The need: For a small island community, we generate a huge amount of trash – over 1.6 million tonsannually, or more than 6.6 pounds of waste per resident, per day. The compares to 4.3 pounds for the average American, and 2-3 pounds for the average European. Food and paper comprise 40% of everything we throw away in Hawai’i and they are amongst the easiest items to repurpose. Every County in the islands has landfills that are overflowing, and we are beginning to implement policies for new or expanded landfills that burden our communities, or policies like shipping trash out of state.
We believe: change begins with us.
We will: reduce our personal waste stream, learn what happens to the things we “throw away” here in Hawai’i, and challenge ourselves to the “One Bag – One Week” Waste Challenge, reducing our household waste to a single bag during the last week of December. Together we will flex our group power to make changes in business waste practices, and government policies that better reduce and manage our island waste stream.
For the month of December, Kanu Hawai’i will run a Waste Challenge. This month-long campaign will focus on awareness and action through mini-challenges:
Week 1 (Nov. 27-Dec. 3): The State of Rubbish in Hawai’i – learn how much waste we produce and where it goes
Week 2 (Dec 4-10): The Dirt on Recycling – learn how/what to recycle, and why recycling should be a last resort when it comes to plastic
Week 3 (Dec 11-17): Green Gold – learn how to turn green waste into a valuable local resource
Week 4 (Dec 18-26): “One Week – One Bag” Waste Challenge – take the challenge to limit your household waste to a single bag for the entire week (you determine the size of the bag, based on a significant reduction to your usual household waste)