Volunteers for 808 Cleanups are out there, spending their time, efforts and energy on cleaning up on any given day of the week — from Nanakuli to Hawaii Kai. From the depths of the ocean to the summit of Koko Crater . For them, Earth Day really is every day and instead of complaining, they're actually TAKING ACTION.
Recently, 808 Cleanups co-founder Michael D. Loftin has been posting what motivates these volunteers to do what they do. Maybe they will inspire you.
"It's my pleasure to share what you've told me in your own words," he wrote on Facebook. "Why you are a member of 808 Cleanups. It is my honor and privilege to know you and work with you on cleanups."
Below are just a few of the volunteers out of hundreds, from all walks of life, who share what motivates them. Find these posts at fb.com/808cleanups. Inspired? Here are 10 ways to get started.
John Leong, executive director of Kupu Hawaii, said: "It's inspiring their potential toward green jobs and conservation opportunities in life, but also empowering them as people. To get a sense of kuleana for our state, for our communities."
Kupu Hawaii's Environmental Fair. Courtesy Kupu Hawaii/ Samuel Apuna.
Kupu Hawaii recently invited emerging environmental leaders to its 7th Annual Environmental Fair in early June at their Kewalo Training Facility in Kakaako.
Among the 150 partner organizations on hand at the fair were the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Lyon Arboretum, Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance, Oahu Invasive Species Committee and Hui o Ko‘olaupoko to speak with the prospective interns.
Three Kupu alumni — Molly Mamaril, Jayleen Marar and Ronnie "Keoni" Kikila shared stories of how internships lead them to real-life conservation jobs. The sound system was operated by Pedal Power Hawaii.
Nicole Fisher and Molly Mamaril, speaker, at Kupu Hawaii's Environmental Fair. Photo courtesy Kupu Hawaii/Samuel Apuna.
>Molly Mamaril, a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fellow with Kupu's RISE program in 2014, went on to work for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. With a bachelor's degree in journalism and master's in natural resources and environmental management, she writes for Green magazine and coordinates Hawaii Investment Ready.
> Jayleen Marar, a recent Farrington High School graduate who joined Kupu as a program member to get on-the-job training. Marr received the "MOst Outstanding Intern" award and worked with Opterra Energy Services, conducting energy audits at schools for the state Department of Education'sKa Hei program.
>> Ronnie "Keoni" Kikala, once a troubled teen, completed his Kupu internship with the Lyon Arboretum's Pahole Rare Plant Facility. He continues to work part-time at Lyon while pursuing a degree from Windward Community College. He has since found his calling and passion in life for conserving rare and native plants.
Environmental Fair speakers and Kupu alumni, Ronnie Kikala, left and Jayleen Marar, right. Photos courtesy Kupu Hawaii/Samuel Apuna.
Kupu Hawaii's mission is "to empower youth to serve their communities through character-building, service-learning and environmental stewardship opportunities that encourage integrity with God (Ke Akua), self and others."
Paid internships as a Kupu Environmental Leader in Conservation, Environmental Education and Community Development are available, with benefits that include a monthly allowance of $1,300 or more, plus a $5,765 education award. Visit Kupu Hawaii's Facebook pageto learn more.
Kupu Hawaii's summer interns learning about the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Photos courtesy Kupu Hawaii/Samuel Apuna.
This quote is in the lobby of Kupu Hawaii's office in Kakaako.
In the midst of all this redevelopment in Kakaako, it's good to see the rise of a non-profit focused on cultivating today's youth as tomorrow's leaders of sustainability, rather than another high-rise.
Empowering youth, Hawaii’s future, to serve their communities, is at the heart of Kupu Hawaii’s mission, The non-profit, founded in 2007, is named after the native kupukupu fern which means 'to sprout, grow, or germinate." it is the first plant to grow back after a lava flow.
Through Kupu’s many programs, young adolescents gain the skills they need to work in the emerging green jobs sector, whether it's in the field of conservation, natural resource management or renewable energy. To date, Kupu has worked with more than 2,600 youth and provided more than 230,000 volunteer service hours in partnership with 80 public and private organizations.
Kupu Hawaii's CEO, John Leong, said it's about empowering youth and giving them the tools they need to make an impact on this world. Just as importantly, he said, it's about nurturing tomorrow's leaders with the right heart — a passion for sustainability as well as a desire to give back to the community.
“If we don’t prepare our next generation of kids to get involved, they’re going to be left behind,” said Leong. “We want to give our youth the capacity to move forward."
>> Kupu’s Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps gives students the opportunity to work outdoors with environmental agencies across Hawaii during the summer and year-round. In April of this year, nearly 30 interns spent a week helping to plant 20,000 koa seedlings at a natural reserve on the slopes of Haleakala for Arbor Day.
>> Kupu's RISE program offers college students paid internships with various private and public agencies focused on food waste reduction, renewable energy and sustainable schools. The internships can provide valuable experience and mentorship leading to jobs when they graduate.
>> With E2U, an environmental education program, participants work with public schools to launch a project focused on sustainability, take a field trip to a conservation site or start an after-school Eco Club.
>> CommunityUhelps youth at risk, ages 16 to 24, with life skills and green jobs training that will allow them to get a high school diploma after completion of the program. These youth get involved in projects that restore fishponds, a lo‘i, plant native species or carve traditional Hawaiian poi boards.
Check out this Olelo videowhich celebrates the launch of the canoe earlier this year.
Kupu has raised about half the $5 million needed as part of its Ho‘ahu Capital Campaign for its Green Job Training Center.
The goal is to transform the "net shed," a rundown building originally used by aku fishermen to hang and repair nets near Point Panic at Kewalo, into a LEED-certified Green Job Training Center. Kupu envisions it as a gathering space with classrooms, conference rooms and hydroponic garden, along with a commercial kitchen and food truck that will feature locally sourced produce. Kupu hopes to settle lease terms with the state Hawaii Community Development Authority and begin construction on the center in March 2016.
As Kakaako undergoes a dramatic change in its skyline and population, it would be great to see a place that nurtures the next generation of stewards for our islands.
Rendering of the Green Job Training Center that Kupu Hawaii envisions at Kewalo Basin. Courtesy Group 70 International.
It's a win-win because a $1 donation can turn into $4 in energy savings. A $10,000 lighting retrofit, for example, can save the non-profit up to $40,000 over its lifetime. The non-profit's investment in energy efficiency measures results in immediate energy savings.
You can opt to give the non-profit a loan (called a "loanation") and get your money back, or you can give an outright donation.
To boost the kick-off of WEfficiency, Hawaii Energy, a ratepayer-funded energy conservation program , is offering matching "loanations."
Gov. Neil Abercrombie joined Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Blue Planet foundation board of directors in presenting the first "loanations" to representatives from the three non-profit groups last Thursday (May 22) to kick off the program.