Living the Green Life in Honolulu
Here are 16 forward-thinking Hawaii businesses ready to help you make the switch, away from fossil fuels and into a renewable future.
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If you’re looking for a hybrid, the new E400 sedan offers the same luxurious feel you expect from Mercedes-Benz with the company’s groundbreaking lithium ion batteries, automatic engine stop-start system, and all-electric driving mode.
Servco Lexus (www.servcolexus.com) has great options for the environmentally conscious driver. Slip into the sporty Lexus RX 450h or get behind the wheel of the Lexus CT 200h. The highest EPA-estimated combined rating luxury vehicle at 42 mpg, simply put, the Lexus CT eats asphalt while sipping fuel. More than 90 percent of the vehicle can ultimately be recycled. So its design won’t just influence the vehicles of the future, it will also help build them.
Toyota Hawaii (www.toyotahawaii.com) has a wide range of hybrids from the all-new Toyota Camry Hybrid to the hybrid Toyota Highlander, one of their top-selling SUVs. Additionally, the most popular hybrid vehicle in Hawaii now comes in four versions: the third-generation of the original Prius Liftback, the larger Prius v, the smaller Prius c and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid.
It’s not just their vehicles that are helping conserve our Island’s natural beauty. From recycling packing materials for automotive parts and installing solar photovoltaic panels on building roofs to energy-efficient lighting in dealerships and car washing machines that recycle water, Toyota Hawaii operations and dealerships are doing their part.
Soon, petroleum may not be needed at all to keep engines going. The Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative hopes to replace traditional vehicles with ones that run completely on renewable hydrogen. Founding members, The Gas Company and General Motors, just opened the first service station for such fuel cell cars. With The Gas Company’s ability to produce enough hydrogen to keep 10,000 vehicles running every year, the future is definitely looking up.
Set down roots
Director, actor, and author Woody Allen once said, “Only God can make a tree—probably because it’s so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.” Over a 50-year span, one tree will generate 13,000 pounds of oxygen, absorb 8,200 pounds of carbon dioxide and recycle 200,000 gallons of water.
In Hawaii, sugarcane, pineapple, other agriculture and development have led to the loss of more than 90 percent of our islands’ forests.
Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods (www.legacytrees.org) is dedicated to bringing them back. Right now, in addition to the trees grown for harvesting, Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods is restoring 1,000 acres of a historic koa forest along the Hamakua Coast that was once the property of King Kamehameha I. The initiative comes with a unique opportunity for people to become part of this new legacy by sponsoring a koa tree. For just sixty dollars, Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods will plant a Legacy Tree in honor of an individual, to commemorate an event or in memory of past loved ones. Each koa is grown from the seeds of old growth trees and is a living, growing monument you can visit or track its unique RFID tag using applications like Google Earth.
Twenty dollars of the fee will go to a non-profit of your choice, giving someone else a chance to give back.