9 Awesome Ways to Actually Make a Difference on Earth Day 2016 in Honolulu

Earth Day is this Friday, April 22. Celebrate in Honolulu with cleanups, giveaways, workshops and other events.
Check out the finalists in this year’s Ultimate Sand Sifter Competition at Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i’s Earth Day Festival and celebration on April 30.
Photo: Courtesy of Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i


Every Island culture has a special relationship with the environment, no surprise, given how much more we’re affected by climate change, development, littering and other environmental issues. This Earth Day, instead of just posting an Instagram picture from your favorite hike and hashtagging #EarthDay, here are some ways to get involved in really caring for the ‘āina:



Mālama Mānoa and the Mānoa branch of the Outdoor Circle are giving away 1,000 trees on Sunday, April 24. Come to the Mānoa Valley District Park pavilion to pick one up between 8 a.m. and noon (we recommend going early to ensure you get your choice of monkeypod, kukui, mountain apple, coconut, kamani nut, plumeria, sea grape, hau, papaya, avocado or others), and ask an arborist if you have any questions about how to plant or care for them. Benefits of trees (as if we need to tell you) include cleaner air and soil, cooler homes from the shade (and therefore less AC or fan usage) and potential places for treehouses and hammocks. Mālama Mānoa will also partner with Mānoa Public Library for a native-plant giveaway and composting demonstrations at Green Saturday, April 23.

Mānoa Valley District Park, 2721 Ka‘aipū Ave., April 24, 8 a.m. to noon, malamaomanoa.org


SEE ALSO: 23 Volunteer Ideas in Hawai‘i 



Boy Scout Troop 201 and the Ulu Wai Ministry will offer $10 waterless car washes (using ecofriendly products) starting at 9 a.m. in the makai parking lot of Nu‘uanu Congregational Church, and that includes vacuuming the interior. Inside Kosasa Hall, the Green Day III Fair will have a free store with gently used items ranging from clothing to small appliances, a cheap rummage sale, hydroponic kits, worm bins (plus talks with composting experts at 9:30 and 11). You can even bring in your e-waste for proper disposal. Proceeds from the event will go to Ulu Wai’s Missions Ministry.

Nu‘uanu Congregational Church, 2651 Pali Highway, April 23, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., nuuanu.org 



Turtle Bay Resort took a major step toward farming and conservation this month by securing a $6 million deal to protect 468 acres of Kahuku land from development. On Earth Day, see why this area is so special with a free hike to Kahuku Point from 9 to 11 a.m. with the North Shore Community Land Trust and Surfrider Foundation, followed by a cleanup and a light lunch. Make sure to stick around afterward for a talk at Surfer, The Bar by free-diving shark-conservation advocate Ocean Ramsey at 7 p.m. ($5 suggested donation).

Check in at The Guidepost, The Turtle Bay Experience Center, 57-091 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, April 22, 8:45 a.m., turtlebayresort.com 



Seven finalists from three different divisions will present their prototypes for sustainably sourced, cost-effective sand sifters at Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i’s Earth Day Festival and Ultimate Sand Sifter Competition. Cleanup participants can vote, along with a panel of judges, for the sifter that does the best job filtering plastic from our beaches, with the winner of each division receiving a $1,000 prize. Check in at 9 a.m. for the cleanup, which will cover 10 miles of beach from Bellows to Makapu‘u, followed by live music from Mike Love and games.

Waimānalo Beach Park, 41 Kalaniana‘ole Highway, Waimānalo, April 30, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org 


SEE ALSO: The 8 Best Things to Do in April 2016 



UH Mānoa’s annual Earth Day Festival will this year focus on the theme “Laulima” with live music, yoga, dance, spoken word, meditation, painting a community art mural and informational booths where you can learn about what organizations are currently doing to promote sustainability.

UH Mānoa Campus Center courtyard and Legacy Pathway, 2465 Campus Road, April 22, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., facebook.com/uhmearthday


6. … OR TWO

You may have already checked out Spalding House’s exhibit Plastic Fantastic?, and now you can take part in the discussion in a tangible way. The Honolulu Museum of Art and Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation are teaming up again for a beach cleanup at Magic Island. The plastic collected will be used in a public art installation later this year—and you get free snacks! RSVP to wpaikai@honolulumuseum.org.

Meet at Picnic Site 30, Ala Moana Beach Park, April 24, 9:30 a.m. to noon, honolulumuseum.org 



The North Shore County Market’s Community Plant and Seed Swap gives people the opportunity to trade their surplus for a more diverse garden. Even if you don’t have anything to bring to the table, come anyway for yoga, live music, keiki activities, and produce and organic plants for sale. You’ll also get a chance to learn about the Loko Ea fishpond, which, together with the Uko‘a fishpond, makes up the third largest wetland on O‘ahu.

Sunset Beach Elementary School, 59 Kamehameha Highway, Hale‘iwa, April 23, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., northshorecountrymarket.org



The ninth annual Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo at the Waikīkī Aquarium, hosted by the Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch and the City and County of Honolulu Environmental Services, will feature ocean-related arts and crafts, informational booths, a puppet show, free native plants from HECO (while supplies last) and more for the younger generation to get hands-on experience caring for the environment. Bring a reusable water bottle to try out the complimentary water stations. There will also be free parking and shuttles at Waikīkī Elementary starting at 8:45 a.m. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to check out the aquarium’s exhibits for free!

Waikīkī Aquarium, 2777 Kalākaua Ave., April 23, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., cleanwaterhonolulu.com



Bishop Museum’s Grown Hawaiian Festival is free for kama‘āina and military with ID, so there’s no excuse not to check out Lele O Nā Manu: Hawaiian Forest Birds and listen to keynote Dr. Sam “Ohu” Gon talk about native birds. There will be items for sale, including plants, as well as entertainment, crafts and educational games.

Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St., April 23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., $3 parking, or park for free at Kapālama Elementary School or Damien Memorial High School, hawaiianelectric.com 


There’s more! Find more cleanups online at calendar.honolulumagazine.com