Sustainable Travel Guide

-Created by Oliver Laasch

Sustainable Travel Guide (pdf version)


In this section  you will find basic information that might be useful for your upcoming  trip to Hawaii.

Population: 1,285,498
Capital City: Honolulu, Oahu
Major Airport: Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
Climate:  average daytime temperature  87° F (31° C). Temperatures at night average  72° F (22° C)

(The weather channel website

Time Zone:  GMT -10 hours (5 hours earlier than US East Coast)
Languages: English, Hawaiian
Currency: U.S. Dollar
Area code:  The area code for all of Hawaii is (808)
Statehood: 1959, the 50th state of United States
Islands of Hawaii: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai,  Lanai, Maui, Hawaii´s Big Island, Niihau, Kahoolawe


HawaiiTHE WAIKIKI AQUARIUM: opened in 1904 it is the third oldest aquarium in the United States. Located directly on Waikiki beach this aquarium exhibits over 3,500 marine animals where you can volunteer and learn about how to take care of sea life.  (

PEARL HARBOR:  Within the grounds are a number of exhibits, displays, memorials, and museums, honoring not only the 1,177 victims of the USS Arizona, but all who served in World War II (

DIAMOND HEAD: An extinct volcano, “Leahi”,  located on the southern coast of Oahu, right next to Waikiki beach. The walking path winds upward to the summit, revealing fantastic vistas along the way.  Its peak is 231 meters (760 ft) in altitude and takes 40 to 50 minutes to reach.

 WAIKIKI: (spouting fresh water) The famous neighborhood on Oahu Island, where you will find the best places to eat, shop, and stay, as well as world renown beaches.  (

 HALEIWA:  Situated on the north shore of Oahu Island, this area is known for being a surfer community, but it also offers a wide range of activities including scuba diving, snorkeling, shark tours, hiking, and a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center.  (

NUUANU PALI LOOKOUT: One of the best lookouts on Oahu.  Located inside Nuuanu Pali State Park, it has panoramic views of Windward Oahu and the Koolau mountain range.  (

IOLANI PALACE:  Former residence of Hawaiian monarchy. Take a tour, enjoy Friday concerts with the Royal Hawaiian Band, or attend a workshop of Hawaiian history, culture and language. (

HANAUMA BAY NATURE PRESERVE:  This natural bay was in danger around 20 years ago but now it is a pristine marine ecosystem, thanks to the efforts of local government.  It includes a Marine Education Center, a beautiful beach, and some of the best snorkeling on Oahu. (

QUEEN EMMA SUMMER PALACE:  She was a consort of Kamehameha IV and her summer palace is now open to the public as an historic house museum.   (



HawaiiDefinitely the best way to enjoy a new land is get in touch with its culture. In this section you will find interesting events taking place on Oahu Island during the days of the conference and also a list of local Farmer Markets. Don’t miss the opportunity to try Manoa Honey, Kahuku corn, Waialua chocolate, and Waimanalo greens as the Hawaii Tourism Authority recommends.

International Market Place Farmers Market

Local farmers and crafters selling their produce, crafts, gift items and tropical flowers in an outdoor setting. (Every Thursday)
02/02/12 – 12/27/12
16.00 – 20.00 hrs.
International Market Place

Waikiki Farmer´s Market

Shop every Tuesday and Friday at Waikiki Community Center´s Farmer´s Market
7.00 – 12.00 hrs
Waikiki Community Center

Ewa Beach Farmers Market

The finest and freshnest locally grown produce, foods, flowers, plants, artwork and crafts. (Every Sunday)
9.00 to 13.00 hrs.
Ewa Beach Elementary School

Waikiki at King´s Village Farmers Market

Local farmers and crafters sell their produce, crafts, gift item and tropical flowers. (Every Friday)
02/03/12 – 12/28/12
16.00 to 21.00 hrs.
Kings Village
Kaiulani Ave. 131

Hilo Farmers Market

Over 200 local farmers and crafters sell their products in a festive outdoor atmosphere that recalls back to the old “plantation” days of early Hilo (Wednesdays and Saturdays)
02/01/12 – 12/29/12
6.00 – 16.00 hrs
Corner of Mamo St & Kamehameha Av.
HAWAII ISLAND *(transportation)

Niaulani Nature Walk

Free guided rain forest tour (1 hour)
06/25/12 – 12/31/12
9.30 – 10.30 hrs.
Volcano Art Center, Niaulani Campus
HAWAII ISLAND  *(transportation)


Free street festival in Chinatown Arts District. (live entertainment, costumes contest and local food and beverage)
18.00 – 22.00 hrs.
Nuuanu Avenue 1159

ALOHA Fridays

A free hands-on demonstration lesson is given in a cultural craft that will vary week to week
11.00 – 13.00 hrs
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
HAWAII ISLAND *(transportation)


Proven businesses which support sustainable initiatives

Café Laniakea: this chic and health-conscious restaurant according to Lonely Planet offers excellent choices of local and organic food in Honolulu.

Kona Brewing Company at Koko Marina Center (3 star certification by DineGreen), located in Honolulu. (

Aqua Bamboo Waikiki hotel received Hawaii Green Business Award in 2010 (

Hawaii Island Retreat eco-boutique hotel and spa represents an excellent accommodation in case you want to travel to the big island of Hawaii. (

Waimea Valley Foundation not only promotes green job initiatives but also supports Hawaiian culture through daily activities such as the teaching of the “kupuna,” where elders teach you about life in Hawaii. You can also enjoy a Moon Walk on October 26th. (

The Waikiki Aquarium just a 5 minute walk from the conference site is a premium location to learn about the importance of coral reefs, to appreciate the beauty of the ocean, and to learn how to protect it. (


We all have different preferences and ways to pass our leisure time, so here are some sustainability recommendations that you may follow to protect Hawaii’s environment.

Take care for the ocean and land: or as Hawaiians call it “Malama Kai”and “Malama Aina”.  Hawaii has many endangered plants and animals.  Please support “reef friendly” shops.

Please do not take rocks, shells or plants as souvenirs:  Whenever you make a trip around Hawaii only take pictures. Respect the earth by leaving all ecosystems you find intact.

Avoid touching or standing on the coral, animal and plants:  Search for specific areas where you can swim freely without endangering sea life. Keep a ‘safety distance’ from animals and plants, for their good and yours!

Recycling: In Hawaii you will find different ways to recycle plastic, paper, glass and other waste.

Be aware of your bottled water consumption:  Instead of buying plastic bottled water, consider bringing your reusable container. Tap water in Hawaii is safe to drink.

Consider limiting air conditioning use:  Thanks to the nice weather in Hawaii, we are often able to enjoy the sea breezes by opening windows and at the same time reduce our CO2 emissions.

Boost local production:  Support local farmers by buying Hawaiian foods, especially those in season.  Taro is a typical Hawaiian vegetable which grows year round.  Restaurants can recommend local in-season food.

Enjoy healthy and sustainable activities:  Such as jogging, surf lessons, snorkeling, or bicycle tours. You don’t have to look far, since the Hotel offers a guide with different jogging routes, and bicycles or snorkeling equipment can be rented for only $12 a day.

Avoid environmental harmful activities:  Such as helicopter rides. You might use a carbon footprint calculator evaluation your effect on the environment.  Let´s track our carbon footprint down!  By clicking on the ‘offset now’ button you will find different projects that can contribute to becoming carbon neutral during your stay. (

Consider green transportation:  Avoid using cabs; try The Bus or the Waikiki Trolley. For short distances let´s enjoy the beautiful surroundings by walking or if you want to take a longer tour, choose a bicycle. ( (

Use biodegradable sunscreen: Each year 400 to 600 metric tons of sunscreen enters our oceans.  If you switch to biodegradable options, your skin and our sea life will thank you!  The Environmental Working Group performed an analysis to find the most recommended products: Soleo Organics, Caribbean Solution Sol Guard, UV Natural Sunscreen, Badger, Keys Soap Solar, Purple Prairie Botanicals, Marie Veronique Organics crème.

Consider volunteering:  There are many places or institutions where you can make a difference for society and the environment. (


HawaiiTraditionally, Hawaiians have taken care of the environment.

“The model for sustainability in Hawaii was already in place and practiced here for more than a millennium by Native Hawaiians. Their fishing, farming, planting, aquaculture and methods of food sustainability and use of ahupuaa (contiguous land divisions which extended from the uplands to the sea) are widely regarded as the most efficient in the Pacific.

You can learn about these ancient methods at museums and historic places like Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, and see modern practices of sustainability in the efforts of Hawaii Regional Cuisine as well as the ranches of Waimea, the coffee farms of Kona and Holualoa, as well as the botanical gardens and farmers’ markets located throughout the island.”

The website, , recommends the following activities to get closer to the Polynesian – Hawaiian culture and understand their sustainable practices:

  • Walk the Walk:  Miles and miles of trails where you can see rare native flora and fauna. Find out why Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage and World Biosphere Site.
  • Get Cultured: Experience Native Hawaiian culture and the other ethnic cultures that enrich Hawaii. Look for hula performances and Japanese bon dances, multi-cultural concerts and Hawaiian luau feasts, and even cowboy culture events.
  • Eat Well: Hawaii Regional Cuisine, with its farm-to-table practices, promotes the vibrant flavors and sustainable benefits of fresh produce, fish, and meats, while giving diners a delicious introduction to Hawaii’s diverse cultures.
  • Go to the Source: Throughout Hawaii Island you’ll find farm, aqua-farm, and ranch tours offering a cornucopia of fresh products that are grown and processed using sustainable practices.
  • Buy the Island: Visit the local farmers’ markets and discover everything from island-grown food and meats to locally made crafts, soaps, jewelry, clothes and more.



Although most people speak English to communicate in daily life, it is fun to learn some words of the other official language in Hawaii, Hawaiian. It is another way to get in touch with Hawaiian cultures and traditions.

Aloha: Hello, goodbye, love

E Komo mai: Welcome

Haole: White person, foreigner

Kamaaina: Hawaii born or long time Hawaii resident

Kapu: Fobidden, keep out

Lua: Bathroom

Food: ai

Water: Wai

Mahalo: Thank you

All photos © Oliver Laasch