Apr 21, 2010


HOORAY! After learning so much about the food aspect of sustainability and seeing how the first step in the right direction involves supporting local farms -- there is finally the opportunity to put this into practice! Local, grass-fed beef, hormone and antibiotic-FREE is available for sale to the local public -- yes, here on O'ahu!

The article appears in the GET FRESH (Local, Seasonal, & Fresh) tab within the "Share Your Table" website. How satisfying to know that you can help to be a part of the solution which only has positive outcomes.

Wouldn't it be great to wash down that fresh, local beef with fresh, local milk? Well you can do just that thanks to Naked Cow Dairy here in O'ahu. Take a look at what the sisters who founded Naked Cow Dairy have to offer and are planning in addition to fresh, healthy, local milk.

The Share Your Table website is an excellent resource with which to start once you realize the importance of food sustainability and consequently decide to support local, sustainable businesses. Also included in the website is a Share Your Table Blog which is very interesting and provides a more detailed and personal glimpse into these important issues locally.

Apr 15, 2010

Thinking about eWaste at the Point of Sale

-shared by Brent Hirata

I planned 5 weeks ago to participate in the LCC E-Waste event this past weekend coordinated by the hard working Dottie Sunio. I had two, seven year old desktop towers to drop off. Everything was going according to plan until I had such an busy Saturday morning that I forgot to drive to campus for the eWaste event. Has that every happened to you? You keep your eWaste around waiting for an event and despite all the reminders you miss it, argh!

That got me thinking, consumers are getting stuck with a big responsibility at the end of a products life (eWaste). Can we do a better job up front at the point of purchase to guarantee an easy end of life process? Similar to buying an Energy Star appliance, I may actually make a buying decision based on a brand or retail store’s take back policy.

With the growing amount of eWaste and the planning involved in figuring out how to dispose of eWaste it made me stop and think. What about “green gadgets” wouldn’t it be great to know before buying a new cellphone, television, digital camera, laptop and printer whether it was made of sustainable plastic or a part of a responsible manufacturers’ or a retail stores end of life program to be recycled.

Sir, would you be interested in getting our End of Life disposal voucher with this new TV purchase?

Also rather than being asked to buy an extended warranty/service contract at the cash register I may be willing to spend $10 for a large $1000 TV to be able to bring it back to the store in 10 years and have it properly disposed of.

Programs like these are in their infancy in my opinion. Currently computer manufacturers like Apple and Dell have some programs in place. Other programs are targeted more toward the continental United States. I think consumers appreciate knowing the upfront process and it will help consumers do the right thing when it comes to properly disposing of eWaste.

Apr 14, 2010

Replenish: Going beyond Reduce-Reuse-Recycle
by Eileen Cain, Instructor, Language Arts

Last year, paper recycling was a major focus of LCC's Earth Day celebration. The Sustainability Committee and Student Government distributed paper recycling boxes to classrooms and offices, along with instructions on how to recycle paper on campus. The Copy Center helped us reuse paper, turning the recycled paper into notepads. Many of us reduced our use of paper in various ways, stopping to ask ourselves: "Do I really need to print this?" "Do I really need more copies of that?"

This year, as we observe the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day, the desire is to replenish resources – to replace what we take from the Earth. This year all around the world there is a big movement to plant trees. Trees, after all, absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. We can replenish the earth's supply of greenery by planting trees or donating to organizations that plant them for us. Here are some ideas:

1. Plant trees on Leeward CC campus on Earth Day in Tuthill Courtyard - blessing at 7:30 am, planting at 8:00 am.
2. The Million Trees of Aloha Campaign, April – October 2010, explained in a separate post: www.kanuhawaii.org/milliontreesofaloha.
3. The Plant-a-Billion Drive, sponsored by the Nature Conservancy, allows us to donate a dollar to plant one tree: http://www.plantabillion.org/.
4. Eco-Libris is a site that allows us to donate a dollar to plant a tree for each book we read: http://www.ecolibris.net/.

Apr 13, 2010

Leeward CC Participates in the Million Trees of Aloha, April - Oct. 2010

The Million Trees of Aloha Campaign was launched on Saturday, April 10, 2010 by the Keiki Caucus of the Hawai'i State Legislature and the Children and Youth Month Planning Committee. The goal of this campaign is to get peope to plant a million trees in Hawai'i by the end of October 2010, October being Children and Youth Month. It would be best if the trees people plant would be non-invasive species, preferably native and/or food-bearing trees.

An endangered, native plant called na'u, a gardenia, was highlighted at the April 10th event. Those of us attending received one na'u and a large bag of mulch, distributed free by Kanu Hawai'i, a non-profit community organization. These plants were grown at the Hui ku Maoli Ola Nursery in Kane'ohe. We each signed a pledge to care for and plant the tree.

Our new little na'u has been entrusted to the capable and caring hands of Frani Okamoto, LCC's Shade House and Native Plant Collection Manager, until it grows and is ready to be planted out on campus later this year.

If you want to participate in the Million Trees of Aloha by planting a tree in Hawai'i between now and October, Kanu Hawai'i would appreciate knowing about it. You can post information and even a photo of your tree-planting at their website: www.kanuhawaii.org/milliontreesofaloha. They hope to be able to verify that a million trees have been planted.