Here on Maui, sustainability is more than just a concept: it’s a lifestyle, a necessity and a challenge. With so much obvious natural beauty around every corner, as well as local regulations like the statewide billboard ban – which also exists in Vermont, Alaska and Maine – and the recent 2021 reef-safe sunscreen requirements set in place to preserve our island paradise, we see how valuable it is not only to recognize the local initiatives and companies currently shaping sustainability in the Aloha State, but to give our visitors the resources and knowledge to support them on their next trip to Hawaii.
This month, we’re highlighting some of the state’s most sustainable companies and products, from hotels and surfboards to sunglasses, swimwear and yes, even beer.
Supporting Hawaii’s Most Sustainable Businesses
Without further ado, we present…
Maui Hotels, Inns & Retreats
Recently honored with the 2018 Hawaii Green Business Program Award for “pursuing energy efficiency and sustainable business practices that will help their bottom line while advancing Hawaii’s clean energy goals,” those seeking sustainable accommodation on Maui should consider staying at the Marriott Maui Ocean Club or ultra-swanky Ritz Carlton Kapalua, who practice sustainable dining using ingredients from their organic herb and vegetable garden, as well as onsite fruit trees.
Other worthy accommodation options include the three oceanfront suites of the Bamboo Inn at Hana Bay, located on Maui’s remote eastern shore, who support environmentally-conscious efforts through photovoltaic panels, indigenous building materials and space utlization, as well as Haiku’s own Maui Eco Retreat. You may also want to browse the listings on Book Different, a platform designed to showcase only the most sustainable accommodation options in your chosen area.
Arguably the most beach-centric of all U.S. travel destinations, Hawaii businesses well-versed in the art of selling beach gear, beachwear and beach-minded products to local residents – not to mention Hawaii’s 9+ million annual visitors – have one of the most useful opportunities to create sustainable products that are nearly guaranteed to stay toward the top of everyone’s shopping list.
Sundaze Bikinis, for starters, is a Hawaii-based business bridging ‘the gap between fashion and sustainability’ by creating swimwear made from fishnets and recycled plastic. Recycled products are used in 85% of their production and 100% of their shipping bags, and their variety of colorful swimsuit options provide the perfect style for your next Maui beach outing.
Additionally, those looking to hit the surf can (and should) support the Maui-based business, Timpone Hawaii Surfboards, from local entrepreneur and surfer, Jeff Timpone, who handcrafts custom surfboards while practicing modern, sustainable innovation in design, packaging, energy and waste.
While our favorite time of day to keep hydrated obviously occurs during happy hour, those looking to keep their water – or beer – intake high in Hawaii can do so by buying a fully insulated, BPA-free growler from our brew-loving pals at Maui Brewing Co. or a reusable water bottle from 808HIDR8.
Round out your beachy goods with Kokua Sun Care’s natural zinc sunscreen, made from reef-safe, Hawaiian-grown antioxidant ingredients like coffee fruit extract, kukui and macadamia nut oil, organic noni juice, plumeria extract, spirulina, noni honey, non-nano zinc oxide and more, and keep your eyes safe with a little help from Maui Woody’s, who craft stylish, one-of-a-kind sunglasses from eco-friendly hemp and repurposed Eucalyptus, Mango and Koa wood.
Sustainable Sipping & Snacking
Here on The Valley Isle, the folks at Conscious Maui have thankfully created this excellent list of Maui’s most eco-friendly and sustainable businesses, including some of our favorite local eateries and bars like Tin Roof and Fork and Salad, among many others working hard to source ingredients from many of Maui’s hardworking, innovative farmers.
As noted in our previous interview with Garrett Marrero, sustainability champion and owner of Maui Brewing Co., their plans for this year also include the installation of a C02 recovery system, allowing them to create their own ‘C02 supply onsite and remove over 1MM pounds of C02 release in the 1st year alone.’ Tour their production facilities and enjoy a beer tasting on three of the four of our Maui Craft Tours.
If you’re also traveling to Oahu or the Big Island, be sure to make a pitstop at one of Kona Brewing Co.’s pubs, as their ‘green’ practices include the use of solar energy, reuse of their leftover grains from the brewing process as ingredients in their pizza, and recycled water program from their onsite gardens.
Sip sustainably, friends.
Remember to book your Maui Craft Tours online to receive the best rate, and get in touch for information about customizing your own private group tour, including several stops at the island’s most sustainable craft creators. Mahalo, and until next time…