Earth Day 2014 in Hawaii

Earth Day 2014

My son wrote this acrostic poem about Earth Day when he was 6 years old.

Earth is cool
Animals help us
Recycle trash
Trees are nice
Healthy plants

Dig the dirt
Air should be clean
You can save the earth!

The theme for Earth Day 2014 is Green Cities – buildings, energy, and transportation – to create a cleaner, healthier world. Green cities is particularly relevant to Hawaii, where we are trying to design green buildings that incorporate efficiency and design improvements, transition to renewable energy sources, and design safe and efficient transportation – with a focus on city walkability and bike-ability.

While we’re building greener cities, here are some things that we can do today to celebrate Earth Day:

* Pledge an act of green. Teachers and students can take the Seussville.com classroom pledge.

* Share seeds of change. This is a cool seed-packet printable that lets you share a conservation idea with family and friends. Kids can color the envelope, put it together, and fill it with seeds (or candy).

* Teach about the Earth. For teachers, Random House put together a printable Earth Day classroom activity guide, including a letter to Mother Earth, a maze, and a tree planting campaign. The Earth Day Network also has a free downloadable Earth Day K-12 toolkit.

* Turn an ordinary tree into a pledge tree. Choose a tree in your yard or on school grounds. Pass out pledge forms, ask people to make a pledge to help the earth, and hang it on the tree.

* Plant a reading garden. Set aside a space in your yard or on school grounds for reading and relaxing. Use comfortable chairs or picnic blankets, add fluffy pillows, plant flowers, and keep the area clean.

* Host an Earth Dinner. Invite family and friends to an earth dinner prepared with local, seasonal, organic ingredients. Start a conversation about where our food comes from and our connection to food and farming. For more ideas, download “The Earth Dinner” booklet from Organic Valley. Sustainable Table also offers some theme ideas for hosting a Sustainable Dinner Party.

* Turn off the lights. March 29, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm (local time), is Earth Hour, when you can show your commitment to protecting the Earth by turning your lights off for one hour.

Here are a few Earth Day events taking place this week in Hawaii.

On Oahu:
* Earth Day Festival: On April 24, 10 am to 4 pm, attend the free 2014 Earth Day Festival at the UH Manoa Campus, Sustainability Courtyard. There will be local food trucks and environmental businesses, a bike sale, plant sale, and seed giveaway. At 6 pm, author and activist Bill McKibben will give a talk on “Reportback from the Frontlines of Climate Change.”
* Learn about Hawaii’s coasts: On April 24, 6:30 pm, the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve will host a free public lecture by meteorology professor Dr. Steven Businger, “From Storm to Shorebreak: Waves Impacting Hawaii’s Coasts.”
* Clean up our neighborhoods and streams: On April 26, you can volunteer at the Kahawai Adopt-a-Stream. Also on April 26, 9 am to 11 am, there is an Earth Day Cleanup along the Ka Iwi Coast in Hawaii Kai (ewa end of Sandy Beach), followed by a talk story lunch at 11:30 am. On May 3, you can volunteer at the Kaimuki Adopt-a-Block or Kailua Adopt-a-Block.

On Hawaii Island:
* Dive against debris: On April 28, 10 am to 2 pm, join divers, kayakers, and debris monitors to record debris in Hilo Bay, starting at Moku Ola (Coconut Island).
* Learn about climate change in Kona: On April 30, 5:30 pm to 7 pm, the Kona Historical Society will host a free community lecture by Hannah Springer, president of Hawaii’s Conservation Council, “Conservation and Changing Climate in Kona: Incorporating Indigenous Ways and Modern Approaches for Research Conservation.”

On Kauai:
* Enjoy an Ohana Day: On April 26, 9 am to 1 pm, the Kauai Museum is hosting an Ohana Day on Malama ‘Aina, Huleia Fishpond.

What are your most innovative tips for reusing, recycling, or repurposing trash? How will you celebrate the earth today?

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