It is no secret that pollution, climate change, rising ocean levels, toxic landfills, and endangered species are no longer buzz words meant as scare tactics in order to drive a political agenda. These things are real and they are affecting our lives as well as our future. We are seeing increasing ocean temperatures leading to an increasing amount of monster-sized hurricanes, destruction of our coral reefs and coastlines from agricultural runoff, powerful tides and miles of plastic debris. We are clearly at a tipping point.
That is why Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine is making our environment a priority. This means not only taking the necessary steps to stop the practices that contribute to the destruction of our island, but to work toward the restoration and the protection of the conditions that are congruent with maintaining all life through renewable, sustainable, and energy efficient practices that promote a cleaner and healthier O ̀ahu.
To date and going forward Councilmember Pine will be focused on:
- Promoting the use of recyclable and compostable materials and banning non-compostable substances like expanded polystyrene foam (most commonly used as food containers).
- Encouraging businesses that engage in Eco-friendly practices
- Water conservation through the promotion of drought-resistant native plant life
- Elimination of toxic synthetic herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers by the City/County of Honolulu
- Encouraging more farmers to go organic through real property tax incentives
- Working with the Department of Environmental Services to incorporate on-island recycling facilities
- Encouraging Increasing clean-energy production and utilization.
“Regardless of whether you believe in global warming (or as it is now known as climate change) or not, significant changes to the integrity of the natural resources we depend upon to sustain life are hard to ignore. We have a choice to make of how we are going to take care of our home. Do we continue to use our own backyard as an endless receptacle for all sorts of waste? Do we continue to exploit those natural resources as if the supply was infinite? Or do we protect and preserve what we have by giving ourselves a safe and clean place to live and to flourish? Our choice will ultimately become our legacy.”
Hiking Hawaii Cafe
Sustainability Spotlight: Hiking Hawaii Cafe
Many businesses throughout Hawaii are making the switch of using recyclable takeout boxes instead of polystyrene food service containers, which for years have have littered our oceans, parks and outdoor spaces, while creating hazardous impacts to our environment and ecosystem. This is why community members, local organizations and businesses are stepping up to support alternative options and adopt practices that are sustainable for our earth. I recently sat down with Crystal Evans of Hiking Hawaii Café to learn more about how her business is committed to practicing sustainability. Her café offers a variety of delicious & healthy sandwiches, pizzas, salads and smoothies, also offering gluten-free options. Join us as we learn more about how Hiking Hawaii Cafe is committed to being environmentally conscious and sustainable by using reusable dishware and compostable takeout containers.
Kahumana Organic Farm & Cafe
Sustainability Spotlight: Kahumana Organic Farm & Cafe
How do we build more sustainable communities through Oahu? Here is one organization that is leading by example! Kahumana Organic Farm & Cafe (Waianae) is a diverse community & farm with a goal to use recyclable goods, biodynamics, composting, natural farming and permaculture to promote sustainable living. The farm is also a place of learning and …vocational training for those transitioning from homelessness, people with disabilities, and youth, who eventually become farmers and help manage the daily operations of the café.
Sustainability Spotlight: Re-Use Hawaii
Did you know that more than 1/3 of Oʻahu’s waste comes from unnecessary construction and demolition debris? Join me as I visit Re-use Hawaii (Kakaako) and sit down with their Executive Director Quinn Flint to learn more about how this organization is committed to conserving energy, reducing waste, creating jobs, and transforming waste into a resource!
Mouna Farm Arts & Cultural Village
Sustainability Spotlight: Mouna Farm Arts & Cultural Village
There is a special place in Waiʻanae that many don’t know about but I highly encourage you to visit. World-renowned copper artist Sooriya Kumar is the owner of Mouna Farm Arts & Cultural Village, a 4 1/2 acre organic farm which raises fruits and vegetables to feed the needy, and serves as a place for refuge for people of all walks of life. For more than 30 years, Sooriya has committed to giving back to the Waiʻanae community.
Here is an update on measures the City Council is working on throughout 2018.
- Resolution 17-269 – replant native drought-resistant plants the Kapolei Parkway Medial Strip (Introduced by Councilmember Pine)
- Resolution 17-284 CD1 – urging the City & County to use non-toxic weed control alternatives in our City parks, median strips, and outdoor space (Introduced by Councilmember Pine)
- Bill 59 (2016) – regulating the use of plastic bags (Introduced by Councilmember Elefante and was adopted in July 2017)
- Bill 4 – relating to health (polystyrene foam takeout containers (Introduced by Councilmember Pine)
- Bill 79 CD 1 – offering property tax relief for organic farms (Introduced by Councilmember Pine)
- Bill 80 CD 1 – offering property tax relief for Ocean-friendly restaurants (Introduced by Councilmember Pine)
- Resolution 17-269 – urging the City to curtail the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and instead utilize organic alternatives (Introduced by Councilmember Pine)