Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

Plastic mural contest

January 28th, 2016

Winners of last year's Plastic Free Hawaii School Mural Contest, Iroquois Point Elementary School, with their tree of knowledge. Courtesy KHF.

Winners of last year's Plastic Free Hawaii School Mural Contest, Iroquois Point Elementary School, with their tree of knowledge. Courtesy KHF.

What kind of mural can you create out of recycled plastic?

The possibilities are actually endless, given the various shades and hues that plastics come in, and the limitless imagination of students in Hawaii's schools. There's still time to enter the Kokua Hawai‘i Foundation's Plastic Free Hawai‘i School Mural Contest.

It's open to students, K-12, who must use plastic marine debris — plastic bottle caps or other single-use plastics — collected at beach cleanups or recycling drives, to create a mural with an inspiring message. They must be at least 3-feet-by-3-feet, but can be as big as 5-feet-tall and 12-feet wide. They should be mounted on one-eighth-inch plywood.

The deadline to email submissions (a digital photo of the mural and entry form) is Feb. 20.

Last year's grand prize winner, Iroquois Point Elementary, created a mural entitled "Tree of Knowledge" to promote responsible environmental appreciation and action through reducing, reusing and recycling. The community worked together to turn trash into treasure. To read more, visit Kokua Hawaii Foundation's link.

Other finalists last year were Kainalu Elementary, Lanikai Public Charter School, Pearl Harbor Elementary and Waialua Elementary Schools.

The murals will be judged on use of found or reused materials, visual appeal, creativity and integration of the theme. The grand prize is a water refill station for the school, while runners up receive a waste-free classroom celebration kit.

Select murals will be displayed on stage at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth's "H20: The Story of Water and Hawai‘i."

Find the entry form here.

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Keiki Kalikimaka Fun

December 31st, 2015

As the year 2015 comes to a close, the Green Leaf shares the following Keiki Kalikimaka ornaments that did not make it into the paper, but hold an honorary place in this blog.

Here is a beautiful one-of-a-kind sketch of a nene goose in a Santa hat set against a rainbow, blue sky and marsh with vivid color and details. By Samantha Shiroma, 6, of Ahuimanu Elementary School.


Celebrating Hawaiian monk seals, this Keiki Kalikimaka ornament features a seal in Santa hat in repose on the shoreline by Katerina Im, 10, of Aina Haina Elementary School. Remember, when the seals are resting on the shore, let them sleep.


Another playful sketch of a Hawaiian monk seal (look at those eyes! so realistic) with presents and an elf atop his head. This seal is swimming in the ocean. Mahalo Kira Tobita, 11, of Mililani Middle School. Beautiful drawing.


Hawaiian monk seal with Santa hat frolicking in the waves. Mahalo to Kristen Ching, 11, Punahou School for this beautiful Keiki Kalikimaka ornament.


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Hawaii: The Next 50

October 15th, 2015

Visual arts winner from last year's Next 50 contest by Bryson Manuel of Waipahu INtermediate School in the grades 6-8 visual arts category. Courtesy image.

Bryson Manuel of Waipahu Intermediate School was last year's winner in the grades 6-8 visual arts category.
Courtesy Hawaii: Next 50.

What will Hawaii's energy future look like in 50 years? Will we have reached our goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2045? Are we on the right track?

Lawmakers are calling on students in grades 4 through 12 to share their ideas on how to make Hawaii a renewable energy leader in the second annual Hawaii: Next 50 Contest. Students are invited to create an essay, poster or video in response to the question: Over the next 50 years, what can I do to help Hawaii reach its 100 percent renewable energy goal?

The contest, inspired by former Gov. George Ariyoshi's book, "Hawaii: The Past Fifty Years, The Next Fifty Years," prompts the next generation to think about what social, cultural, and economic roads we can take to keep Hawaii moving forward into the next century. Students are asked to read Ariyoshi's book (free copies available upon request) and then respond to the question in either essay form or visual arts form.

The deadline for all entries is 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2016. Winners will be announced in March 2016.

Last year, students were asked: What needs to happen in the next 50 years for Hawaii to be the best place to work and live? They responded with artwork, like the one by Kaydee Rapozo below, depicting renewable energies. One student, Dallas Kuba from Manoa Elementary School, wrote an essay about homelessness.

Kaydee Rapozo was last year's winner for the Grades 9-11 category. Courtesy image.

Kaydee Rapozo was last year's winner for the Grades 9-11 category. Courtesy image.

There were more than 450 entries from keiki across the state, according to Rep. Mark Nakashima, who spearheaded the revival of the contest.

"We were amazed to see the innovative range of their ideas," he said. "This year we wanted to take that same enthusiasm and focus it on one of our state's most pressing issues: the necessity of renewable energy to end our dependency on oil."

Ariyoshi said: "It's imperative that young people know they don't have to wait to graduate or become an adult to join the conversation in shaping our state. The book was my vision of a progressive Hawaii and it's exciting to see what concepts the up-and-coming generation develops if we just ask."

Judging criteria include whether the entry clearly provides an answer to the question, creativity and articulation.

Winners will be honored during a floor presentation at the Hawaii State Capitol and be invited to attend a luncheon with legislators. They will also receive a monetary prize and be published online.

Teyshaun Rosales, last year's winner, grades 4-5 visual arts category. Courtesy image.

Teyshaun Rosales, last year's winner, grades 4-5 visual arts category. Courtesy image.


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Looking for monk seal artists

March 14th, 2014

Can you paint, draw or sculpt a Hawaiian monk seal? Kermit, the monk seal, above. Star-Advertiser file photo.

Can you paint, draw or sculpt a Hawaiian monk seal? Kermit, the monk seal, pictured above. Star-Advertiser file photo.

Attention, student artists!

The Wyland Foundation is teaming up with the Monk Seal Foundation to host the first 'Conservation through Art' contest starting Monday, March 24.

All students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to participate and to display their artistic talent and ocean awareness to one of the world's leading environmental artists, Wyland.


The theme is "The Hawaiian Monk Seal, a living treasure."

Students are invited to create images of Hawaii's critically endangered monk seal through paint, drawing, collage or sculpture.

Art mediums can include chalk, charcoal, clay, crayon, marker, paint, pen, pencil or watercolor. All work must  be your original creation. Only one submission per student.

Students register and submit their original artwork online. Deadline is April 11.

One winner from each grade will be selected by a panel of artistic judges, including Wyland, Doug Perrine, Patrick Ching and Matt Sproat. An overall 'best of show' winner will also be selected. The 14 winners, which will each receive prizes and awards, will be announced in late May.

Winners' artwork will be featured in a 2015 calendar, with the 'Best of Show' on the front cover.

The goal of the contest is to engage and inspire students to learn more about the Hawaiian monk seal and its unique role in Hawaii's ecosystem.

The Hawaiian monk seal, endemic to Hawaii (meaning found only in Hawaii), has existed in the archipelago for 13 million years.

Their population, estimated at 1,100 today, is at a critical low.

Hawaiian monk seals face diverse threats, including entanglement in marine debris, food limitations, shark predators, infectious diseases, human disturbance and habitat loss.

This is a pivotal time to save the monk seals, a living treasure, from extinction. So get your canvas out, and create!

The Monk Seal Foundation's gallery can provide inspiration. Visit for more information.

Posted in Contests, Hawaiian monk seals | Comments Off on Looking for monk seal artists

National Plug In EV contest

September 23rd, 2013

Volta is holding a social media contest highlighting EVs in Hawaii for National Plug-In Day. Courtesy photo.

Volta is holding a social media contest highlighting EVs in Hawaii for National Plug-In Day. Courtesy photo.

Volta Industries is holding a social media contest to celebrate National Plug In Day Sept. 28 and 29.

To enter, snap and share a photo of Hawaii's EV scene, whether it's a Tesla cruising down H1 or a Nissan Leaf charing outside of Whole Foods Market at Kahala Mall. Post it on to Facebook ( with the hashtag #NationalPlugInDay. Participants will be entered in a drawing for dozens of prizes.

The  grand prize is a premium auto detailing worth $200 for your car (EV or not).

Arden Penton, director of operations for Volta, which operates the Volta Network (offering free-to-use EV charging stations) says there are 1,783 EVs in Hawaii – more per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. On Oahu, a total of 1, 371 electric cars were sold on Oahu as of August 2013.

"We're thrilled Hawaii is charging ahead on the course to clean energy, and hope this contest highilights how Hawaii has embraced EVs."

On the Big Island, the Big Island EV Association is hosting EV talkstory sessions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Hilo Home Depot (corner of Makaala and Roalroad Ave.) and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29 at Kona Commons near Sports Authority. Email to learn more.

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Enphase offering solar PV to one non-profit

September 19th, 2013

Enphase in Hawaii is offering one Hawaii-based non-profit a $25,000 solar PV system as part of its "Mahalo Hawaii Giveaway" contest this month. You have until Sept. 30 to vote for the non-profit you believe is the most deserving of winning.

Non-profits and schools were nominated via video online until Sunday, Sep. 15. The winner will be determined by popular vote.

Many of Hawaii's solar companies are using Enphase microinverters, which claims to generate power in low-light conditions and reduce the impact of module mismatch or shade. Among the solar companies that use Enphase or AlternateEnergy, American Electric, Haleakala Solar, Hawaii Island Solar , KumuKit and Vivint Solar.

Among the top contenders, so far (as of Wednesday, Sept. 18), are a local family (with daughter Eva, who has a spinal disorder) with 6,417 votes, La‘a Kea Farm , an organic farm on Maui for adults with special needs with 6,089 votes and Central Union Church, with 1,757 votes.

Other worthy contenders include The Maui Farm (help individuals become self-sufficient),  Hawaii Food Bank, Honolulu Zoo Society (which uses Leon the talking Jackson chameleon as its ambassador)and Hawaiian Humane Society. In Puna, a group called Kalani believes solar PV will help it further its educational and recreational opportunities.

Vote for your favorite non-profit today (you can vote for more than one group, by the way). There are so many worthy organizations -  maybe some solar companies will be inspired to offer a PV system for those that don't win? It's such a no-brainer for any non-profit on the isles for energy savings (not to mention clean energy).

Posted in Contests, solar | Comments Off on Enphase offering solar PV to one non-profit

Landscape Sustainability Awards call for entries

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 to learn more. Online entries will be accepted until Aug. 30.

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Miss Earth Hawaii - Beauties for a cause?

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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Congratulations to our Wildlife Guide winner

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

To be a Wild Guide

May 15th, 2013

Let's hear it for Honolulu Zoo Society educators Stephanie Arne and Charles Lee, who are both finalists in a video contest to become the next "Wild Guide" for Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. The winner gets $10,000 and  hosts the award-winning wildlife TV show's new webisode series, premiering this fall on YouTube.

Lee and Arne are among 12 semi-finalists whittled down from 200 entrants. The public can vote for the top three finalists until May 23 at

In his video, Lee  — animal lover, adventurer and educator — says "My lifelong goal is to help wildlife and help people around the world appreciate them and their natural habitats."

Action speaks louder than words, according to Lee. He leaps along Oahu's rocky shoreline, tags an iguana, catches a mongoose, rescues a sea turtle with a hook in its mouth and teaches the public about how Hawaiian monk seals need to be given space to sunbathe on the shoreline.

Arne is also full of action. She kayaks, jumps into the ocean from a boat, climbs along the shoreline and introduces us to ring-tailed lemurs and how they groom one another. She takes us to the Oahu rainforest to look for Jackson chameleons — she's a great educator, showing us how their eyes can move independently and how they communicate through color.

Looks like they have some stiff competition from around the nation. Good luck to both of them!

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