Mālama ‘Āina: 6 Ways To Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

Posted by Staff Writer on Tuesday, April 13th, 2021 at 5:56pm

Maui is known for its pristine weather, stunning beaches, and rich culture. It’s no wonder that it’s a beloved tourist destination to hundreds of thousands of people a year. But, in order to keep our beautiful island healthy and thriving, the local community works tirelessly to keep it clean and protected. Because of this, Maui is becoming one of the strongest models for sustainable living. 

Sustainable living is becoming the way of life on Maui for locals and visitors alike. From eco-tour companies, locally sourced dining options, and eco-education resources readily available, going green has never been easier. Everyone can help contribute to sustainable living by incorporating easy and approachable changes into their everyday life. This will ensure future generations are able to enjoy our island and its bountiful treasures. With countless efforts such as organic farming, solar and wind energy initiatives, and ocean conservation, there are many options that you can choose to adopt. 

The best part? Most of these sustainable options prove to be more affordable and help us lead healthier lifestyles at the same time. Making homemade meals with fresh local ingredients, donating used clothes to local shelters, doing beach cleanups with friends, and opting for a reusable water bottle are affordable and easy ways to start! Being sustainably focused will help our island, community, and local businesses thrive. 

Here are our favorite 6 ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle on Maui!  

Live Local. Buy Local.

Here on Maui, buying local is as easy as can be. With farmer's markets, local shops, and food trucks in every town on the island, you’ll never have to travel far to stock up on local produce and products. Maui’s farmers market scene is famous for its diversity, boasting everything from homemade mango bread, cheeses, jams and jellies, roasted meats to fresh seafood, and guava butter. There is nothing more delicious than indulging in the rich and ripe dishes that keep Maui’s farms sustainable. If you do go to a grocery store for your household needs, opt for items that are marked as local to support our island. With farmer's markets, restaurants that source locally, and small boutiques all over the island to choose from, you are destined to find yourself becoming a local business supporter faster than you think.  

Give Back Before Throwing Out.

Before you take your gently used furniture, clothes, books, bathroom toiletries, blankets, or any household item to the dump, think about how many people could benefit from your used items. Did you know the Maui Humane Society is always accepting gently used towels and blankets for their furry friends? Take your items to a local charity like Women Helping Women, Salvation Army, Malama Recovery Center, or Aloha House. Be sure to call ahead or research what charities take which items. Let’s remember to give back and help support our kama‘aina in need whenever we can!

Use Reusable Products.

Nothing feels better than using everyday products that are local and helping put an end to pollution, plastic waste, and landfills. If you’re already shopping local you’re probably familiar with some great locally made reusable products. If not, we’ve gathered some of our favorite Maui-made reusable products that are affordable and a smart long-term investment.  

  1. DA HAWAIIAN STORE REUSABLE ORGANIC MAUI BAMBOO DRINKING STRAW SET

  2. Sustainable Island Products Maui (perfect for local businesses)

  3. Reusable Water Bottles at Mana Foods

  4. Perfect Picnic Bundle (includes chopsticks, fork, knife, spoon & utensil case, handprinted AKL Maui tea towel, AKL Maui Straw Set, and free Maui Wine wine key opener)

  5. Meli Food Wraps

Save Water

Cutting water use can be a great, and easy, way to live a greener lifestyle. Try making small changes like enjoying a relaxing shower instead of a lengthy bath, use cold water as much as possible, turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth or shaving, only water your plants in the evening time (even better, save rainwater to water plants!), and leave little sticky notes to remind your family to turn the lights off when you’re done in a room. 

Shop Ocean-Friendly Products

To protect our oceans, Hawaii became the first state in 2021 to ban sunscreen that contains oxybenzone and octinoxate. Both of these chemicals are harsh and damaging to the coral reef that sustains the ocean life in our backyard. Locals are already making the switch to less toxic and more organic ways of protecting themselves from the sun. We have compiled a list of reef-safe sunscreen brands that you can start swapping in! These ocean-safe sunscreen brands are all made right here in Hawai’i. Support local while you keep our oceans safe. 

Clean Up Our Island

One way to celebrate being able to gather in small groups again is hosting a sunny beach cleanup at your favorite beach on Maui! Leading by example can be one of the best ways to encourage others to help our island stay clean and healthy. It could even be as small as making sure you’re bringing a trash bag when you go to the beach with your family and friends and cleaning up the area around you. Adopt a highway is another great way to clean up our roadways and let people know we care about our island! Whatever you choose to do, make it fun by inviting people who want to give back as well!

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