘third eye’ of sorts on top of his head and it acts as a light sensor, more of less telling Lizzy when it’s time to sleep.  I wish my kids had those.
Cullen’s not generally much of a toucher, but I guess Lizzy’s charm was too much to resist.
We learned lots of other rainforest facts and spent some time wandering the rest of the exhibits (you can see more on those here).  A big ‘Thank You’ to Discovery Place for inviting us down and providing us with free admission for the day, as well as the special hand-on treatment in the rainforest!  If you live in/around Charlotte and haven’t taken the time to visit Discovery Place, you’re missing out!  If you’re not local and find yourself here as a visitor someday, be sure to add Discovery Place to your list of ‘must-visit’ city attractions.
Save the rainforest!
There’s no telling what might happen if I can’t have my coffee.
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3 Responses to Do You Know Where Your Coffee Comes From?

  1. Lizzy Do says:

    Yeah, it’s quite tragic about all the rainforest that’s been destroyed already. Not sure if I could touch that Boa…whoa, he’s a big one! You’re brave :)

  2. gina valley says:

    Sounds like a great place to visit!

  3. Angie says:

    Yep, we love Discovery Place, too! We have a membership and Mark takes the kids quite a bit on the weekends. They recently saw the IMAX movie about dinosaurs and loved it.

    I don’t drink coffee anymore, but no, I didn’t realize it was from the rainforest. Huh. You learn something new every day!

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