Shade-grown coffee has been around for awhile now and is important to bird conservation. Coffee grown in the shade allows for conservation of native habitats in Central and South American countries, as the land doesn’t need to be cleared for “traditional” coffee production. Supporting the companies that produce shade-grown coffee over traditional coffee gives them incentives to continue the process.
But even if you don’t drink coffee, the same principles of economics apply in other fields as well. If birders support companies with sound environmental policies and those that contribute to bird conservation, the more incentives they’ll have to continue what they are doing. No matter what people say, profitability runs businesses, even not-for-profits that need positive money to continue to function properly.
If bird conservation can mesh with sound business, we are infinitely more likely to accomplish more conservation. The best example outside of shade-grown coffee is ecotourism. If birders pay to see birds, businesses will not allow habitat to be destroyed, because in doing so they would be destroying their own livelihood.