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Celebrating Earth Day on Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — Earth Day tied in with many events taking place around the county on Saturday under sunshine, and a touch of wind to keep the temperatures livable.

“I was planning on attending the Town Hall Meeting with Congresswoman Jill Tokuda,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, who tied in the earlier Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run and the Special Olympics games to Earth Day. “But I wish she had come to Ho‘olaule‘a No Ka Honua, or a Celebration for the Earth.”

A steady stream of people flowed through the more than 20 vendors, including the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau, which squeezed in Tokuda’s Town Hall Meeting. Vendors and exhibitors presented a lot of information toward working to sustain the island’s community food systems and improving the island’s long-term sustainability.

“Do you know what brings people?” asked Kaua‘i Community College Acting Chancellor Margaret Sanchez, who then provided the answer to her own question. “It’s food. Free food. The students did a great job organizing this collaborative effort with the County of Kaua‘i, and the Kaua‘i Economic Development Board to bring out so many interactive events.”

Participation in the informational presentations, including the Kaua‘i Climate Adaptation Plan counted toward filling an eventgoers food card that, when filled, entitled the bearer to free chili, or pizza from the culinary crews at the recently-dedicated imu.

Ho‘olaule‘a No Ka Honua is just one part of the Earth Day Celebration that includes a marine biology student presentation that is available for viewing through April 28. Other events included a cultural opening with the Kaua‘i CC Hawaiian Club and Sustainability Committee, and a Campus Give-back event involving the cleaning of the lo‘i and surrounding areas.

The county extended its Earth Day mana‘o toward having its Employee Council get hands-on with a project near the Historic County Building, and the use of the Lihu‘e Civic Center parking lot charging station area for the Electric Vehicle.org event, whose aim is to lessen people’s dependence on fossil fuels by switching over to electric vehicles.

Fred Styer was one of the converts, using the charging station to charge up his all-electric Mini Cooper, which he said was not that expensive when all the credits were applied.

Led by Sonja Kass, the electric vehicle added to its informational offering with insurance quotes on electric vehicles, the latest battery information, and the ever-increasing capabilities of electric vehicles.

Dale Rosenfeld and Liz Hahn both celebrated Conrad Cliffords decision to go electric, following a test drive in several models that were made available by ElectricVehicle.org and Kuhio Motors Group.

“This vehicle has enough clearance to be called a true electric utility vehicle,” said Rosenfeld of Clifford’s choice.

Other vehicles on display included the three-wheeled electric vehicles that fall under the classification of motorcycles instead of cars.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 ordfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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