On Wednesday, April 11, the campus community enjoyed a day of celebration at the Ho’olaule’a; in addition to enjoying the harvest from the campus Ka Māla o Niuhelewai (The Garden of Niuhelewai), the event promoted knowledge of Native Hawaiian culture and sustainability.


The 4thannual Sustainability Showcase was a part of this celebration. Over the years this event has grown from a few booths and tents, to this year’s array of 11 community presenters as well as campus members displaying electric cars, offering Native Hawaiian seedlings and the campus Student Sustainability Club sharing information about sustainable practices.

Visiting exhibitors included community groups promoting environmental protection and sustainable practices such as 808 Clean Ups, HNL Tool Library, and Kōkua Hawai’i Foundation. There were groups providing information about campus and community planning and services, including Johnson Controls, HECO, HART, Transit Oriented Development,  and the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center.

Visitors also learned about internship possibilities through Kupu, and degree programs offered by the Natural Resources and Environmental Management and College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources programs at University of Hawaiʻi – Mānoa, as well as Sustainable Community Food Systems at University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu.


A commitment to sustainability was encouraged by the fact no plates, utensils or cups were given out at this event. Attendees were expected to bring their own reusable containers; those who did not could weave launiu (coconut leaves) or use ti leaves. Student funds paid for reusable lunch containers to be given out to students.


The Sustainability Showcase also included the Trash to Treasures repurposing contest. HonCC students, faculty, staff and administrators created practical or artistic items made out of materials usually thrown away. Those attending Ho’olaule’a voted for the entries they liked the best. The student winners received prizes donated by the Chancellor, while faculty, staff and administrator winners received prized donated by the HonCC Bookstore. In addition, all those who came to view and vote could take home repurposed bottle art donated by student Bruna Smith.

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PC: Cynthia Smith

Some of the inventive projects included a chessboard with pieces made from repurposed auto parts;  a dog made from diesel parts;  a sign language ‘I Love You’ sculpture; a desk organizer made from pieces of old school desks;and clocks and lamps made from flywheels and camshafts.

There was also a paper-based canoe and lei made of repurposed plastic and paper. These participants demonstrated a remarkable and inspiring creativity in finding uses for items usually just thrown away. (insert pictures of projects)

Ho’olaule’a was a time of learning about Hawaiian culture and how to better care for our planet, as well as building community.

Be sure to look for announcements for next yearʻs event!

Student Project Winners

1st:          Regienald Cacpal: Tire Tank – fish pond with component to circulate the water


2nd:        Joshua Hazel: Chess Board


3rd:      Aaron Sauvao: Diesel Parts Dog (tie), and


3rd:      Joseph Paul Akim: Murdercycle (tie)


Faculty/Staff/Admin Project Winners

1st:      Robert Silva: Newspaper Canoe


2nd:     Bobby Salvatierra: Valentine’s Day Gifts


3rd:      Suzette Kahana: Honolulu Fire Department Duffle Bag


To view more pictures from this yearʻs event, check out our Flickr Album.