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Let us start off by noting that we're not perfect but we're doing our very best to set an eco-conscious example for our peers. We travel worldwide with regularity and, having been made aware of the environmental impacts travel has, we work doubly hard to offset our carbon footprint.
Here are a handful of things we focus our on to aid the Earth (they're things you can do too!)
• We offset our carbon footprint created by both our cars and boat motor by utilizing the services available at https://www.cooleffect.org
• We subscribe to a CSA that provides us with food items grown locally on the Big Island of Hawai'i. We attend farmers markets and grow quite a bit of food in our very own garden (bananas, papayas, tomatoes, oranges, limes, star apple, pineapple, figs, sweet potatoes, and breadfruit so far.)
•Our home only has led lightbulbs in it and our energy consumption is low, we only turn lights when we're in the room and turn them off when we leave. We do not currently own our home and though we tried to convince our landlord to purchase solar, we weren't successful. That said, we fully intend to have a solar array as well as a water catchment system when we do own our own home.
• We limit our water consumption. Laundry and the dishwasher are only run when they are full and are set to the most eco friendly modes (a feature of the appliances). We take short showers and do not let the faucet run for extended periods of time.
•We utilize reusable bags for everything, most notably our grocery shopping. We have smaller linen bags for produce (so we're not using those single use produce bags) and larger bags for all other items.
• We aim to purchase items that are not made of/or packaged in plastic. We recycle all of our cans, bottles, "HI-5" plastics as well as plastics 1&2. Though we try to go sans plastic, if we do encounter plastic packaging we recycle or reuse it to the best of our abilities.
• We always reuse plastic packaging that comes in any shipments we get. Living on the most isolated archipelago in the world has its pitfalls and sometimes we need to order supplies from the mainland. When they come packed in cardboard boxes with bubble wrap, we re-use both for our own outgoing shipments and encourage our clients to save/reuse them as well!
• We keep reusable utensils on us, always. These have become a staple for us. Just like we're always sure to grab our wallet, ID, and sunglasses before we leave the house, we also grab our reusable eating utensils and even keep a spare set in our cars. We refuse single-use plastic as much as possible.
• We compost food scraps, garden cuttings, and paper products. We use our compost to nourish our garden so that it continues to supply us with a bounty of food.
• We are conscientious of where our clothing comes from - preferring biodegradable fabrics such as organic 100% cotton, linen, hemp, or silk. We try to purchase clothes from small businesses with sustainable practices and fair trade certifications. We swap clothes with our friends and neighbors instead of purchasing new pieces.
• Our car, though not electric because we couldn't afford it at the time of purchase, is still highly efficient in gas, getting over 34mpg. Our truck is only used to tow our boat to/from the harbor and for our annual trip up to Mauna Kea to show the pups some snow. (And if Tesla made a 4WD SUV, we'd trade our truck in a heartbeat!) Sadly, there's currently no smart car on the market that could tow our boat - but we're keeping our eyes and ears open!
•Our brand new four stroke boat motor is one of the most fuel efficient options on the market today. Again, if solar powered motors were a thing, we'd buy into it, but the tech is still a ways out and we use our boat to educate our clients about the environment and to aid in ocean clean ups, marine mammal research, as well as entangled wildlife aid. We want to do the very best we can to be respectful stewards of the environment.
• We buy locally crafted products whenever we can: clothing/food/gifts. We do our best to support small local businesses with ethical practices and encourage others to do the same. Why purchase something a million other people can buy at a big box store when you can have a unique handmade piece that helps support a local artisan?
Alicia & Jim Ward
How we are currently working to reduce your carbon footprint and aid our ecosystems:
( + suggestions for those seeking advice on how to live more sustainably!)