Archive for July, 2013

We have a (solar) winner!

By
July 30th, 2013



Mililani homeowner Wayne Ishida won the RevoluSun and Zippy's Restaurants 2013 Energy Efficiency Makeover Challenge. He wins a solar PV system worth about $15,000. Courtesy photo.

Mililani homeowner Wayne Ishida won the RevoluSun and Zippy's Restaurants 2013 Energy Efficient Home Makeover. He wins a solar PV system worth about $15,000. Courtesy photo.

Congratulations to Wayne Ishida of Mililani.

Ishida was named the grand prize winner of RevoluSun and Zippy's Restaurants "2013 Energy Efficient Home Makeover Giveaway." He wins a solar PV system courtesy of RevoluSun worth about $15,000 plus two energy-efficient appliances valued at $2,500. The contest ran throughout June 2013 at all Zippy's restaurant locations statewide.

No purchase was necessary to enter the contest, but entrants had to be 18 years or older, be a Hawaii resident and homeowner.

Ishida, who planning to retire at the end of the year, entered because he's been watching solar PV systems going up on  neighbors rooftops, and was interested in energy savings for his own home.

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LUSH: Take back the tap

By
July 25th, 2013



LUSH Cosmetics is holding a "Take Back The Tap" campaign, encouraging customers to bring reusable water bottles and drink from tap instead of purchasing commercial bottled water. Photo from sierraclub.org.

LUSH Cosmetics is holding a "Take Back The Tap" campaign, encouraging customers to bring reusable water bottles and drink from tap instead of purchasing commercial bottled water. Photo from sierraclub.org.

LUSH Cosmetics stores in Hawaii are asking the public to "take back the tap" by saying no to bottled water for two weeks starting July 27.

The Hawaii stores (Ala Moana Center and 713 Front St. in Lahaina, Maui) are part of 179 LUSH shops across the U.S. asking the public to take control of their water future and to switch to only reusable water bottles. In case you're looking, many stainless steel ones are available from Klean Kanteen, Crocodile Creek and Thermos Foogo. S'well bottles are really cool, too.

"Plastic convenience bottles are unnecessary as there are far superior, more viable options that exist," says Shama Alexander, environmental officer for LUSH Cosmetics North America. "Research proves it is far better for your health to drink from a glass or coated metal bottle than from a disposable plastic bottle. A personal bottle can be reused endlessly, saving plastic from being discarded and saving consumers quite a bit of money in the long run."

LUSH Cosmetics encourages consumers to carry a reusable  bottle, choose tap whenever possible and be educated about your local water supply.

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Landscape Sustainability Awards call for entries

By
July 25th, 2013



landscapeHere's another first for Hawaii — the first Landscape Sustainability Awards.

The Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii's 2013 Lanscape Sustainability Awards recognize advocates of sustainability and landscape projects that are in harmony with the natural environment and improve public health outcomes.

It's a recognition of sustainability as everyone's business and the need to share sustainable innovations and techniques within the industry.

And the LICH is also issuing a call for entries.

Here are the award categories:

>> Sustainability Award

>> Native Plant Design Award — Residential, Government, Commercial

>>  Native Plant Advocacy & Research

>> Sustainable Company Award

>> Plant Pono Invasive Species Advocacy Award

>> Water Conservation Award

>> Edible Landscape Award

>> Student Poster

Awards named after moon phases will be given at two levels – the La‘au Ku Kahi Award for Excellence (with one award in each category) and the Mohalu Honor Award (numerous awards may be given in each category). The submission deadline is Aug. 30, followed by notification of winners Sept. 22 and an awards ceremony at the LICH Conference Oct. 10.

Visit www.hawaiiscape.com/awards to learn more. Online entries will be accepted until Aug. 30.

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Miss Earth Hawaii - Beauties for a cause?

By
July 24th, 2013



The very first Miss Earth Hawaii beauty pageant is headed this way. Miss Earth Hawaii and Miss Earth USA are both being held Sept. 1 at Ala Moana Hotel. The search is on for a "beautiful" ambassador for the environment. The pageant's motto is "Beauties for a Cause."

Now I'll be the first to admit beauty pageants have never really been my cup of tea. I often thought of them as superficial and silly.

The beauty industry and sustainability movement have often been at opposite ends of the spectrum — with cosmetics being tested on animals, blatant industrial waste and use of chemicals in products (to learn more, visit the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database).

There's been a lot of greenwashing in the industry, too, with companies labeling their products as "natural" which really doesn't mean anything.

I know, I know, I've heard the jokes — especially from those who grew up in the "hippie" era. Is Miss Earth going to wear Birkenstocks, patchouli oil and dress in hemp (actually, in future years, they may try to wear gowns from recycled materials) or go au naturel? And most environmental organizations have not really embraced the idea of a beauty pageant for sustainability.

But I do know that the scholarships for beauty pageants have always been a motivating factor and that many little girls still look up to beauty queens with admiration. I also have respect for the United Nations Environment Programme, which Miss Earth will become a spokeswoman for.

So if beauty and sustainability can come together for the betterment of the earth, why not?

Miss Earth Hawaii USA 2012 Siria Ysabel Bojorquez seems like the real deal. Having come from a humble background, her mother and grandmother emphasized a lifestyle of "never let anything go to waste," she said in an interview. She aspired to be an environmental lawyer, with an environmental platform on upcycling.

If these beauty pageant contestants can raise awareness about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, global warming, sea level rise (and speak articulately about them), plus encourage people to recycle, use less plastic, compost food waste, stop throwing cigarette butts on the beach or explain the importance of the eat local movement, then bring them here.

Let's make sure it's not all about glamorous appearances and empty talk, but real action, too.

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Ocean Celebration — From Ridge to Reef

By
July 23rd, 2013



Celebrate the health of the ocean and learn more about coral reef protection at a family-friendly event on Sunday, July 28 at Kahekili Beach Park (Airport Beach in Kaanapali). Courtesy photo.

Celebrate the health of the ocean and learn more about coral reef protection at a family-friendly event on Sunday, July 28 at Kahekili Beach Park (Airport Beach in Kaanapali). Courtesy photo.

If you're on Maui, don't miss this celebration at Kahekili Beach Park (Airport Beach in Kaanapali) celebrating the four-year anniversary of a protected marine ecosystem on Sunday, July 28.

The Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHMA) is a first-of-its-kind marine managed area in North Kaanapali.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., event hosts the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative (R2R), other non-profits, community members and partners will host a family-friendly event to raise awareness on ocean health and coral reef protection.

The KHMA was designed to enhance the population of surgeonfish, parratfish and sea urchins to reduce excess algae and improve coral health. Surgeonfish and parrotfish are herbivores that eat seawood.

There will be a free barbecue, ridge to reef-themed culinary contest, Hawaii's fist ever seawood eating competition, a reef snorkel tour with ocean experts, water quality sampling, Great Annual Fish Count and Savvy Shopper Relay

In the Savvy Shopper Relay, contestants rush to see who can sort household products based on "reef friendliness" the fastest.

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Hawai‘i Conservation Grinds

By
July 18th, 2013



Trust for Public Land Booth at the Hawai‘i Conservation Conference features a Laysan albatross.

Trust for Public Land Booth at the Hawai‘i Conservation Conference features a Laysan albatross.

The 21st annual Hawai‘i Conservation Conference started on Tuesday and continues today at the Hawai‘i Convention Center with another full day of forums, sessions and an afternoon symposium on feral cats. Field trips take place on Friday.

Yesterday, the conference hosted the "Community Connections" event, which was open to the public. I often wonder, with issues of conservation, how you reach out to people to make them care or how you reach people who aren't already actively involved in academic research or conservation work.

I think the answer is — with food. With good grinds, that is.

Peter Foster of Memoir Hawaii served up Waialua chocolate bars sprinkled with Goat Island sea salt.

And there were long lines for good conservation grinds using local meats and produce by a stellar lineup of chefs who support the "eat local" movement including Ed Kenney of Town, Mark Noguchi of Pili Group, John Memering of Cactus Bistro, and others.

They used beef from Kualoa Ranch and Molokai, fish from VJ's Butcher Block and vegetables from various farms across Hawaii.

Peter Foster of Memoirs Hawai‘i made a melt-in-your-mouth, salted chocolate crunch bar from Waialua Chocolate grown on Oahu's North Shore sprinkled with "Goat Island Salt."

Daniel Anthony of Hui Aloha ‘Aina Momoma served  up fresh pa‘i‘ai.

Not long after the food was served up, the conference offered a free screening of "Seeds of Hope," telling the story of Hawaii's return to local and traditional methods of growing food.

It's all connected — food, land, culture and conservation of Hawaii's natural resources through the choices we make every day.

As people mingled in the marketplace, plates of prosciutto-wrapped papaya, golden and red beets, savory mushroom tarts, and rosemary spears of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil were served.

The conservation conference is a good time for people to reconnect, exchange ideas and reconfirm their commitment to conservation.

Conversations revolved around topics like Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Laysan albatross with bellies full of plastic and preserving farmlands.

It was neat to see that this is a crowd that brings their own bags and their own bottles to fill up at water stations.

It was a time to shop for native plants from Hui Ku Maoli Ola, the latest fashions by Kealopiko and artwork of Hawaii's beautiful landscapes and birds. The Hawaiian artisans of Aupuni Place were demonstrating everything from kapa pounding to lau hala weaving.

The title index shows a broad range of topics covered from a proposed protocol for surveying the Hawaiian hoary bat to sediment management techniques from Vanuatu which could have potential applications for Hawaiian coral reef protection.

This caught my eye: "A Tale of Two Invaders and Two Islands: Fountain Grass and Ivy Gourd on Maui and Lanai." Or how about  "Cleaning Up with  Kalo" and "The Ecology of the Pupukea tide pools and their value within a Marine Life Conservation District"?

By the way, July is Hawaii Conservation Month. So let the momentum can continue...

Posted in Conservation, eat local | Comments Off on Hawai‘i Conservation Grinds

RevoluSun, Surfrider clear 400 lbs at Sandy's

By
July 17th, 2013



RevoluSun donated this sandsifter to help sort out plastic marine debris from the shores of Sandy Beach on Saturday. Courtesy photo.

RevoluSun donated this sandsifter to help sort out plastic marine debris from the shores of Sandy Beach on Saturday. Courtesy photo.

Volunteers from solar company RevoluSun and the Surfrider Foundation cleared more than 400 pounds of marine debris and litter at Sandy Beach on Saturday (July 13).

While most people focus on large litter at beach cleanups, looking for cans, bottles and plastic bags left behind, this cleanup focused on small trash and microplastics that are more difficult to pick up.

Within an hour and a half, volunteers picked up more than 2,000 cigarette butts, 300 beverage containers and single-use food containers, along with plastic bags, polystyrene packaging, fishing nets/ropes, batteries, drug paraphernalia, condoms (yuck!) and more.

This year, RevoluSun also donated a mobile sand-sifter developed by local contractor Jason Tucker Hills (cool!). It's designed to clean sand by pulling out microplastics or plastic debris — small plastic particles generated from industrial pellets used to manufacture plastic products as well as plastic broken down from plastic products left from both land-based and ocean-based litter.

It was the fourth year in a row that RevoluSun partnered with the Surfrider Foundation's Oahu Chapter for the annual Sandy Beach cleanup.

Posted in Green business, Green events, marine debris, Ocean | Comments Off on RevoluSun, Surfrider clear 400 lbs at Sandy's

Congratulations to our Wildlife Guide winner

By
July 16th, 2013



Honolulu Zoo Society educator Stephanie Arne is the new Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Wild Guide.

Honolulu Zoo Society educator Stephanie Arne is the new Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Wild Guide.

Congratulations to Honolulu Zoo Society educator Stephanie Arne on becoming the Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Wild Guide.

Arne won $10,000 and will host the all-new Wild Kingdom webisodes premiering this October on the Wild Kingdom TV YouTube channel.

At the Honolulu Zoo Society, Arne served as a wildlife educator and coordinated outreach programs for more than 7,000 children a year. A South Dakota native, Arne has conducted marine biology snorkeling tours in Australia as well as directed youth adventure camps in Japan. She's spent the past decade exploring the world to experience wildlife as well as to spread her conservation message.

She and fellow Zoo Society educator Charles Lee were among 12 finalists in the video contest back in May. Competition was pretty stiff as the finalists were whittled down to three. Besides Arne, the other finalists were Reggie Busse of Omaha, Neb. and Thiago Silva of El Paso, Texas. All three traveled to Omaha to participate in interviews with show producers, an on-camera screen test and other activities before the final selection was made.

"The Wild Kingdom Wild Guide process has been mind blowing," said Arne in a press release statement. "I've realized that so many of my life experiences have prepared me for the role of Wild Guide. I'm so grateful to everyone who helped me get to this point. I was made to teach people about wildlife and show how they can help protect the planet that we share. I'm ready!"

The webisodes will be a mini-episode version of the classic Wild Kingdom program, redefined for today's generation of viewers and broadcast online. A "My Wild Kingdom" app is also available. As a Wildlife Guide, Arne will interact with viewers through social media (@stephaniearne on Twitter) and personal appearances.

Posted in Conservation, Contests | Comments Off on Congratulations to our Wildlife Guide winner

Monster-ous Beach Cleanup

By
July 10th, 2013




"A Minute at Laie Beach Park" by Shohei U
View Larger Map

Attention, sci-fi fans. Add another beach cleanup to the list, post-Fourth of July.

Eight North American coastal cities in the Pacific Rim, including Pounders Beach at Laie Beach Park, are participating a beach cleanup from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow (Thursday, July 11) in support of Guillermo del Toro's new sci-fi action adventure "Pacific Rim."

Meet at 10 a.m. at Pounders Beach in Laie. Look for the Sustainable Coastlines tent and blue flags.

Warner  Bros., which is hosting the family-friendly beach cleanup events, along with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, will provide supplies and award the first 100 participants two tickets to see the film in RealD 3D on opening weekend along with "Pacific Rim" T-shirts made from recycled materials courtesy of RealD.

Besides Laie, beach cleanups are planned at Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, Huntington State Beach in Orange County, Mission Beach in San Diego, East Beach in Santa Barbara, Ocean Beach in San Francisco, Alki Beach in Seattle and Kitsilano  Beach in Vancouver.

Several beach cleanups are scheduled this month, targeting the litter left behind on our shorelines after Fourth of July celebrations.

"Pacific Rim" opens nationwide in RealD 3D and IMAX on Friday, July 12.

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