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Sustainability Fair

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A crowd attends the sustainability fair on the Campus Center lanai Sustainability is for everyone. Help support symbiotic relationships among the economy, society and environment in order to foster a sustainable Hawaiʻi. "Take action and Walk the talk."

UH Hilo has a mission to become more sustainable, this event works in accordance with that aim, thus, reducing overall costs.

The UH Hilo Sustainability Fair is a community celebration & awareness event that fosters symbiotic sustainable relationships among society, economy and environment. The Sustainability Fair will feature information, local products, local grinds and music. Sustainability is for everyone. This event is sponsored by the Student Service Corps, Campus Center.

Two women collect informational flyers at a sustainability fair table
Sustainability fair attendees learn about reusable refuse

UH Hilo Sustainability Coordinator

(Written by Holly Miller of Ke Kalahea)

William Mason, a Geography junior at UH Hilo, is working on changing the world by advocating sustainability right here on campus.

"Sustainability is using our resources to meet the needs of the present without inhibiting the needs of future generations," he explained.

Many of you have already seen some of Mason's work. He organized the Sustainability Fair that was held on September 4 at the Campus Center Plaza. The fair featured local foods, music, information about sustainability and several vendors of green products.

Mason said his passion for the environment began early. As a child he would go rock climbing with his dad, and later Mason became a professional mountain guide. "I've always had a connection with the outdoors and I've always been the defender of the small guy," he said.

When Mason lived in Colorado, he was involved in an effort that succeeded in stopping a major development of natural area near Telluride. His passion for making a difference is actually what led him to UH Hilo. "this university is small enough that it allows for opportunity. I wanted to be involved."

This past February, Mason wrote an essay that won him the opportunity to attend the Clinton Global Initiative summit in Austin, Texas. He describes the summit as a "three day think tank," in which groups get together to brainstorm solutions to ecological problems in the world today.

"I came back from the summit with the ideal that service learning is an integral part of college education," he said. Service learning involves students going out into the greater community to both learn and give something back.

Mason is working on his idea of making service learning part of the UH Hilo core curriculum in all fields of study. Certain classes would get a service learning designation much like the writing intensive designation we have now. It would be tailored to the interest of different departments and students. It would allow them to come up with their own projects," he said.

Mason says that "service learning is a component of sustainability." His Sustainability Fair was a successful melding of these concepts and is now a permanent program at UH Hilo.

Mason's future plans include designing a sustainability class to be offered by the geography department. "I really believe in sustainability. This is the first time in my lifetime where I see global support for this," he said.