Posts filed under ‘Political Action’

How to Reverse Climate Change by Greening the Worlds deserts


In this March 3, 2013 TED talk, Allan Savory proposes that most global climate change is due, much more than from use of fossil fuels, to grasslands becoming deserts in over half of the land mass of the world. But, he also shows how, contrary to our preconceptioins, grazing animals can, and are actually restore the deserts back to grasslands.

March 21, 2013 at 11:54 pm Leave a comment

Hearing: Maui Island Plan – South Maui – Tuesday, May 29, 9am


Where: Maui County Council Chambers, 200 High St Wailuku

If you can’t go, send comments to General Plan Committee:

May 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm Leave a comment

Kauai Energy Presentation sponsored by Maui County

Join the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM) and Maui County for a presentation luncheon on Kauai’s Energy Plan, Holo Holo Vision 2020, at UH Maui College.

The luncheon will take place Thursday, February 16, 2012 from 11:30-1:00PM in the Multi-Purpose Room, Pilina Building, Maui College.

What is an energy cooperative and how does it work? What is Kauai County doing to meet their energy sustainability goals? Ben Sullivan, Energy Coordinator for Kauai County, will be discussing the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) and Kaua’i’s current Energy Sustainability Plan. Mr. Sullivan will review the KIUC renewable history, discuss how an energy COOP works, KIUC’s current solar, smart grid, hydro, biomass, and wind projects, as well as the current challenges and opportunities. He will introduce Kaua’i’s current initiative, Holo Holo 2020, and other initiatives, including performance contracting, EV’s, PV, Kaua’i bus, and other renewable energy projects. His presentation will conclude with how Kaua’i relates to Maui and the rest of the State of Hawaii.

Lunch will be available for $5 from the Maui Culinary Academy and includes a variety of sandwiches, chips, and cookies. Please RSVP to Dena Sato (

This event is sponsored by the Maui County and the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui.

February 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm Leave a comment

Green Business and Investing Locally


Thursday, January 26, 2012
5:30–7:30 p.m.
Class Act Restaurant, Pa’ina Building, Maui College

The Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM) and EdVenture (formerly VITEC) at UH Maui College present their next Sustainable Business Pau Hana, “Green Business and Investing Locally”.

The emerging green economy reflects profound shifts in how Americans are shopping, banking, and investing. As consumers consider the environmental, social, and governance issues of the companies making the products and services they purchase, the movement to “go green” has mainstreamed in recent years. Discover exciting opportunities to use money as a tool for social justice, community development, corporate reform, and ecological sustainability. Learn how to grow the green economy through education, standards, advocacy, and investment in a free provocative presentation with Michael Kramer and James Frazier of Hawaii’s own Natural Investments LLC at 5:30pm on January 26, 2012 at Maui College. Whether you want to create a Hawaii-recognized Sustainable Business Corporation, invest in our local green economy, make capitalism more compassionate and ecologically wise, or help alleviate poverty and build community capacity, many strategies are available today to align your values with your business operations, purchases, and investments. You’ll be amazed to hear what’s happening here in Hawaii to grow our green economy, and how these efforts connect to national and global regenerative and responsible practices and initiatives.

Michael Kramer is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary, Managing Partner, and Director of Social Research at Natural Investments LLC. Michael has lived on Hawai`i Island since 1999, where he founded the Kuleana Green Business Program of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce in 2005 as well as the Kona Earth Festival. He currently serves on the board of the Sustainability Association of Hawai`i and the Hawai`i Alliance for a Local Economy, and is a 20-year permaculture teacher and teacher trainer.
James Frazier is a local, green, and sustainable investing specialist with Natural Investments LLC, based in Maui and Port Townsend, WA. He is a co-founder of the Local Investing Opportunities Network (LION) of East Jefferson County, WA, and a finance graduate of the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. Outside the financial world, his passion for sustainable living has spurred him to explore permaculture, eco-building, natural medicine, yoga, renewable power systems, and more.

RSVP to For more information, visit the SLIM website.

January 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm Leave a comment

SF Begins Down The All Clean Energy Path

 By 2020, the city of San Francisco aims to get 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources – and it just got the green ball rolling by giving Local Power a $390,000 contract to design a plan for moving the city’s power sourcing from centralized fossil fuel plants and toward locally generated renewables.

Read full EarthTechling article..

December 12, 2011 at 1:19 am Leave a comment

Bioneers 3.0

Visionary Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel paints a very lucid picture of the humanity-wide risks we face, what will be required to solve the problems and the history of the Bioneers contribution to the solutions.

October 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm Leave a comment

Surprise! U.S. might meet its climate targets – The Washington Post

The recession and other factors may lower U.S. carbon emissions to the goals set at the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks.

CO2 reduction chart

Read full Washington Post article..

October 3, 2011 at 5:46 am Leave a comment

Return to Public Utilities?

 The citizens of Boulder Colorado will vote this fall on whether to fire the private utility company that supplies their electricty, and start their own, green-oriented public utility. Could this be the start of a movement to un-privatize?

Read the article, Power to the People, from the Coloradan Magazine..

September 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm Leave a comment

Mayor seeks to give more attention to sustainability

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said Monday that Maui County should create a new division to focus on sustainability issues, and that adding “sustainability” to the Department of Environmental Management was one of his top priorities for charter amendments.

Read August 31 Maui News article..

August 31, 2011 at 9:16 pm Leave a comment


 Mayor Alan Arakawa is supporting the first Maui County initiative for curbside recycling. Now we need to let every member of the county council know that we support this initiative.

In his February 25 State of the County speech, the mayor spoke about starting a curbside recycling program in Kihei. “We plan to expand this service to all of Maui County as soon as possible,” he said. “This has been a goal we’ve been talking about for years. . . . Let’s do it.”

The mayor’s budget contains $50,000 for processing the curbside recycling project , $35,000 for education about the project and somewhat less than $350,000 for new containers. The final costs may be less than these estimates.

However the County Council must deciding wether or not to fund the program during its current series of budget-setting meetings. Their decision will be influenced by testimony from the public, which means you. If you want curbside recycling, attend any of the county council meetings from today through May 4. The entire budget must be approved by the end of May or first part of June.


  • You will have the convenience to to put almost all your recycling in one container and only have to take it as far as your curb.
  • When fully implemented, Curbside recycling will reduce landfill use by 15%-20%, extending the
    life of our current landfill and saving much taxpayer money.
  • Your yard trimmings will become food for new plants instead of waste in a landfill.
  • Your recyclables will become new products.
  • Increased public participation in recycling and conservation.
  • Increased understanding of environmental issues.


The Maui County Solid Waste Division is proposing a first phase test of curbside recycling to be conduced in Kihei—in Maui Meadows and most of the area between Hoonani and Kapuna streets. The program will be phased in across Maui County over the next few years, depending upon council funding.

There will be three types of curbside pickup, each in its own container:

  1. Regular trash (goes into the landfill)
  2. Recycling:
    put all recyclables in same container – no need to separate by kind (see details below).
  3. Yard trimmings with select kitchen organics:
    will be converted into compost. (see details below)

The Recycling Section is recommending the county consider a version of the “Pay As You Throw” or PAYT programs, (also known as unit pricing or variable-rate pricing). 700 U.S. communities already have some form of PAYT, but none yet in Hawai’i. PAYT programs are shown to motivate residents to reduce the amount of waste they make.

 In the proposed program, residents choose and pay for one of three sizes of refuse container—32 gallons, 64 gallons or 96 gallons. The current refuse containers are all 96 gallons and the rate is $16 to $17 per month. Smaller containers would cost the county less to purchase and have a lower monthly fee for residents.

Recycling and green waste containers would all be one size—96 gallons.

Refuse would be picked up once per week. Recycling and Green Waste would alternately be picked up every other week.

Although the Recycling Section of the Solid Waste Department is recommending the county adopt PAYT, the decision will be made by Department of Environmental Management along with the mayor and council members.

All recycled material will be marketed by the county’s processing contractor to be manufactured into new products.

The Recycling Section is developing the list of items you will be able to recycle. The following list is a draft. Items may be added or excluded as research continues.

  • Plastic: all #1 and #2 plastic, bottles, jugs and coffee tubs, and lids.
  • Aluminum: cans, pop tops, foil, trays
  • Metal (steel or tin): cans, lids and caps
  • Paper:
  • Bags
  • Cardboard
  • Office and computer paper
  • Envelopes
  • Junk mail
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Gabletop milk and juice containers

Curbside recycling will not collect:

  • Glass (you will still need to take this to the redemption center)
  • Plastic bags
  • wrapping paper, soiled paper towels, used napkins, used paper plates,
    paper cartons
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic silverware
  • Ice cream containers (they have a plastic liner)
  • Electronics
  • Helium or propane tanks
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Small appliances
  • Dirt, rocks

The county will collect:

  • Grass and flower cuttings
  • Tree and hedge trimmings
  • House plants without soil
  • Christmas trees
  • Palm fronds
  • Kitchen organics:
    • The fibrous, hard stuff should be put in the organics container for composting.
      You will continue to put soft kitchen organics down the garbage disposal.
    • Vegetable and fruit peels, skin, rinds, stems and pits.
    • Pineapple tops
    • Artichoke leaves
    • Corn cobs
    • Food soiled:
      • Napkins
      • Paper towels
      • Paper plates
      • Pizza boxes
      • Cartons
        Tip: you can use a milk carton to store kitchen organics in your refrigerator
        or freezer for the next curbside organics pickup.

Curbside yard trimmings and kitchen organics will not collect:

  • Meat (use garbage disposal)
  • Seafood (use garbage disposal)
  • Diary (use garbage disposal)
  • Liquids (use garbage disposal)

The green waste yard trimmings will go to Eko Compost near the South Puunene Avenue landfill, where it will be finely ground up and “Heat Composted” by the high temperature naturally generated by decomposition of large amounts of plant matter. Heat composting kills infectious single-celled organisms by drying up their outer membrane and produces Class A compost for lawns, potted plants, fruit and vegetable gardens and farms. The final step of decomposition comes from Hawai’ian sunlight after the compost is spread on the soil.


  • Call or write the mayor to thank him for making curbside recycling a county priority.
  • Attend a county council budget meeting to testify in favor of curbside
  • Write, email or call council members to encourage them to support the proposal.
  • Write a letter to the editor of the Maui News, Maui Time, etc.
  • Forward this email to your friends.

   Contact Hana Steel, Ph.D., Recycling Coordinator
   Solid Waste Division
   Department of Environmental Management
   County of Maui
   200 South High Street
   Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
   Phone: 808-270-7847
   Fax: 808-270-7843

Find PAYT information on the web:

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