Mālama Honua, Mālama Hawaiʻi, Happy Earth Day

“Mālama” means to take care of, preserve, protect. E mālama Honua (care for the Earth), e mālama Hawaiʻi (care for Hawaiʻi) – Celebrate Earth Day!

Some of us are old enough to remember the first Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, 1970 (I was in high school). This citizenʻs initiative resulted in the passage of the Environmental Protection Act and the federal agency implementing it. By the time I got to graduate school almost a decade later, energy and mining companies were struggling to incorporate environmental policies into their operations and planning and that became the topic of my dissertation. Which is all to say that my passion for the work I do as Hawaiʻi Lifeʻs Director of Conservation and Legacy Lands started over five decades ago.

sea turtles resting on black rocky big island hawaii shore

Protected Hawaiian green sea turtles rest on the shoreline of a property that has been nominated to the County of Hawaiʻi for preservation

Do you share some of that passion for taking care of the Earth, ecosystems, special places where we can experience the healing qualities of Nature? Although there are many events specific to Earth Day scheduled on or around April 22nd, you donʻt have to limit yourself to a single day out of the year. Whether you are a visitor or a resident of Hawaiʻi, you can give time throughout the year to support stewardship efforts.

Mālama Hawaiʻi – Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Makes Volunteering Easy

volunteer experiences

Malama Hawaiʻi dashboard on the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authorityʻs website is one source of information on volunteer opportunities

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authorityʻs website Go Hawaiʻi now has an entire section devoted to volunteer opportunities, arranged by island and date. For example you could volunteer at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, a place Hawaiʻi Life helped to protect by facilitating the sale to a non-profit. Other opportunities listed on the website include volunteering in wetlands, forests, on farms and traditional fish ponds.

Volunteering is not limited to visitors, by the way – residents of Hawaiʻi are equally welcome!

Other Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Care for Hawaiʻi Year Round

volunteers at site on hawaii island

Hawaiʻi Land Trust Director of ʻĀina stewardship Scott Fisher talks about restoration efforts with Board members and donors on a recent site visit.

This weekend within a 30 minute drive of my home I could sign up to volunteer at the Mahukona complex recently acquired by Hawaiʻi Land Trust, attend a dry forest restoration lecture at the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, or help clean up the Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor.

These organizations all have regular volunteer opportunities scheduled throughout the year. All ʻāina stewardship non-profit organizations rely heavily on volunteers to do their work. And if you cannot volunteer, please consider a donation in honor of Earth Day to your favorite earth-stewarding organization.

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