Archive for April, 2012

Light Bulb Exchange At All Maui County Recycling Centers

April 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm 1 comment

Sustainability Report on Maui Businesses

Sustainability at the Tipping Point:
New Survey Shows Maui Businesses Saving Money
through Sustainability Practices

Has Hawaii’s sustainability movement reached its tipping point? According to a March, 2012 MIT Sloan Management Review study of 3000 company executives worldwide this is the point at which “a substantial portion of companies are not only seeing the need for sustainable business practices, but are also deriving financial benefit from these activities”[1]. This MIT study seemed to think the tipping point has been reached with 70% of their respondents having put sustainability on their management agendas within the past 6 years, and a third having shown a profit by doing so.

With many supports already in place locally, at the state level and nationally, a recent survey of 124 Maui businesses and organizations was designed to see to what extent Maui businesses and organizations are players in this promising scenario.

Commissioned by the University of Hawaii Maui College’s (UH-MC) Office of Continuing Education and Training (OCET), and the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM) and funded by the State Energy Sector Partnership (SESP), the survey also explored the degree of interest by participating businesses in UH-MC’s Sustainability Training Program and Green Business Pau Hana Series and these programs current and future role in supporting businesses and non-profits in their sustainability efforts, while also promoting green job creation.

Using an in-depth survey by phone and in person, 36 business owners, 72 business managers and 16 non-profit organization directors were interviewed. Retail stores, hotels, resorts, restaurants, medical centers, golf courses, and property management companies, all with 10+ employees were among those surveyed.

Survey Findings

Ninety-four percent of participating businesses have taken recent steps to save money through sustainability improvements. Changes have included switching to CFL and LED lighting (80%), more efficient air conditioning and ventilation (52%), more efficient pumps and motors (23%), as well as conserving water (81%) and recycling (83%). The survey data also showed 21% (26) had added photovoltaics (PV) to their rooftops and an additional 23 (19%) had switched to solar hot water.

Reported savings by the 25 businesses who consistently tracked their progress, totaled over $1.4 million, with an additional 8 businesses showing an average kilowatt hour electricity use reduction of 20%. Interestingly, many survey participants showed a keen interest in learning more about how to track savings through sustainability improvements. When asked how willing they were to develop a “continuous improvement plan that tracks savings over time”,
75 (60%) said they were ‘somewhat’ to ‘very willing’.

An encouraging discovery from the survey was just how many managers and owners were interested in exploring future changes.
Sixty-nine out of 124 surveyed (56%) wished to explore solar options, over half wanted to further improve in areas of energy efficiency such as switching to LED lighting, more efficient air conditioning, motors, pumps, insulating for heat reduction and reducing phantom load which can come from such things as leaving computers on. Eighty-seven (70%) respondents said they would like to improve on their water conservation efforts, and 60% (74) wanted to better manage their waste streams.

The Role of the College in Supporting Businesses

A 2010 random sample of 4008 Hawaii business worksites by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR)[2] showed that “community colleges and trade schools are said to fulfill 62% of the education and training requirements for reported green jobs in the state[3].”

The survey results are a positive indication that Maui’s business community might further benefit from Maui College’s extensive sustainable science and technology programs. Through its Sustainable Sciences and Sustainable Construction degree programs, and SLIM and OCET’s non-credit Green Technologies Training Program, classes have and will continue to be offered in PV design and installation, in commercial and residential energy management, in water conservation, and in green building, including a Building Operator’s Certification program. These classes are available to both incumbent workers and those seeking employment in green technology. SLIM has also offered a pau hana sustainable practice series for businesses on the campus this past year, a series that 93 (75%) of survey respondents expressed interest in attending.

When asked if the businesses were interested in the expertise coming from these classes to help them with their future sustainability needs, 66% said ‘yes’ to a sustainability assessment by a qualified, supervised intern. Nearly 60% of respondents have hired an independent specialist to help with their past changes and 20% said they would consider hiring a new employee trained in green assessment and improvement technologies that could provide ongoing improvements to their facility.

when asked if they would benefit from being seen as “green” by their current and future customers, 88% (97) said ‘yes’, indicating that sustainability can be a marketable business asset, while simultaneously protecting fragile island resources.

Read the full report – Supporting Maui’s Businesses and Organizations in their Sustainability Efforts: A Survey Report of their Practices and Needs

April 18, 2012 at 7:10 am Leave a comment

Vertical Garden With Recycled PET Bottles

Interesting Brazillian design that recycles, decorates and provides food.

See full Treehugger article..

April 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

Ridekick Electric Bicycle Trailer – A Simple Ebike Conversion

See details.

April 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm 1 comment

Curbside Recycling and Complete Streets Pass Council

On April 10, the Maui County Council voted on budget issues, including two that are of particular interest to South Maui Sustainability.

Council members voted unanimously at first reading to budget $440,000 for a curbside recycling pilot program in Maui Meadows. Couch encouraged participating families to pay attention to their recycling. “Try not to mix inappropriately, and lets show the county that this can be a good project and a good start at curbside recycling,” he said.

The council voted 9-0 to adopt a resolution supporting the establishment of a “complete streets” policy for Maui. Council Member Don Couch noted that the policy would establish “guidelines” for creating more walkable communities by providing paths for walking and biking

Read entire Maui News article..

April 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Revenge of the Electric Car – House Party

Want to learn about electric cars, available rebates, charging infrastructure, and the integration of electric vehicles on Maui?  Attend the Central Maui “Revenge of the Electric Car” House Party in Wailuku Heights!  This party is one of many held nationwide to celebrate the Sierra Club’s national Electric Vehicles Campaign.

  • View the documentary “Revenge of the Electric Car”
  • Enjoy pizza, pupus, and beverages.  Potluck donation encouraged!
  • Learn about topics related to EV on Maui.
  • Nissan Leaf and other EV may be available for test drive.  Owners: bring your Leaf, Volt, Plug-in Prius, etc to share (or let others test-ride/test-drive)

Please RSVP to:  Call Christine L. Andrews at 808-250-3678 or email for more information.

April 10, 2012 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

What To Do With All Those Easter Egg Shells

 Another DIY planting/seed idea – just plant the entire egg shell and seed in the ground the egg will break down eventually and also help feed your plant.

From Green Renaissance facebook photos

April 8, 2012 at 2:08 am Leave a comment

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