Caring for our Environment

As we enter a time in history in which our impact on the health of the planet is at a tipping point, we must strive to be better stewards of this gift that is our one and only home.

 

At yesterday’s City Council meeting, I was proud to recognize the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Hokulea & her Crewmembers on behalf of their Worldwide Voyage Homecoming 2017. Their organization’s values inspire many of us to respect our land and educate our future generations to malama honua – “to take care of our aina earth”.  My Chief of Staff Matt Caires (to my right) was a member of the crew.  

In honor of Hokulea’s mission to promote sustainability & protect and preserve our natural environment, the City Council voted to adopt Bill 59 (2016) – regulating the use of plastic bags.  Once signed into law by Mayor Caldwell, certain plastic bags will be phased out by 2020, as our local businesses & residents work in a cooperative effort to incorporate reusable bags in their everyday lives.

The intent of this ordinance is to reduce the volume of plastic and non-recyclable paper bags that are disposed of as solid waste. Thankfully we are not alone in this effort as major cities across the nation such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. are implementing similar ordinances. The average American throws away 185 pounds of plastic waste each year which according to EcoWatchcontributes to enough annual plastic waste to circle the earth 4 times, so this bill is one step forward in the right direction.
As we move forward, my priority is to continue addressing other environmental issues in an ongoing effort to make sure that our island home is a sustainable place for all of our ohana & keiki.  With your support, we can keep Hokulea’s concept of “Malama Honua” – to take care of our aina land – at the heart of our culture’s values.
If you have any suggestions or ideas you would like to bring forward to the City Council in regards to caring for our environment, feel free to email me at kmpine@honolulu.gov.