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Green livin’

KILAUEA — Steeped in the history of the Kilauea Sugar Company and the century-old Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse, Kilauea is already on the map.

Kilauea is known worldwide for sweeping views, sea birds and the Historic Kong Lung Market Center.

Now the seaside town is garnering attention for its steps in sustainability, though from a source that may seem obscure — a nationwide self-storage unit company called CubeSmart Storage Space that has compiled a list of “America’s Greenest Cities”.

Kilauea comes in at number 11 on the list among 18 cities including San Francisco, Bend, Ore., Gainesville, Fla., and Atlanta.

And while the name CubeSmart Storage is relatively unknown in Kilauea, residents agree the town deserves to be on the list.

“Kilauea residents are blessed with a beautiful environment,” said Pam Warren, who lives with her husband Bob along the Kilauea River. “We are a community free of Styrofoam take-out containers and plastic bags.”

She points out a feeling of closeknit community with the Anaina Hou community center hosting live music and fire shows weekly. The botanical garden at Anaina Hou and the Wai Koa Loop Trail all lend to getting residents outside.

CubeSmart touches on Anaina Hou’s new playground in their listing, one that’s made from recycled materials and showcases Hawaii culture while providing a place for keiki to play.

What the listing doesn’t include, however, are the community-led gardens, the conservation projects at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, the invasive salvinia removal ongoing from the Kilauea River and the beach cleanups that happen at popular surf spots like Rock Quarries.

“There are a multitude of small farms operating here,” Warren said. “Many of the farmers sell at area farmers markets. We (also) have a world-class ag park staffed by volunteers.”

That ag park, called Kilauea Community Agricultural Center, provides produce to schools and boxes for residents to buy as well. That park is operated and supported by ‘Aina Ho’okupu o Kilauea, an organization that’s dedicated to community enrichment.

Greg Sathco, board member of AHK, says Kilauea’s remote location lends itself to a “green” way of living.

“A finite supply of resources necessitates wise and sustainable practices in Kilauea, from organic community gardens, grass-fed farm animals and fresh sea harvests, to solar driven renewable energy and broad public recycling efforts,” Sathco said.

•••

Jessica Else, environment
reporter, can be reached
at 245-0452 or at jelse@thegardenisland.com
Source: The Garden Island

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