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UH Hilo Sustainability Blog

UH Hilo Sustainability Blog

The Power of Students to Catalyze Transformative Change

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 2:10pm by

UH System Office of Sustainability coordinator Matt Lynch presented a lecture on the intersection of sustainability, students, and institutional change.

The talk was sponsored by Global HOPE Hawaii and the UH Hilo Sustainability Committee. It was held on Thursday, April 20th.

Whatʻs Happening in UH Hilo?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 2:43pm by

March wasnʻt only a busy time when it came to studying and tests!

Here are some visual highlights in Sustainability for March:

  • 1st Zero-Waste Relay for Life Event (March 10)
  • 2017 #HSHE Summit (March 16-18)
  • S.O.S. Construction of Waste Diversion Stations (March 28 & 30)

Mahalo to all volunteers, the Students of Sustainability, Campus Center Plaza,

Relay for Life, the UH Office of Sustainability, UH Hilo Sustainability faculty

members, and the active composting student body (including YOU)!

What to be looking forward to this month:

April is Environmental Stewardship Month! There are so many things you can enjoy while making an impact on campus.

Below are the events for this month:

  • April 13  (Thursday) – “Creating Connections” event, College of Ag Blg
  • April 17 (Monday) – Geography and Environmental Society (GOES) Tabling – 8 am – 12 pm
  • April 18 (Tuesday) – Brian Schatz Town Hall Meeting in Hilo – UHH Sciences & Technology Building (Room 108), 1 pm – 2: 30 pm

Description: Objective is to ask, “I am concerned about climate change. How do you feel about a carbon fee and a dividend going back to American households?” The more attendees with this intention from our campus, the likelihood of one of us will voice this question and get our politicians thinking about solutions to climate change. Make sure to RSVP:

& Tusli Gabbard Town Hall Meeting in Hilo – Waiakea High School, 7: 30 pm – 9 pm

          Description: Same as objective for Town Hall Meeting with Brian Schatz. Make sure to RSVP:
  • April 18 (Tuesday) –
  • April 18 (Tuesday) – Students of Sustainability General Meetings – 5 – 6 pm, College of Ag Blg 201
  • S.O.S. Tabling – time and location TBA
  • April 20 (Thursday) – “The Power of Students to Catalyze Transformative Change: A How-To Guide” presented by Matt Lynch – 7 – 8 pm, , UCB 100
  • Mid-Late April – Functioning Waste Diversion Stations at Campus Center Cafeteria
  • April 21, 2017 (Friday) – Earth Day Fair and Earth Day Concert

Note: Geography and Environmental Society will be having outreach at Earth Day Fair with the objective of informing people about the carbon fee and dividend, have people fill out form (check it out), write letters to Congress, and build a social media audience at

  • April 27, 2017 (Thursday) – Restore PuÊ»u KaliÊ»u & VIP Tour of the Latest Response to Rapid Ohia Death (departs from UHH Bookstore @ 8 am) – 8 am – 2pm

Description: Tuna’s Pu’u Kali’u bursts with native flora and honeycreepers. Students will also receive a rare, inside look at the effects and latest responses to Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD). Students will also assist Pono Pacific Land Management in removal of invasive weeds and outplant native species. The first 14 people to sign up get a free van ride from the UHH Bookstore (@ 8am). We’ll stop at KTA for attendees to buy food. Sign-up:

Let’s have fun and be susty!


Mary Fem Urena
Student Intern
UH Hilo Sustainability Committee

2017 Hawaiʻi Sustainability in Higher Education Summit

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 6:45pm by

Last month, UH Hilo students and faculty members attended this yearÊ»s HawaiÊ»i Sustainability in Higher Education Summit at UH West Oahu. They experienced the “Meeting of Wisdoms” panel, and connected with other Sustainability action-oriented students from different UH campuses.

In the event of the awards ceremony for the 2017 Presidentʻs Green Initiatives Award, UH Hilo students rejoiced:

  • Alexis Stubbs won the  the $10,000 Green Project Implementation Award for her  “Waste Sustainability Initiative through Vermicomposting and Composting” project.
  • Zoe Whitney won the S1,000 Green Student Leader Award and a Green Project Implementation Award for her “Choose to Reuse” project.

Check out the full article posted at UH Hilo Stories!

As Vulcans, let us continue to make the recycle, compost, reuse, and think about sustainability and our environment!

Think you have an awesome project idea involving Sustainability in mind?

Please keep yourself updated through this blog or the University of Hawaiʻi News for the application on next yearʻs Presidentʻs Green Initiatives Award.

We would love for more sustainability Vulcan victories!

What’s Happening at UH Hilo?

Thursday, March 2, 2017, 10:29am by

Since the early weeks of the semester, your UH Hilo Sustainability Team has been off to an incredibly effective start.

New to our campus, is an establish Sustainability Coalition of the University of Hawaii at Hilo (SCUHH). Comprised of this coalition is the UH administrative sustainability committee, UHHSA sustainability committee and the newest entity- the Students of Sustainability (S.O.S). Together, the 3 groups have been working efficiently to implement new sustainable systems and policy’s on campus.

Of the main focus projects right now is the Waste Diversion Program. Since last semester, students have been working to divert as much waste that would otherwise head for the landfill to composted quality soil product. Last semester, the students of Professor Norman Arancon’s Ag294 class were able to divert 140lb. of solid waste material. UHH S.O.S has taken over the project this semester and is working to expand the composting arenas to the dorms, Hale Kehau Dining Hall and the remaining buildings. Currently there are 2 waste stations composed of a dry paper waste, compost, recycle and landfill bin at the following locations:

(2) UCB

(2) Campus Center Plaza

(2) Library Lanai

In association to this project, the sustainability committee has been working on a campus wide waste analysis study, mainly focusing on the waste generated via our 3rd party food vendors on campus and alternative solutions. Certain policy’s are working to be established such as a institutional wide ban on Sytrofoam. Any commentary on this behalf is encouraged and can be submitted to

S.O.S is also working on construction of two large waste stations for the main campus SODEXO dining hall. These waste stations will replace the current waste options in place and encourage students to sort their waste accordingly. Anyone interested in volunteering for construction of these bins can contact S.O.S.

The University of Hawaii’s 5th annual Sustainability Summit is approaching this month, March 16-18th at UH Manoa Campus. Your SOS Executive Committee will be attending in hopes to collaborate with other campus’s with new innovative plans to sustain our entire system, ultimately contributing to healthier and happier island wide communities!

Me ka ‘oia’i’o (sincerely),
Alexis Stubbs
(808) 895-7765
UHH Students of Sustainability (S.O.S) President
Sustainability Intern of University of Hawaii, Hilo
See Us on Facebook

Sustainability Committee Meeting Notes : 2.22.17

Monday, February 27, 2017, 4:24pm by

Agenda items

Blue Zones project

Kolin reports: Bluezones signage is now up on campus, in far off parking spots.
Kalei has passed torch to Misty Pacheco at KES and Michelle Sylvester at the Library.
Initial web page has been created <> based off of Ka Lono article.

Facilities Management

  • Energy Storage project out to bid – job site is outside STB. Bids close in March.
  • Energy Manager Position – still unfilled after twice offering the position. Was APT, but not filled, so job description revised,

Energy Reinvestment Account

  • 1000$ energy rebate received in end of January; another one is pending for library, the total ($5K+) will be returned to the Energy Savings Reinvestment Account.
  • Power lights → Bi-level LED upgrade is pending. Bidder is working on modifying the drivers to avoid needing filters to protect from light pollution….
  • On Energy Rebate: Hawaii Energy started working on rebate 10 years ago, before that it was HELCO. Historically, we had over 150K $ in reduced power charges.
  • EKH walkway is the sample of the best solution – bi level LED lights.
  • Idea: Develop an overview article about the different kinds of lighting solutions.
  • Procurement of Bucket Truck is in the works – We bought the truck chassis, bucket manufacturer has it, and it is in the process of being returned. Expected arrival this summer.
  • Kevin (Electrictician) has been prioritizing internal lighting replacement, so future time can be dedicated to outside replacement of pole lights. Spending $500,000 capital to do away with a 700,000 spending, and labor will be done in-house. End result, 200k savings, plus we will own the bucket truck.
  • Dimmers: installation of dimmable LEDs proceeding in UCB upper floors. Doing maximum usage buildings first will maximize savings. AC costs are also reduced for LEDs.
  • All buildings have energy monitors built in to them, as many of four in UCB, STB… Data is generated via EMON – meters are built into the buildings. Can these be connected to dynamic wall plaque or similar display?

S-Designation Courses:

  • Curriculum committee got through 29 courses in a semester.
  • Certificate development is pending – which courses would be placed within the certificate . A hybrid certificate is being considered.
  • Publicity for approved courses is necessary – Students of Sustainability could be an option for tabling / promotion…
  • S-designation courses are listed at

5th Annual sustainability Summit:

  • Intake Application process for the 5th annual Sustainability Summit.
  • Curriculum ideas is the focus, including the -S designated courses. March 16-18, 2017
  • E-poster necessary to share S-designated classes with potential students, social medial

Students of Sustainability:

  • Secured funds from UHHSA to ramp up food collection efforts. Building sort stations for food waste is ongoing. Alexis is installing industrial size sort stations, with recycle, landfill, compost – those will replace the existing trash bins.
  • Sort station creation will be pending. Creating a plan to assemble the materials…
    Plan → quote → UHHSA funding → puchase materials → Kolin will send out for HawCC carpentry students to assemble this summer.
  • UHHSA allocated 1500$ for student led sustainability / campus greening projects….
    At the stage now where they need to determine eligibility / award requirements.
  • Waste-Station manpower is needed for future events.
  • Collaboration between 3 sustainability groups – this committee, the Students of Sustainability group, and UHHSA.

Earth Fair:

  • Schools are signing up, 21st of April, Friday. New Gym reserved.
  • Keynote in the morning – Hula groups, Merrie Monarch tie-ins.
    Students want a post-earth day celebration concert – 3 or 4pm.

Spring 2017 Sustainability Survey

Sunday, February 19, 2017, 12:28pm by

To better understand student behaviors and actions toward recycling and composting, the UH Hilo Sustainability Committee is currently distributing the Spring 2017 Sustainability survey! The intent of the survey is to utilize collected information for improving sustainability practices and opportunities in the UH Hilo.

Click on this image to take the survey!

The data will be distributed each semester to track the student bodyʻs common understanding of on-campus recycling and composting. So, if you have responded to last semesterʻs survey, please respond to this Spring 2017 survey.


Sustainability efforts aim in reaching the universityʻs goals of being a zero-waste institution.

With your honest feedback and helpful responses, we can achieve toward sustainable compus! Mahalo!

Students of Sustainability

Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 1:44pm by

Aloha mai kākou, Interested to bringing more Sustainable practices to our Hilo Campus?

Join Students of Sustainability. Next meeting is Today! 2/7/17

5:00pm in the College of Agriculture (CANFRM) Building Room 201.

Sustainability Survey

Monday, November 28, 2016, 8:52am by


Aloha and Welcome to the Sustainability Blog

Thursday, November 24, 2016, 4:00am by

UH Hilo is committed to being a good steward of the environment. We seek to improve the efficiency and reduce the ecological impact of operations in whatever ways are practical.  As this blog develops, we intend to document the accomplishments, efforts and happenings on campus and surrounding our campus community.

If you have suggestions for sustainability activities at UH Hilo, please contact the Sustainability Chair.

Why Manage Out Waste?

Thursday, November 10, 2016, 7:31pm by

Simple…. Because it matters!

Leaving a minimal foot print is ideal when it comes to sustainability practice. It is important to acknowledge this here in Hawaiʻi, as the most secluded landmass on earth.

The world is demanding our attention through pronounced temperature changes and sea level rises around the world. We have seen more environmental disasters in recent years than ever before, bringing us closer to a threshold impact on the earthʻs systems. It is no longer a matter of if, but a matter of when. 

It is up to us as the leaders of future generations to change our wasteful habits.