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by Leah Kirk, student writer

With a guest like Jack Johnson, the “Whose Keeping Hawai‘i Green” second annual award ceremony certainly made those who could not attend “green” with envy. The ceremony was held earlier this fall in the lush Moanalua Gardens to acknowledge companies and individuals for their dedication to protecting, preserving, and improving our environment.

“ This is a zero waste affair,” explained Jade Moon, emcee for the evening and a representative of Pacific Basin Communications, the state’s most prominent PR firm.

Moon acknowledged the importance of there being a sustainable Hawai‘i for future generations to enjoy. “Will you be able to say you did everything you could?” she asked guests.

During the awards presentation and dinner service, classy in black-tie waiters were table side for every request displaying impeccable service for those who enjoyed a full wine glass at all times!
The event beneficiary was the the Kokua Hawai‘i Foundation, a locally derived nonprofit organization that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawai‘i.
Johnson, a Hawai‘i-based singer who has sold millions of CDs nationwide, was honored for his support of the Foundation and was recognized for educating people about the importance of green living.

“ The Kokua Hawai‘i Foundation enhances their appreciation (the kids) for the earth’s resources; it really gets them involved,” emcee Moon said.

Mattson Davis, CEO of Kona Brewing Company, shared a vibrant and colorful story of his success with becoming one of Hawai‘i’s most green brewing companies and his path to sustainability. Davis explained the importance of making the brewery as green as possible.

“ At no time in history have we consumed more. The impact we are making on the environment is just staggering,” Davis said.

Davis boasted the brewery’s green practices include using all Hawai‘i-grown ingredients, using biodiesel fuel from used vegetable oil for delivery trucks, using energy-saving and compact fluorescent lighting. The company will soon incorporate photovoltaic solar cells to produce electricity at the brewery. Leftover grain, yeast, and hops from the brewing process is donated to cattle farms for feed.

The beers’ packaging is from recycled cardboard, and Kona Brewing Co. even delivers products to restaurants and bars without packaging, and in reusable trays.

“ Kona Brewing Company leaves less of a carbon footprint, but it’s still damn good beer,” he said.
Deb Mascia, owner of Mu‘umu‘u Heaven, accepted her award, for most green business in retail, in a less-than-modest form, curtseying her way up to the stage. There was not a guest that didn’t receive an air blown kiss from the green-inspired Aussie.

Mu‘umu‘u Heaven is a family-run business in Kailua that designs creative individual and personalized muumuus, and other clothing articles from recycled muumuus and aloha wear.
“ Give me your trash and I’ll make something out of it,” she said.

Mascia dedicates her business and life to the green movement by not cutting any corners on being completely green. In a recent article Mascia said “every single piece is found by me or donated.” She even decorated her shop with all recycled objects and refuses to take the easy way out by shopping at Home Depot.

“ I’d rather sit at the Kapaa Quarry dump road and wait for that perfect piece to come by,” she said.
The event was a green celebration leaving guests entertained, full-bellied and with a sense of ease knowing that the entire event was eco-friendly and left no carbon footprint on the ‘aina.
Underneath the large canopy-like white tent, guests mingled and exchanged salutations. From the organic Tilonia tablecloths, biodegradable napkins, bamboo dinnerware, and biodegradable plastic cups donated from Kona Brewing Company to the clean-burning candlesticks, no corners were cut in making this luxurious event green all-around.

Recycle bins were available on site; event materials were printed on 100 percent post-consumer paper; Mu‘umu‘u Heaven provided guests with reusable tote bags made of recycled vintage aloha wear; environmentally friendly beverages by Ocean Vodka, Makulu, Oko Wines, and Barefoot Bubbly, Glaceau’s signature waters, and coffee from Honolulu Coffee Company were served. Even the event equipment (flatware, glassware, and linens) were reusable and rented.

The soiree began at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception featuring live musical entertainment by The Girlas, followed by the awards ceremony and a five-course gourmet dinner at 6:30 p.m.
The honorees and guests sipped wine and their organic martinis under the illuminating eco-friendly paper lanterns using energy efficient lighting and natural light from the setting sun. The decorations from the event will be used in future events and donated to appropriate organizations. Awardees, Evolution Sage, for the Green Pioneer Award (Hawai‘i’s only group countering climate change) provided carbon offsetting and Pacific Biodiesel, Inc. powered the celebration with biodiesel fuel.
Guests dined on spicy ahi salad, pan-seared onaga with prawn risotto, Kulana short ribs with gnocchi, and a chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake for desert. All the food was prepared by award-winning chefs from TOWN & Downtown Restaurants, Nobu Waikiki, Beachhouse at the Moana, RumFire, and Cake Envy, all using mostly organic and locally grown food, even the leftover food was composted.

The event was sponsored by: City & County of Honolulu, Hagadone Printing (Wind sponsors), Puna Geothermal Venture, HECO, Suntech Hawai‘i, and Monsanto Hawai‘i (earth sponsors).


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