For more than 50 years, farmers in Central Kenya have been growing coffee as their main cash crop with little knowledge of how they were contributing to changes in the climatic conditions around Mount Kenya, the Abadares Mountains and other high altitude areas.
But today a share of Kenya's Fairtrade-certified coffee farms are gradually swapping the wooden coffee drying tables they have used for decades for metal tables - and in the process saving the highland region's large trees that are vital in protecting rainfall patterns in the region.
Since launching in 1961, the three factories of the Ndumberi Coffee Growers Cooperative Society - where more than 10,000 families take their coffee for processing and marketing - have used large wooden tables to dry their coffee cherries.
The wooden tables are constructed from strong poles as stands. Timber frames are placed on top with wire mesh on which sisal sacks or polythene paper is placed to hold the coffee cherries to dry.
Each year the factories have to cut down several mature trees to construct the wooden drying tables, which often must be replaced annually.
But now "we have realised that the factories have no more trees to cut down in order to construct the wooden drying tables", said Stanley Kihiu, the society chairman.
Another society, Rumukia Farmers Cooperative, has eight coffee factories and each of them needs five mature trees each year to construct the wooden drying tables. The society produces 3.5 million kilograms of coffee cherries each year on a total of 802 hectares of land.
"We are continuing to cut a lot of trees which we do not have at our factories. We have eight factories and each cuts down four to five big trees per year", said John Muriuki, the society manager.
And the tables don't last. Charles Muriuki, chairman of the Gikanda Farmers Cooperative, another coffee society, said wooden drying tables are quickly destroyed by termites and rain.
James Njuguna the factory manager for Rumukia Cooperative society, said wooden tables are also prone to becoming uneven, which can affect the quality of the coffee, a concern when selling to an international market.