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Ways to Go Green on Your Hawaiian Vacation

Hawaii is full of natural beauty everywhere you turn – stunning, multi-colored sunsets, lush tropical rainforests, and rainbows peeking through the clouds. You can do your part to help take care of the land by making your Hawaii vacation as eco-friendly as possible.

There is a new movement in Hawaii to increase energy efficiency and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and imports. The farm-to-table movement sees many residents and restaurants trying to grow their own produce and ingredients or to at least find as many of them locally as possible. Sustainability is more than just a buzz word in Hawaii. In fact, the state motto is Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono, which translated means “the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” So if you’re planning to visit Hawaii, it makes sense to think about sustainable travel and ways to “go green” while traveling.

Tips for making your Hawaiian vacation greener

Carry a reusable water bottle rather than buying plastic. You’ll find water fountains all over public parks and facilities, so keep a bottle handy. This also helps to make sure you won’t get dehydrated in the Hawaiian sun! It’s perfectly safe to drink the tap water in Hawaii.

Picnic in the park or at the beach. A great way to save money on your trip and get outdoors at the same time is to take out your lunch or dinner and take it with you to one of Hawaii’s many parks or beaches. If they don’t already, encourage the restaurant to use compostable or biodegradable food containers, and bring your own set of utensils if possible.

Use public transportation when possible. This one is a bit difficult on the outer islands, but Oahu has a great bus system to help you get around. If you must rent a car, try to plan ahead a bit to group your activities together by location, so that you avoid needless trips back and forth. This saves you gas, time, and money! If you are booking a tour, try to go with vendors who have eco-friendly practices in place and respect the aina (land).

Support local farmers, shops, and restaurants. “Buy local” is a popular slogan in the islands for good reason. Visit a farmers market and you’ll see, we’ve got some of the greatest fresh fruits and vegetables that you can buy. Local crafters and merchants have a variety of made in Hawaii products and gift items that make the perfect souvenir and help support our local economy. Some farms also offer tours and family activities as well!

Leave nothing behind but your footprints. When visiting natural landmarks, parks, beaches, or other public places remember the saying – leave nothing behind but your footprints! Clean up your opala (trash) and recycle whenever possible. Plastic and other trash often end up in our oceans, which can harm sea life and ruin your enjoyment of our beautiful beaches.

For further reading:

Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative
Kokua Hawaii Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation
Sierra Club Hawaii

photo credit eye of einstein