In June, Soul Community Planet (SCP) announced the new Pristine Makai program in partnership with Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund (HWF) when they opened their doors to guests. Through this innovative program, every time a guest chooses to stay at the new SCP Hilo Hotel, SCP will donate $1 to support HWF’s efforts to keep the Island of Hawai‘i beaches magnificent and pure.
HWF estimates that each dollar donated will help their team and volunteers remove a kilogram (2.2 pounds!) of marine debris. This is a great example of a local business looking to give back to local charitable organizations that support the community where they conduct business, not unlike Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Mālama Hawai‘i program that HWF is also part of on both Hawai‘i Island and Maui.
In addition to the support that SCP is bringing to help keep our beaches clean, they are also encouraging guests to host their own DIY-cleanups of Hilo Bay with SUP boards that can be loaned from the hotel. Plus, just last month SCP and HWF co-created this guide with “Tips for the eco-Conscious Traveler” that can be used for any visitors to the islands.
What is “sustainable tourism” and how can you give back and do better when exploring our planet Earth?
SCP Hilo Hotel and Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund teamed up to share some tips during your stay in Hawai‘i. In addition, with SCP’s Pristine Makai partnership with Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, your stay at SCP Hilo restores makai (seaside) habitats by removing 2.2 pounds of trash from local beaches on Hawai‘i Island. Our individual choices and small steps towards sustainability really can make a difference!
Offset your travel expenses with CarbonBuddy (or another offset company), and consider planting more trees, composting, or starting a garden where you live.
Hike, bike, rideshare, carpool, bus or walk versus driving where feasible (to reduce your carbon emissions).
Show respect to wildlife and island communities. Give native species some space (we recommend at least 15’ for viewing of sea turtles and 150’ or more for monk seals / dolphins) and don’t tread / drive on native plants. Chances are if you are altering animal behavior, you’re too close!
Do not stand on or touch live coral. They are very sensitive! Please find sandy areas and channels to enter / exit the sea or ask a lifeguard or local resident where it is safe to snorkel along the coastline.
Protect our waters and aquatic wildlife by selecting a reef-safe sunscreen (physical blockers including titanium dioxide and / or zinc oxide) and using protective clothing or trees for shade instead of chemical products for UV exposure. (FYI: products made for babies are generally safer for us and wildlife!)
Be mindful of your water usage (wash sheets / towels / laundry less frequently, turn off the tap when you aren’t using it, take shorter showers) and also pay attention what is going down the drain.
Stay on the trail while hiking, and don’t drive your rental Jeeps to remote off-road locations (please respect our wild places and communities).
Host your own DIY-style beach or trail or park cleanup at a local state or county beach park, and just get in the habit of picking up trash wherever you roam (and #take3forthesea, and tag #himarinedebris).
Ask the SCP Hilo Hotel team about collecting marine debris while you SUP (stand-up paddleboard) around Hilo Bay!
Turn down the thermostat in the winter and it up in the summer to reduce electric usage. Find out where your local power comes from (solar, wind, coal, incineration, etc.) and if it is really “renewable”.
Consider biking to work, ridesharing, carpooling, public transport, or purchasing an electric vehicle, if possible.
Fly (and drive) less and “zoom” more for work meetings / conferences.
Research plants that are native and known to grow well in the region you live, and choose to plant these varieties instead to reduce your water, herbicide and fertilizer usage. Learn about organic gardening and mulching techniques.
Learn about volunteer opportunities in your community to support environmental and social justice causes near you!
Vote! And select representatives who share your values about the environment, people, and our home planet.
Consider choosing vegetarian meals as often as you can. Experiment with new recipes featuring local, seasonal produce as the star!
Spend less time with screens and opt to spend more time adventuring outdoors and connecting with friends and family.
Donate to local charities if and when you are able.
Recycle any plastics, paper / cardboard, and metals you can, and be sure to compost your food waste, as feasible in your home town to reduce your carbon footprint.
Choose to stay at eco-friendly establishments like SCP Hotels when you travel and share about your experience. Learn more about the SCP Every Stay Does Good and Mālama Hawai‘i programs to see how your stay at certain venues and “voluntourism” can help make the world a better place.