Story by Diane Haynes-Woodburn
The Boy with Green Hair. It’s the title of a 1948 movie that has nothing to do with the environment; nonetheless, it’s the image that comes to mind as I watch and listen to my son Michael across the dinner table—partly because his own wild mane seems to grow with electricity as his tone elevates, and partly because he’s so, well . . . green. “We need to get back to the concept of homes as farms,” he tells me. “Only now, we should be farming energy.” Michael is an architecture student at the University of Hawai‘i; his passion for building green is barely containable. If we could harness his energy, I’m certain we could run the entire house.
It’s not just Michael. At every boardroom discussion, cocktail party, or business meeting, the conversation turns to what we are doing to conserve, replenish, reinvent. From the voices of our children, to the platform of world leaders, our collective global concern is evident. But concern is just the beginning. Doing is what matters.
In this issue of Maui No Ka ‘Oi we take pride in honoring those who are not only doing, but whose example and leadership are helping to shift the paradigm of consciousness from skepticism to hope.
Meet five environmental heroes who champion the preservation of our island resources—from Dale Bonar, who works with individuals, government agencies and major corporations to save coastal wilderness; to research biologist Lloyd Loope, who fights invasive species, from fire ants to miconia, to protect native ecosystems.
And meet a feathered champion, a bird that yips and barks like a dog—the ‘ua‘u, or Hawaiian petrel. Among the first seabirds to land on the Endangered Species List, this remarkable little creature is still surprising the scientists who are working to save it.
Our At Home story interviews Stephen Meder, a professor at UH School of Architecture and director of the Center for Smart Building and Community Design. He too gives us hope. “We have more opportunities for renewable energy than anywhere else in the world,” he says. And helps us understand the many small ways we can make a big difference in our own homes. (Did you know that by lowering the amount of energy used in our homes, we may actually do more good for the planet than buying a fuel-efficient car?)
We’d also like to introduce you to the innovators and leaders who will appear at the Focus Green Lecture Series. Among them is Amory Lovins, who in 1976 began to convincingly argue that the US could completely phase out the use of fossil fuels, and do so at a profit. Today he consults Fortune 500 businesses in profitable sustainability—and will share with us his ideas for a sustainable island community. You’ll find more on Lovins and the others in the series in Talk Story and our calendar.
This issue holds a wellspring of folks with—if not green hair—at least green on their minds. It is to those stewards of our future that this issue is dedicated.
A hui hou,
Diane Haynes Woodburn
Publisher, Maui No Ka ‘Oi