Home Eco-nomics


Don’t say we didn’t warn you. We hinted with envirosax, hoped to lubricate things with Green Drinks, get you in the mood with Green is the New Black, and lead by example with our Kanu commitments. Now it’s seriously your turn to transform green thoughts into enviably easy actions.

That’s why we asked Kevin Whitton, author of the new book “Green Hawai‘i: A Guide to a Sustainable and Energy Efficient Home,” to give some tips on how to live green. Here. And now.

DIY Low-Flow: This oldie but goodie means you don’t have to drop dough on a new toilet, just put a brick or container in the tank to cut the amount of water needed for a flush.

Bug Off: Banish garden insects from your basil and white flies from your prized native hibiscus with a mix of water and either Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Oil or Eucalyptus Castile Soap, or plain-old Murphy’s Oil Soap — an effective and environmentally-safe pesticide.

Return the Favor: Return six MAC Cosmetics primary packaging containers to a MAC counter for recycling through their Back to Mac Program, and you’ll score a free MAC lipstick of your choice. We say you’re worth it. www.maccosmetics.com

Do the Worm: Turn kitchen scraps (think moldy bread, coffee grounds, dried up onions) into a powerful natural fertilizer through vermicomposting. Only two kinds of worms in Hawai‘i will do the job, while sitting nice and odorless in their own unassuming plastic home. Contact Waikiki Worm to get started. www.waikikiworm.com

Be a Star: Next time your printer gives out or ceiling fan thuds to a halt, look for the star. Energy Star appliances save money by cutting back on energy consumption, and most come with an easy rebate from HECO.

Ditch the Dump: Instead of sending countless disposable diapers to our overflowing landfill, use cloth diapers to cut waste (the plastic kind). Self-launder, or try O‘ahu’s Dolphin Diaper Service or biodegradable cloth diaper liners (sold at Kale Natural Foods and online retailers).

Green Hawai‘i is available online at booklineshawaii.com