5 Ways to Go-Green at Home on Earth Day
In Hawai`i we have a special relationship with nature and understand the precious balance we have with everything from the mountain to the sea. On April 22, we celebrate Earth Day to remind ourselves to mālama ka `aina, or care for the land. Here are five simple things you can do around the house on Earth Day, and every day, to help protect our planet.
There are many benefits to reducing, reusing, and recycling including:
- Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.
- Conserving natural resources.
- Preventing pollution.
East Hawai`i residents participate in the state’s HI-5 program that lets us return clean beverage containers for a small refund. You can find more information at the HI-5 Beverage Container Redemption site.
We also participate in the 2-Bin program that lets you recycle cardboard, paper, plastic, aluminum/tin and non-HI-5 glass. Visit their site for details.
2. Grow Your Own Food
Lucky we live Hawai`i and can garden year-round! Growing your own fruits and vegetables has many advantages including:
- Reducing stress levels and increasing self esteem.
- Saving money at the grocery store.
- Improving our connection with the land.
There are certain fruits the grow especially well in East Hawai`i including tangerines, star fruit, passion fruit and rambutans. Visit NearSay.com for tips on growing your own garden in our local climate.
3. Take a Hike
Walking or taking a bike instead of driving has obvious benefits to the planet such as conserving gas and preventing pollution. But, it also has many health benefits including:
- Reducing risk for heart attack, stroke and glaucoma.
- Managing weight and blood pressure.
- Stress reduction.
Hilo is famous for it’s breathtaking trails that provide exploration and fun for all ages. You can explore Rainbow Falls, take a historic walk through downtown Hilo, or even trek through the lava fields near the volcano. Check out AllTrails.com to find your next adventure in east Hawai`i.
4. Turn Off the Waterworks
The Hawaiian band Kapena sings “Hilo Rain” as an homage our wet and rainy climate. These showers clean and beautify the land while providing us with valuable drinking water. Although we are fortunate enough to receive regular rains, we should remember not to squander our most precious natural resource. There’s a few simple things we can to do conserve water at home such as:
- Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth.
- Fixing leaky pipes.
- Reusing rice and pasta water (after it cools) to water your plants.
For more ideas to conserve water, visit the Board of Water Supply’s site.
5. Let the Sunshine
While it does rain a lot in Hilo, we can still benefit from the power of the sun. Whether harnessing the power of the sun for water heating or generating electricity, the benefits of solar power are abundant and helps us:
- Reduce our reliance on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas.
- Save money on our electric and gas bill.
- Prevent pollution.
Here are some homes currently on the market that have solar water heating.
For more ideas on what you can do to make Earth Day every day, visit HawaiiZeroWaste.org.