Sustainability

Collecting Molokai’s Metals

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Collecting Molokai’s Metals

Photo by Jessica Ahles

As your car deteriorates on Molokai’s rugged roads, and outdated appliances are replaced with newer models, you may find an assembly of rusted-out materials decorating your yard. But if you find yourself going mad over your metal collection, there is now a group you can call to gather your junk cars, appliances and mixed metals.

Refrigerant Recycling Inc. (RRI) is here to serve Molokai for the next three years. The Oahu-based recycling and refurbishing company is working hand-in-hand with Maui County, dedicated to help make metal disposal less of a headache for the community.

“We’re holding a community workday to go around helping rural parts of the island and to assist people who need help with recycling their items,” said Molokai-born RRI project manager Mike Diorec.…

Ikehu Molokai Project

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Princeton Energy News Release

It is our goal to keep island residents informed of the progress of the Ikehu Molokai project.  As everyone knows, the grid on Molokai has some problems, like high costs for Molokai residents and businesses, blackouts and brownouts, and a high carbon footprint.  The Ikehu Molokai project aims to address these problems by converting the island’s electric system to renewable energy. The project is a joint effort between Princeton Energy and Molokai Ranch.

Maui Electric Company (MECO) has done their part to solve these problems, taking financial losses to minimize rate hikes, and working with the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) to install a battery system to stabilize the grid. …

Habitat for Humanity Partnering for Solar

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Habitat for Humanity Partnering for Solar

State, county and nonprofit organization representatives attended a press conference announcing OHA’s $32,600 contribution supporting affordable housing and renewable energy solutions for Molokai’s Native Hawaiian households. Photo by Jessica Ahles

Molokai is making steps towards becoming a clean energy community as 163 homes will be receiving free photovoltaic (PV) solar units while cutting their energy bills in half. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has granted $32,600 to Molokai’s Habitat for Humanity in support of their partnership with solar company Kala Power Inc. and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL). The deal will combine affordable housing and renewable energy solutions for low-income Native Hawaiian families living on homestead land.…

Energy Festival Nixed Over Renewable Project Concerns

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Amid recent concerns over proposed renewable energy project Ikehu Molokai, I Aloha Molokai (IAM) has cancelled its third annual Renewable Energy Festival that was scheduled for January. The nonprofit feared the event would act as a showcase for Ikehu, falsely implying IAM’s endorsement of the project. While IAM leaders say they feel the project has potential for Molokai, they are not ready to support it based on what they consider to be a lack of public input.

“We do not want [the energy festival] to be used to help push a process that does not have community buy-in yet,” said Kanohowailuku Helm, president of IAM, a local nonprofit that supports community-based energy solutions, in an email to Maui County officials.…

Planting Seeds for the Future

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Before Western contact, Native Hawaiians were able to feed a population of one million while following a sustainable way of life, according to the documentary, “Na Kupu Mana`olana — Seeds of Hope.” But in the last 50 years alone, half of Hawaiian farmland has been developed and today, 85 percent of the state’s food is imported.

“We are currently in a crisis,” said Robert Harris, director of Sierra Club Hawaii, in the documentary.

The film, produced by The Hawaii Rural Development Council (HRDC), premiered on Molokai at Kalaniana`ole Hall Saturday night. It highlighted the state’s agricultural evolution and the unsustainable challenges we’re currently facing as a community.…

The Poop Scoop

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

What happens after you flush

You flush your toilet an average of five times per day, but have you ever wondered what happens once it leaves the porcelain throne? By the time it reaches the end of the sewer line and completes a lengthy purifying process, not only is your wastewater cleaner than it started, but one more thing is clear. The wastewater facility workers who sort through the thick of it, surface with this message: If you think you can dispose of your strangest unmentionables down the drain, you’re wrong.

“There are no secrets. If you flush it down the toilet, we see it,” said Guy Joao, an operator at the Kaunakakai Wastewater Reclamation Facility.…

Molokai Represented at World Wilderness Congress

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Molokai Represented at World Wilderness Congress

Community Contributed

By Maile Naehu

Photo courtesy of Maile Naehu

Recently my husband Hano and I were invited to be delegates at the 10th World Wilderness Congress, or “Wild 10.” As we prepared for a presentation on Ocean Resource Management emphasizing fishponds, we had no idea what was in store of us in Salamanca, Spain.

On Oct. 1, we left our humble home to embark on a day and a half journey to Europe where the oldest university on the planet calls home. We arrived to a primarily Spanish speaking land until we met up with the other thousand or so delegates from around the globe.…

Water Conservation and Irrigation Workshop

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

UH CTAHR Molokai Extension News Release

There aren’t too many things in Hawaii we measure in the billions.  The size of the state’s economy is about $67 billion, the volcano at the Hawaii Volcano National Park produces about 6.4 billion cubic feet of lava per day and the 100-acre Molokai Irrigation System reservoir has a storage capacity of 1.2 billion gallons.  But if we want to see 50 percent of Molokai that is dry almost all year round to green up, it will require 389.6 billion gallons of water per year.  That is because Molokai has the highest recorded annual average pan evaporation rate in the state, at 118 inches per year according to historic data in DNLR reference “Pan Evaporation: State of Hawaii 1894-1983.”  Following Molokai, there are sites on Hawaii Island with 108 inches, Maui with 99 inches, Oahu and Kauai with 98 inches per year.…

Mana`e Moku Community Meeting

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Walter Ritte, Aha Kiole Planning and Consultation

The second meeting regarding the Mana`e Watershed Plan, which calls for extensive fencing of our mountains from Kapualei to Halawa, will be held Friday, Oct. 25. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Kilohana.

The first Mana`e Moku meeting was well-attended, and presentations were made explaining that the government and private landowners have formed a partnership to manage our mountains. A draft plan has been submitted and now community participation and input is needed.

The draft plan calls for the “improvement and protection of the existing watershed” in our mountains, relying on fencing as the primary solution.…

A Return to Konohiki

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Community-based proposal to manage Hawaii’s resources

Last month in Kalaupapa, the state-mandated Aha Moku Advisory Council presented a plan that could change the way natural resources are managed in Hawaii. The plan calls for a return to the konihiki system, in which those knowledgeable about the ways of the ocean set guidelines for marine food gathering using traditional Hawaiian methods.

“The Aha Moku is set up to look at evolving power back to the communities as far as resource management,” said Sen. Kalani English, who was among a handful of legislators who attended the Kalaupapa gathering. “How do we do that within state law… that’s what we’re figuring out.”

The konohiki were those in ancient Hawaii who continued teaching, assessing and learning generationally in an unbroken line of distinguished performance outcomes, according to the Aha Moku’s konohiki initiative.…