Doing the Right Thing
Sustainability Guide 2011 / What is our capacity to endure? That’s the question that living sustainably asks of us. Though long-term maintenance of our own lives is overwhelming, the Weekly, for years now, has encouraged us to get over it. In other words, it’s that time again, to remind ourselves to get serious about sustainability.
When we reduce our impact on the earth, or more specifically, on Hawaii, we recognize a more sustainable path, and what happens next is staggering: We lower gas prices, we offset our daily carbon footprint, we reduce emissions and we begin the process of paying off a lifetime of environmental “debt.”
For some of us, reaching a more sustainable lifestyle means bringing fabric totes to the grocery store, but for others, the conversation has shifted beyond paper and plastic. If we are in a more sophisticated realm of eco-consciousness, then we must ask ourselves whether or not we’re willing to make a case for it.
Reading labels, voting on sustainable legislation, befriending farmers’ markets instead of supermarkets–these are just some of the enormously simple ideas that have, and will continue, to change the world. Throughout this issue, we hope you’ll find ways to build, or rather re-build, a sustainable city. By reappraising the economic sector and by choosing a lifestyle that conserves our natural resources, we are one step closer to accomplishing this monumental task. Simple, everyday choices, like our means of transportation, our consciousness of energy use and where we choose to spend our money will not only save our planet but will allow us to survive on it. –Shantel Grace
Breaking Down the Buzzword
In ancient Hawaii the concept of sustainability meant to support (koo) or feed (‘ai kau). Taking care of (malama) the land (‘aina) and honoring a person’s ties to their ‘ohana and ancestors of the land was a centuries-old custom, and these ancient Hawaiian cultural values were primarily focused on ways to nourish and sustain island families and communities. Their continued existence depended upon successful cycles of harvest from the land and seas and has been recreated for modern times by studying and replicating authentic past practices; and sustained by shared activities such as canoe-building, woodworking, herbal medicine practices and agriculture. Perhaps the Hawaiian word that best describes sustainability is hooulu, which means to enter in and inspire; to grow, sprout and propagate; to increase and to protect. –Lucy Jokiel