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Monday, September 01, 2014         

The Green Leaf

Dozens of youths have been working long and hard hours this month at Alii Fishpond on South Molokai. Teenagers from the island and Hana High and Elementary School's building program on Maui, Ma Ka Hana Ka ‘Ike, are busy building an office, restrooms, a traditional hale and a performance platform.

There's a RevoluSun going on as more businesses and home owners, fed up with high electricity costs, decide to take energy into their own hands and go solar.

It's any foodie's dream: to be surrounded by so many of the isle's best lunch wagons that you don't know which line to stand in first.

Nau (Gardenia brighamii) once thrived on all the main Hawaiian isles. Now it is on the endangered species list with only 12 plants on Lanai and one tree in the wild on Oahu.

Where does your coffee cup go? That is a question that Hawaii Pacific University students Krystle Golly, Brittney Walbaum and Jessica Weh­ling are asking consumers as part of a hands-on proj­ect for their "Building Sustainable Communities" class this semester.

Buy a single container of peach yogurt, and you'll likely end up taking it home in a plastic bag, according to narrator Jeb Berrier in the documentary "Bag It!"

Whenever you make a purchase — whether lunch, a drink or a trinket — it automatically gets plunked into a plastic bag after you pay for it at the cash register.

For year-end tax planning, why not give a little green to some nonprofit groups that are striving to make the world a more sustainable place? There is a wide range of "green" nonprofit organizations -- both in Hawaii and on the mainland -- that work to keep our beaches and water clean and our natural habitats alive, and to prevent another oil disaster from happening.

Tucked into a small lot next to a rundown walk-up apartment building at 40 S. School St., the office of Philip White Architects is easy to miss. You could drive by it day after day without realizing it's there, yet if you were to walk into the third-floor office, you would be surprised to find a peaceful oasis.

As consumers we tend to assume the products we find on store shelves are safe — after all, there are regulations. Surely, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency wouldn't let anything harmful reach millions of consumers.

By now we've been inundated by all the news on the infamous BP oil spill. Today marks Day 77 since the company's offshore oil drilling rig exploded in the Gulf Coast.

For the graduating class of 1999, film director Baz Luhrmann's first words of advice through his hit single were, "If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it."

Glossy magazines, long thought of as un-recyclable, now have a place to go to get a new lease on life.


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