Am I jealous?
Would I like to be there too?
Having lived in Hawaii for a couple of years, it remains one of my favorite places to visit.
But instead, here I am in wet, cold, and windy New Zealand dreaming of sunny beaches and warm weather.
There is only one thing to do. Take a virtual vacation in Hawaii.
So I hopped onto cyberspace and made my way to Hawaii, looking for clues on how one could have a ‘green Hawaiian vacation’.
There’s no way around it. Unless you’ve got the time, the stamina, and the know-how to paddle an outrigger canoe to the islands like the ancient Polynesians originally did, you are going to have to fly there. And fly, as we all know, isn’t exactly green. But you can always offset the air travel carbon emissions.
Once in Hawaii, you can opt for local transportation where possible. In Oahu, check out The Bus. Unfortunately the other islands offer less in the way of public transport.
If you are going to rent a car, think small and check out the Little Hawaii Car Rental Company. Their cute Mini Cooper convertibles will definitely have you standing out in the crowd.
On Maui you can go one better and rent a “Bio-Beetle” which is fueled with biodiesel made from recycled vegetable cooking oils.
Before you click on that great Hawaiian vacation deal, check out how green your accommodation is by visiting Best Green Hotels, iStayGreen, or the Green Hotel Association. Or, better yet, visit the hotels website and see what they have to say about their green practices.
Food and Drink
Seafood is a must while in Hawaii. But before you tackle the menu, find out what are sustainable seafood products with this free printable Seafood Watch Card for Hawaii.
Eat local foods wherever possible by visiting farmer’s markets that are open throughout the week in various locations on all the islands. The best and largest is at Hilo on the Big Island every Wednesday and Saturday from dawn to dusk.
‘Malama ‘aina.’ (care for the land)
There’s plenty to see and do in the Hawaiian Islands, but remember the mantra ‘take only photos, leave only footprints’.
With one of the planet’s most diverse and unique ecosystems, Hawaii is an amazing place to visit. But too much development and too many visitors puts it’s uniqueness in danger.
Visit the Hawaii Ecotourism Association and seek out activity providers who focus on sustainability and malama ’aina’.
Opt for non-motorized activities such as kayaking and sailing rather than motor boating and waterskiing. Walk instead of driving. Skip the bird’s eye view from the helicopter and instead hike the numerous hiking trails.
Better yet, think outside the square with your next Hawaii vacation and consider volunteering instead of sea gazing. Networks such as Malama Hawai’i, the Sierra Club and the Hawaii Audubon Society offer information on various types of volunteer opportunities ranging from beach clean-ups and trail maintenance and animal counts. Often it provides visitors with a chance to go and see places that are usually off limits to the public.
Happy green travels!