We've received emails asking about what sustainability and green activities are going on in Hawaii. Some believe that embracing traditional Hawaiian and Polynesians lifestyles will naturally resolve the sustaintability issues. Others are actively working to make modern lifestyles in Hawaii sustainable. Their work was showcased at a Hawaii Sustainability Forum event in Hilo sponsored by Green Collar Technologies.
The event consisted of an evening of presentations by individuals involved in all types of work and research in the community followed by a panel that answered questions from the crowd.
The forum started with students from Kua O Ka La Public Charter School in Puna giving a pule - chant of prayer.
Susie Osborn spoke about the Kua O Ka La school and their spiritual and sustainability approach toward education.
Dr. Bil Steiner from UHH College of Agriculture spoke about his work bringing oil palm to Hawaii to act as a source of food oil and energy.
Randyl Rupar spoke about his Mauna Kea Gardens in West Hawaii and his work with avocados and other natural products
Gary Hooser, State Senator and Senate Majority leader flew in from Oahu to give us some help on how to support new sustainability laws. He was a leader in the legislation to require solar water heaters for any new houses starting in 2010 and is now working on legislation to disallow new petroleum based generators in Hawaii. Alternative fuels from vegetation and algae are expected to create biofuels to run generators for Hawaii.
Leimana Pelton discussed his many years of bamboo research as a building material to replace wood. He spoke of being able to generate a house from 100x100 feet of bamboo each year. He has created a system for joining bamboo to create lasting and portable buidlings. He is also leading the effort to gain building code authorization for locally grown bamboo which is a long and expensive process. Leimana has created Bamboo Village Hawaii.
Roger Christe of the THC Ministry spoke of the benefits of hemp to the environment, for food, clothing, building material and of course smoking.
Bill Hanson from the Hawaii County Civil Defense spoke of the island's need to be sustainable during emergencies due to the small number of facilities and medics available to serve the 170,000 people living here.
The panel consisted of the speakers above as well as: Page Else, Outreach specialist for the Big Island Invasive Species Committee; Michael Kramer, Managing Partner, Natural Investments LLC; Julie Myhre, Energy Management Analyst, Department of Water Supply; Linda Damas, Instrumental in helping Recycle Hawaii; Linda Peters, Recycling Coordinator with the County Department of Environmental Management; Dr. Keola G.A. Downing, a “Katomlap” for the Royal family of the Marshall Islands and has experience in building Pandanus Thatch Housing; John Schinnerer, cultural and ecological design practitioner; Jesse Law, Founder of Sustainable Island Products; and Mark Hanson, “EarthShip” educator.
JUST CAN'T GET OVER THE FISH
We keep raving about the fish, but we are big fish lovers and Hilo is the best place on earth to live if you are a fish lover. The stormy winter weather has limited the days the fishermen can go out. But when they do make it out, their haul is amazing! They are catching Ehu, Opakapaka, Gindai, Uku, Opelu, Ono, Mahi Mahi, and Ahi.
A CLEAR DAY IN HILO
Today the rain cleared up and we went to see how much water was in Rainbow Falls. It was beautiful and there was plenty of water. So we drove up above Rainbow Falls to Boiling Pots State park.
From that overlook we could see Peepee Falls and the rushing Wailuku River which feeds Rainbow Falls.
Boiling Pots gets its name from the water flowing downhill while at the same time rushing into lava tubes.
The calmer weather allowed the fisherman to go out and bring in a huge haul of fish.
MV MERCURY ARRIVING IN HILO
The second week of March the heavy rain continued. Above is the MV Mercury cruise ship arriving in Hilo to an overcast day.
JABOTICABA FRUIT AND AHI
The Jaboticaba tree grows nearby Hilo in Puna. A friend gave us a bunch of this interesting fruit that resembles a large dark red grape. The unusual thing, besides the incredible sweet taste, is that the fruit grows right on the trunk.
We enjoy the special fruits available in Hawaii, but our favorite food of all is sashimi-grade Ahi (tuna) available at Suisan fish store on a good fish day.
We sear it lightly and dunk it in soy sauce mixed with wasabi paste. There is nothing on the earth like the taste of Ahi, caught off the island of Hawaii, and so soft you can cut it with a butter knife.