Sustainability, reducing your footprint, climate change and being eco friendly are some buzz terms that people talk about in Hawaii but trying to do the right thing is difficult here. With over 80 percent of our basic food and supplies being imported into the state, it’s hard to really see what we can individually do here and self sustainable in Hawaii are a buzzword we aspire too but don’t live daily. But individually you can make your own contribution to reducing your own footprint and being eco friendly as the same time – here’s some ideas and thoughts you can incorporate into your daily life on the islands and living pono.
Here’s how to be self Sustainable in Hawaii
Plant a garden in Hawaii
What’s more satisfying than planting a garden in Hawaii that you can actually spend more time outdoors and really be connected with the food that you are growing from the land. Growing your own food is a great way to be self-stainable in Hawaii and an easy way to start in this direction. Imagine that you can easily grow beans, tomatoes, various greens and fruit and actually be saving some money for food that always commands top dollar in the markets. Here are some of the easy tropical fruits you can grow and the best vegetable plants suited to grow well in Hawaii.
Use those recyling centers better
Recycling centers are typical around the islands and using recycling bins or going to the centers and separating the materials directly into larger bins are almost a regular occurrence on the islands. But being proactive to just throwing out the refuse and separating to what is recyclable and even donating used things you don’t need does save the aina and filling up our landfills. When we recycle from our waste we really are being more self sustainable in Hawaii and putting more care into the aina (land).
Buy or donate stuff at your recycling centers or donation outlets
Instead of tossing to the garbage, think about donating your old clothes, furniture, accessories or other useful but not important to you stuff to your local donation outlets that can resell it to other people that might find a use for your hand offs. Also, check out these places for some good bargains that you might be looking for.
Go to farmers markets in Hawaii
Buying directly from growers or resellers at the market and selling fresh grown on the island is a fantastic way of supporting the local economy and buying fresh produce. There’s nothing better than supporting local growers and vendors with grown or made on the islands food and other specialty foods. It’s always good to shop at a local farmers market in your area and find the people that you can support directly.
Use your own bags
By now most people are used to bringing their own reusable bags for any type of shopping needs and the best thing is that many retailers offer a small incentive (around 5 to 10 cents) when you bring your own bag. With the government’s ban on plastic bag use on all the islands, you can bring your own bags or still pay for paper bags from all stores on the islands. Make sure to have these in your car and a habit to bring anywhere you end up shopping for the day.
Look for packing that isn’t plastic and recyclable
You can look out for packaging that is less harmful to the envirnoment and not plastic. Maybe carboard, paper or other packaging can be used and an be recycled or repurposed. If you stay away from a lot of processed foods with extra packaging, you can find a range of products that support not plastic packaging efforts.
Buy in bulk
When you buy things in bulk like 20 pound bags of rice you end up using less packaging than smaller quantities of the same product. Think in larger size portions that you can store and use along with maybe saving some money by buying in larger bulk sizes and effectively conserving from dumping into those garbage centers.
Store your stuff in glass or other containers instead of plastic bags or aluminum foil
When you get home and make stuff in the kitchen, use your reusable containers or store your products or made goods In glass or plastic containers instead of repackaging into plastic or aluminum foil. This also applies to cooked foods and leftovers that you may typically wrap again in plastic or aluminum.
Don’t throw food away – make a dish with leftovers!
Always check what’s in the freezer or fridge to use before you go out shopping for food. Get creative and make things with the ingredients you have on hand and this will save you time, money and going out shopping.
Re-use or compost
Make foods with your scraps to create salsas, compotes and easy spreads with any of your throw away food or just compost what you can’t use because it is too small to create something good
Getting rid of plastics and use refillable water bottles
Avoid plastic drinking containers and use your own refillable water bottles with the water or other juices or teas you can make and save some money at the same time. It almost becomes second nature when you avoid purchasing drinking plastics products and use your own with minimal effort.
You can start planning small to big depending on your budget of course when it comes to solar. Most newer homes are now mandated to having solar water heater panels and solar panels might be feasible if you look at leasing options that are available on the island. Rate metering with energy providers vary on a yearly basis, so do plan and factor that in carefully when you are thinking about installing solar and saving money on your monthly energy consumption.
Catching your own water and processing
Catchment systems are more common in remote areas of each island that is not served by county water. You’ll find that catchment systems are overall affordable and offer good quality water from our plentiful rain in areas where rain is a regular occurance and with the right filtering equipment, offers fantastic drinking water options.
Check out these other Hawaii topics
Looking for more Hawaii inspiration about Hawaii, check out these other topics below for you to discover and enjoy.
Share this or pin it for later
Any other thoughts that you can share about being more self sustainable on the islands? Please share with us in the comment section below.
Thanks for checking out this post on Self Sustainable in Hawaii. Hope the post was informative and a must read article – if so please do share it with any of the social media buttons around the page. This post may have affiliate related links to brand offers which helps our site keep operating – we appreciate any purchases through this link and your supporting This Hawaii Life.