Celebrate Earth Day with Aloha

Views of the Kalalau Valley from Kalalau Lookout. Kokee State Park, Kauai

Earth Day is a chance to come together with your community, celebrate the earth, exchange conservation ideas, and commit to living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.  This week there are ample, island-wide opportunities to do all of that and more.  Here are just a few:

If you’re on the Big Island…

Saturday, April 23, 2011 is the big day.

UH Hilo will host its first Earth Day Festival at the College of Agriculture’s Panaewa farm, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Festival planners and presenters will not only talk the sustainability talk through activities, educational booths, and farm tours, but they will also walk the walk and demonstrate sustainable practices by providing a free shuttle service from the campus to the farm and by utilizing Zero Waste stations where volunteers will sort trash produced by the event.  Paper products will be added to the farm’s compost piles, food waste will be given to the farm’s pigs, and cans and bottles will be donated to the Agriculture Club for redemption.

Keauhou Beach Resort in Kailua-Kona will also host an Earth Day event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Earth & Ocean Festival will highlight the island’s natural and cultural treasures through informative presentations and engaging activities, such as “tide pool adventures” and poi pounding.  Local food and entertainment, including a free concert by HAPA will also be available.  Attendees are encouraged to ride their bicycles to the event and receive free valet parking at the resort.

If you’re on Kauai…

You might consider joining in on Kauai Community College’s Earth Day Sust“aina”bility Celebration today, April 20, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.  The event aims to create environmental awareness through discussions of natural resource conservation, green economic development, food sustainability, and demonstrations of alternative energy.  Participants can learn about composting, reducing their monthly energy bills, and growing their own food in their back yards.  Evening entertainment will include Open Mic and two free movies, including the plastics impact documentary, “Bag It”.

On Saturday, April 23, 2011, you can take action for the ‘aina by joining one of the beach cleanups hosted by The Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park and Surfrider Kauaʻi , Sierra Club, Malama Mahaʻulepu.

If you’re on Maui…

Take part in taking care of Honolua Bay and Lipoa Point.  Surfrider Maui and the Save Honolua Coalition are inviting volunteers to come and help clean up the surfer’s access and beach areas from 8-11 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2011.

After the cleanup, you can head over to Kahekili Beach Park for Ka‘anapali Makai Watch Earth Day outreach to learn about the coral reef ecosystem, water conservation and quality, how to conduct in-water fish surveys, and opportunities to get involved with the Ka‘anapali Makai program as well as other conservation organizations.  Activities and demonstrations will continue from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you’re on Oahu…

Enjoy an eventful day at UH Manoa’s Earth Day Festival, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, 2011.  The festival will focus on “creating a community of sustainability” by providing a variety of earth-friendly activities, demonstrations, presentations, an eco fashion show, and workshops as well as locally grown grinds.  Attendees recycled can even learn to compost food waste, design a raised bed garden, and build their own rain catchment system and solar oven.  All are encouraged to bring their electronic waste to the E-Waste station to be recycled.

On Saturday, April 23, 2011, join the Windward Ahupua’a Alliance (WAA) Community Service Project.  Volunteers will be treated to a continental breakfast before setting out to various work sites to clean up areas along Kalaniana`ole Highway, Kailua Road, Kapa’a Quarry Road, and mauka waterways.  WAA will also be holding a foodbank drive for Hawaii Foodbank, as well as a HI-5 container collection drive to benefit Aloha for Japan.  The project will close with lunch, door prize giveaways, and a Plant a Native Tree ceremony.

Wherever you are, whether you choose to join in the festivities or not, this week is as great time to make a commitment to a more sustainable, earth-friendly lifestyle.