Archive for the ‘Green events’ Category

Conservation commitments

July 18th, 2014

Kai ceremony celebrating commitments to the environment by Maui Nui Makai Network. Photo by Sean Marrs.

Kai ceremony combining ocean waters celebrating commitments to the environment by Maui Nui Makai Network. Photo by Sean Marrs.

The Hokule‘a Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage received new commitments by members of the Maui Nui Makai Network on Wednesday, July 16.

In a kai ceremony at noon, six communities of the newly formed Maui Nui Makai Network pledged new commitments to members of the voyage at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. The ceremony followed an hour-long presentation by members at the 2014 annual Hawai‘i Conservation Conference.

Kahu Sam Ohu Gon III combined ocean waters from each site as a symbol of shared commitments to community-based management of the six communities that make up an ahupua‘a on Maui. These commitments were recorded in a book that will be carried on board the Hokule‘a, which are to be completed by the voyage's conclusion in 2017.

Among the Network's commitments to one another:

>> Protect and restore healthy ecosystems

>> Share and learn from their diverse experiences

>> Help one another malama (care for) their areas

>> Perpetuate Hawaiian values, including kuleana

"We are a group of like-minded people who have shared aspirations to care for our marine resources," said Ekolu Lindsey of Palanui Hiu, current chair for the network. "The ocean is the foundation of our island culture and we need it to be healthy and sustainable. We are working toward sustainable reefs and fish for our future."

Members of the Network currently include: Kipahulu ‘Ohana and Na Mamo O Mu‘olea in east Maui; Wailuku Ahupua‘a Community Managed Makai Area in central Maui; Palanui Hiu in Lahaina; Hui Maalalama O Mo‘omomomi in Molokai; and Maunalei Ahupua‘a Community Managed Makai Area in Lanai.

Members of the Maui Nui Makai Network with Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson. Photo by Sean Marrs.

Members of the Maui Nui Makai Network with Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson, fourth from left, and Kahu Sam Ohu Gon III, right. Photo by Sean Marrs.

Permaculture learning

July 17th, 2014


Matthew Lynch. 

Interested in permaculture?

Permaculture, as defined by some of the "elders of permaculture," is "the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems." It's the "use of ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production." It's a "holistic approach to landscape design and human culture."

Permaculture specialists Hunter Heaivilin and Matthew Lynch are once again offering the Permaculture Design Certificate course in Waimanalo from July 27 to Aug. 10. Green Rows Farm will host the two-week, intensive course, which includes visits to beautiful permaculture farms, classroom education, hands-on application and a team design project for the local community.

Hunter Heaivilin.

Hunter Heaivilin.

Students learn how permaculture principles can be applied in various environments — from barren deserts to tropical jungles, urban hardscapes, backyards, schools, farms and public places.

The course will cover everything from site analysis to climate, plants, soil science, fertility management, waste recycling, architectural and landscape adaptations and more, using permaculture principles and ethics. Upon completion, students receive a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design.

Both Heaivilin and Lynch have completed projects around the world. Heaivilin is currently coordinator of the Oahu Farm to School Network. Lynch is the founder of the Honolulu-based non-profit, Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design.

Cost is $1,500 ($1,100 for kamaaina). Tuition includes course fees, onsite camping and meals. Discounts available for students, educators and those not staying on property. You can register at Visit to learn more or email or call 224-2462.

Matthew Lynch, below, talking about sustainability at TEDxHonolulu.

World Oceans Day at Honolulu Museum

June 3rd, 2014

med_logoWorld Oceans Day is Sunday, June 8.

World Oceans Day was conceived in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and born following the passage of a United Nations General Assembly resolution in 2008. For those of us who live in Hawaii, surrounded by ocean, the day should have more than a passing significance.

This year, the Honolulu Museum of Art is teaming up with PangeaSeed to present World Oceans Day Hawai‘i — a multimedia event from June 6 to 12 connecting local marine conservationists with filmmakers, scientists and ocean enthusiasts. The Conservation Council for Hawai‘i presents the sea keiki fun zone 9:30 a.m. June 8 at Doris Duke Theatre for kids ages 7 to 11.

There will  be art exhibits, Sleep with the Fishes: Kozyndan and Olek (June 6 to 12, Honolulu Museum of Art School), as well as a film festival exploring the ocean depths, conservation issues and all the life in it, followed by panel discussions.


Check out "Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen of Pointe a la Hache," "Sushi: The Global Catch," "Revolution" (see trailer above), "Shadow Reef," "Sustainable by Design: Volcom Pipe Pro 2013+2014," "Malama Maunalua, "Mantas Last Dance," "Plastic Paradise" and  "Extinction Soup," among many others.

For updates, visit World Oceans Day Hawaii on Facebook.


Bike to Work Day

May 16th, 2014

Rachel Brians bikes to her job at Beach Bum Cafe downtown. It's easier, she says. Photo by Nina Wu.

Rachel Brians bikes to her job at Beach Bum Cafe downtown. It's easier, she says. Photo by Nina Wu.

Today is official Bike to Work Day in Honolulu. May is Bike Month and National Bike Month.

So if you can, hop on to your two wheels and give it a go!

"Biking to work is an efficient and fun way to get the exercise you need, without having to find extra time to work out," said Andy Clarke, president of the national bicyclists' organization, League of American Bicyclists. "And this year, with gasoline prices as high as they are, biking to work makes more sense than ever."

This morning, dozens of bikers stopped by the refresher station at Punchbowl and Civic Center Path to register and pick up refreshments, according to Hawaii Bicycling League membership and volunteer director Bobby Evans. In ridership, Hawaii ranks No. 12 among the top 70 largest cities in 2012, according to a report by The League of American Bicyclists.

Rachel Brians commutes by bike from upper Punchbowl to her job downtown at the Beach Bum Cafe on Bishop Street in downtown Honolulu. She says it's a lot quicker to bike it than to drive it. Plus, it's fun.

Coming up on Sunday, May 18: Bike to the Zoo Day. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., ride your bike to the Honolulu Zoo and get free admission. Free valet bike parking and free prizes will be available, too. Enter from the Monsarrat Avenue gate.

For additional bike month activities, visit

Carlos and Amy stop by Civic Center Path on Bike to Work Day. She bikes in style, in orange pumps. Photo by Nina Wu.

Carlos and Amy stop by Civic Center Path on Bike to Work Day. She bikes in style, in red-orange pumps. Photo by Nina Wu.

Hands Across the Sand Rally

May 15th, 2014


World champion bodysurfer and lifeguard Mark Cunningham, left, with IV full of oil attached to his arm. Longboard champ Kelia Moniz, seated, right. Poster and campaign by Surfrider Foundation's Rafael Bergstrom.

The Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club and Livable Communities Hawaii are hosting a Hands Across the Sand Rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ala Moana Beach Park this Saturday (May 17).

Participants will join hands and form a long line in the sand to say "No" to dirty fossil fuels and "Yes" to clean, renewable energy. There will also be guest speakers, food and networking.

Hands Across the Sand, established four years ago after the disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is held each year at beaches and coastal areas across the U.S. and the world. The goal, according to founder Dave Rauschkolb, is to "bring organizations and individuals together to send a powerful message to leaders that expanding oil drilling in our oceans is a dirty, dangerous endeavor."

"Every oil spill endangers the coastal tourism industries, ravages the sea life and seafood industry and impacts the lives of every person in its path for generations."

Participants in Honolulu hope to send a clear signal to government officials and the Hawaiian Electric Co. management that it's time to move beyond the state's costly dependence on imported oil and toward locally produced energy sources.

"Here in Hawaii, this issue is especially urgent because our utility is slowing the rate of solar adoption," said Caitlin Pomerantz of the Sierra Club in a press release. "Meanwhile, electricity rates are skyrocketing as we continue to get over 90 percent of our energy from imported fossil fuels. Increasing access to rooftop solar helps Hawaii achieve energy independence, lower energy costs and reduce our contribution to climate change; that's why 94 percent of Hawaii residents support it."

Participants at the rally will start a petition to hold HECO accountable for a deadline set by the Public Utilities Commission, which directs it to speed up the adoption of rooftop solar within the next 120 days.

To learn more about the Hands Across the Sand Rally, visit



Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo

April 18th, 2014


The seventh annual Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow at Waikiki Aquarium.

The free family event offers a live rain garden demonstration by Hui o Ko‘olaupoko, surgeonfish feeding, educational booths and native Hawaiian plants giveaway by the Hawaiian Electric Co. Hui O Ko‘olaupoko will be unveiling a 150-square-foot rain garden designed to capture roof runoff from the Diamond Head side of the main building and infiltrate water into an area vegetated with natural plants.

This year's expo focuses on our impact on water sources — from mauka to makai.

Enjoy keiki arts and crafts, along with educational exhibits. Free parking and shuttles available at Waikiki Elementary School beginning at 8:45 a.m. Admission is free.

The unveiling of the Waikiki Aquarium's rain garden happens tomorrow (Saturday, April 19) at the Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo. Photo courtesy Hui o Ko‘olaupoko.

The unveiling of the Waikiki Aquarium's rain garden happens tomorrow (Saturday, April 19) at the Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo. Photo courtesy Hui o Ko‘olaupoko.

Also, there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved hands-on with the ‘aina Saturday at Sustainable Coastline Hawaii's Earth Day Cleanup*Mauka*Makai.

Meet at Kualoa Ranch at 8:30 a.m. to participate in beach cleanups from Kahuku Beach and golf course to Laie Beach. Community service projects include invasive species removal, fishpond restoration and native plantings with partners Papahana Kualoa, Kako‘o Oiwi, Hui o Ko‘olaupoko and Paepae o He‘eia.

Afterwards, enjoy a free festival from noon to 3 p.m. with food vendors, educational booths, keiki activities and prize giveaways. Enjoy live music from the Late Ones and Dread Ashanti. Free T-shirts for the first 1,000 volunteers provided by sponsors Hurley and Hawaiian Electric. All are welcome.

On Earth Day, April 22, join the Surfrider Foundation 9 a.m. at Maui County Council chambers to show your support for Bill 24, which would ban smoking products on Maui County beaches and parks. An Earth Day event will follow. Visit to learn more. Or join the Blue Planet Foundation and Hawaii's youth at the state Capitol on Oahu from 10 a.m. to noon for a clean energy rally.


For a schedule of Earth Month events, click on this former blog post.


Rain garden workshop

March 26th, 2014


Rain gardens help filter rainwater runoff. Learn how to build one at a free Waikiki Aquarium workshop March 25. Photo courtesy Hui O Ko‘olaupoko Facebook page.

Rain gardens help filter rainwater runoff. Photo courtesy Hui O Ko‘olaupoko Facebook page.

The Waikiki Aquarium hosted a free rain garden workshop from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25.

Rain gardens help stop water runoff, the greatest source of pollution of Hawaii's streams and coastal waters, by allowing storm water from impervious surfaces to collect, briefly settle, then infiltrate into the ground.

They mimic natural processes by treating and infiltrating storm water into the ground and evaporating it back into the air.

Todd Cullison, executive director of Hui O Ko‘olaupoko, provided instruction on how to create a do-it-yourself rain garden. A free manual is also available at

The workshop, supported by the state Department of Health's Clean Water Branch and Hardware Hawaii, brought awareness to the importance of natural vegetation designed to absorb and filter rainwater from heavy tropical storms.

Visitors to the aquarium during the month of April also receive 100 tote bags with rain garden information and instructions for teachers to give their students.

The Waikiki Aquarium itself will also be home to a rain garden to be revealed at its annual Mauka to Makai Event on April 19.

To learn more, visit

World Wetlands Day

February 7th, 2014

Ramsar World Wetlands Day takes place Saturday, Feb. 8 at Kailua Methodist Church. Learn about the cultural, historical and environmental significance of the Kawainui-Hamakua March. Photo courtesy Nathan Yuen.

Ramsar World Wetlands Day takes place Saturday, Feb. 8 at Kailua Methodist Church. Learn about the cultural, historical and environmental significance of the Kawainui-Hamakua March. Photo courtesy Nathan Yuen.

Ramsar World Wetlands Day is Saturday.

Learn all about the Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh Complex and how the wetlands are being restored for the endangered waterbirds of Hawaii at World Wetlands Day from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kailua Methodist Church, 1110 Kailua Rd.

The family-friendly event offers:

>> Bus tours of Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh (advance reservations recommended at or 263-8008).

>> Walking tours of the lo‘i kalo at Ulupo Heiau

>> View images of Kawainui by nature photographer Nathan Yuen

>> Listen to Hawaiian perspectives on Wetlands, a lecture by Samual ‘Ohu Gon III, the Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i and Waimea Williams

>> Listen to guest speakers talk about managing water for wetlands, agricultural opportunities at wetlands, sea level change and wetlands and restoring wetlands for endangered waterbirds.

>> Listen to music by Hawai‘i Loa & Pila Nahenahe and performances by Halau Ha‘a Hula ‘o Kekau‘ilani Na Pua Hala ‘O Kailua under the direction of kumu hula Charlani Kalama.

>> Kama‘aina Kids will provide keiki activities and a climbing wall

>> Buy native Hawaiian plants, local food, artwork and T-shirts

Learn about the stewardship of our valuable wetlands. For more information, visit or the Facebook page.


See photos of Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh by Nathan Yuen at World Wetlands Day 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Kailua Methodist Church. Photo courtesy Nathan Yuen.



Community Recycling Day, Waimanalo

January 2nd, 2014


Happy New Year!

Are you clearing out the house for a clean start to the New Year? Hui o Ko‘olaupoko and Oahu Resource Conservation and Development Council are holding the fifth annual Waimanalo Community Clean-up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11 at Waimanalo Beach Park.

Mark it on your calendar, because it's a great one-stop shop for recycling.

You'll be able to recycle scrap metal (including appliances and propane tanks), regular size tires without rims, cell phones, computers, printer cartridges, batteries, paper, magazines, TVs and all types of plastic.

If there are Waimanalo residents who are unable to haul their recyclables to the park, then curbside pick-up can be arranged. The towing of unwanted vehicles in any condition is also available.

Hui o Ko‘olaupoko is also recruiting volunteers to help sort the recyclables or to form a "Street and Stream Clean-up Team" to pick up litter throughout the ahupua‘a.

"The annual clean-up provides community members a hands-on opportunity to care for the natural resources in the Waimanalo community, including the beauty of Waimanalo's back roads, streams, mountains and bays."

Last year's efforts brought in more than 15,000 pounds of scrap metal, 200 tires, three roll-off bins of trash and bulky items, six pallets of electronic waste, 1,000 pounds of paper and magazines and many more recyclable items.

Donations for Goodwill and the Hawaii Foodbank will also be accepted during the community cleanup.

To sign up as a volunteer, make an appointment for curbside pickup or towing, visit or call Kristen Nalani Mailheau at 381-7202.

First Wind Scholarships

December 17th, 2013

Wind turbine from First Wind's Kahuku wind farm. First Wind is now accepting applications from students located in schools near its wind farms on Oahu and Maui. Photo by Nina Wu.

Wind turbine from First Wind's Kahuku wind farm. By Nina Wu.

Boston-based First Wind, which has two wind farms on Oahu and one wind farm on Maui, announced the availability of applications for its 2014 scholarship program.

Qualified high school seniors in communities where the company has projects are invited to apply. This is the fifth year First Wind is offering the scholarships.

Carol Grant, First Wind's senior vice president of external affairs, says the company has committed nearly $250,000 to 59 students over the past four years.

High school seniors in both public and private schools in the communities of Laie, Kahuku, Wahiawa, Waialua, Haleiwa and Sunset on Oahu or Kahului, Lahaina, Kihei and Wailuku, Maui are invited to apply.

To apply, students must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.75, with plans to enroll in full-time undergraduate study with a focus in the sciences, technology and/or engineering. Other states where students can apply include Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

First Wind Scholars will be awarded a one-time $3,000 scholarship for one year. One scholarship of $5,000, renewable up to four years, will be awarded to the year's single most qualified applicant.

First Wind operates wind farms at Kahuku and Kawailoa, both on Oahu's north shore, as well as Kaheawa on the ridgeline of the West Maui Mountains.

Applications are available online, and will be evaluated on a number of factors, including academic performance, work experience, school and community activities and a 300-word essay. Submissions are due by Feb. 15, 2014. Recipients will be announced in May 2014.