Festival embraces eco-friendly style


POSTED: Sunday, April 05, 2009

Two years ago, Andrea Dean - a green-business coach, consultant and speaker - won the People's Choice Award at the Kona Earth Festival's Trash Bash Fashion Show for her chic sundress made of tissue paper and plastic supermarket bags. Her accessories also had former lives: Her belt was pallet strapping; her necklace, caps from gallon-size orange juice containers; and her hat, a plastic armature.





        » Place: Various venues, Big Island

» When: Various times, April 18 to May 6; see schedule


» Admission: Free, except where noted


» Call: 854-0171


» E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


» Web site: www.konaearthfestival.org


» Notes: Free workshop on construction techniques for the Trash Bash art and fashion shows from 1 to 4 p.m. today at Kenji's Museum in Kapaau. Bring your supplies.




The fourth annual Kona Earth Festival is set for April 18 through May 6, and the show is once again expected to draw oohs and aahs for its innovative entries. All creations must incorporate recyclables - the more, the better, as judges will be basing their scores on the amount of material used that would otherwise go into a landfill.

In the past, designers have re-purposed everything from plastic water bottles and carpet remnants to discarded CDs and dryer lint.

“;The festival's goal is to raise awareness of environmental issues, implement and recognize sustainable practices in the community and get residents involved as partners in the ethical stewardship of land and sea,”; said Jeff Turner, KEF's founder and executive director. “;As in years past, events will appeal to many interests and offer opportunities for hands-on participation for all ages.”;

FEATURING MORE than 50 exhibits, activities and educational booths, the Earth and Ocean Fair is KEF's signature event. Participants can watch underwater films, go on tide-pool explorations and learn about environmental conservation from characters such as the Green Power Girl and Humu, the walking, talking fish.

Cultural experts will be on hand to share crafts, hula presentations and poi-pounding and lei-making demonstrations. Food made from fresh Big Island products will be sold.

New this year is the Sustainable Living Educational Series, where attendees will receive step-by-step instructions on how to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. Gardening, solar power, rainwater collection and alternate energy sources are among the topics.

“;These classes will provide a starting point for anyone interested in careers in the green economy,”; Turner said. “;Options include green-building contracting, energy systems engineers and designers, and wind and solar energy sales.”;

Hawaii imports about 90 percent of its food and is vulnerable to global fluctuations in fuel costs, weather patterns and market stability. Because of this, residents statewide are realizing how crucial it is to be more self-sufficient.

The Introduction to Permaculture class and Sustainable Farm Tour, another new KEF highlight, will discuss ways kamaaina can harmoniously integrate their lifestyles with their natural surroundings through land restoration, organic gardening, animal husbandry and resource management.

“;The Big Island can become a model of sustainability not only for Hawaii, but communities worldwide,”; Turner said. “;The Kona Earth Festival is a key element of that larger picture.”;


Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi is a Honolulu-based freelance writer whose travel features for the Star-Bulletin have won multiple Society of American Travel Writers awards.





        April 18

        » ”;We Love Kohala”; Celebration: Pet walk; live music; parking lot and yard sales; arts and crafts booths; and locally grown plants, flowers and produce for sale from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Hawi and Kapaau.

        » Outdoor Day: Hiking; bird watching; mountain biking; outdoor classes in gardening, composting, nature photography and more, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hualalai Academy, Kona.

        » Energy Efficiency and Auditing Workshop and Energy Fair: Workshop topics from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. include “;Analyzing Your Electric Bill,”; “;How to Do an Energy Audit on Your Home or Office,”; “;New Devices to Cut Your Energy Usage,”; “;Calculating the Return on Your Investment,”; “;Rebates, Tax Credits and Other Incentives”; and “;Financing Your Energy Efficiency Equipment.”; Tours of NELHA's new solar projects and the Platinum LEED Certified Gateway Center from 3 to 4 p.m. Energy Fair follows from 4 to 6 p.m. with displays on green building, solar energy and the latest energy efficiency technologies. Reservations for the workshop are required; call 974-7531. Free workshops also on May 2, 16 and 30 at other Big Island locations; call for specifics. At Gateway Center, NELHA.

        » Bike Ride for Sustainability: Starts at 2 p.m. for adults and children over 16. Goes from the Old Kona Airport Beach Park to NELHA. Cyclists return to the park at 6:10 p.m.

        » Trash Bash Art Show: Takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Kohala Coffee Mill, Hawi.

April 19
        » Trash Bash Fashion Show: From 1 to 2 p.m. at Kohala Coffee Mill, Hawi.


April 23
        » Sustainable Living Educational Series: At Gateway Center, NELHA, from 5 to 7 p.m., repeating April 24 and 30 and May 1. Go to http://www.greencollartech.com for details and to register, at $10 per class.


April 25
        » Earth and Ocean Fair: Environmental and recycling programs, coastal restoration projects, ocean literacy, energy awareness and conservation, cultural activities and sustainable-living ideas shared from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort.
        » Bike Ride for Awareness: Starts at 10 a.m. at Living Stones Church on Alii Drive to Kahaluu Beach Park adjacent to the Outrigger Keauhou.
        » Hoolaulea: Cooking contest celebrates Big Island foods, the farmers who grow them and the chefs who prepare them. At Lanihau Center, Kona, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


April 26
        » Earth Day Celebration: With farmers' market, pony rides, live music and entertainment, local arts and crafts, an Earth Day play and a “;greenest”; booth contest. At Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, Captain Cook, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


May 2
        » Kealakekua Heritage Ranch 4x4 Tour: Learn how commercial activity can coexist with nature to benefit the community, the watershed and the forest, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $75, including lunch and beverages. Call 322-2484, ext. 100, to register.
        » Introduction to Permaculture Class and Sustainable Farm Tour: Learn to design human settlements and agricultural systems that mirror the relationships found in natural ecosystems. At Waiaha Farm, Kona (www. waiahafarm.com), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $25; $15 lunch is optional. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Call 854-0171 to register.


May 6
        » Kuleana Business Conference and Trade Show: Highlights ways businesses can improve community involvement, employee and customer relations and environmental stewardship. At Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Costs $50 for Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce members, $60 for nonmembers. Call 329-1758 or visit http://www.kona-kohala.com to register. Trade show admission is free.