Aloha ʻĀina

Aloha ʻĀina is Hawaiian for “love of the land”, and in this episode, I share the background on why I chose to clean up my neighborhood and the small tactics I employ to reduce my overall eco-footprint. I hope this episode inspires you to know that even small actions can have a large impact, and all it takes is a little bit of Aloha.

Background on my influences

  • I moved to Maryland last year, but prior to this assignment, I lived in Alaska and Hawai’i (raised a local boy from 83-92). Needless to say, my family and I were spoiled and took advantage of being able to live within the wonders of nature
  • Both of those locations have a healthy respect for the environment, living in harmony within the ecosystem and preserving the beauty is a community goal
  • When you live on base, you take care of the environment. 
    • At work – While facility managers have assigned responsibilities, everyone has the responsibility to keep the base clean
    • At home – When you see a piece of trash, pick it up and throw it away. Rank doesn’t matter, just keep the base clean
  • Nature of my job doesn’t allow much time outside, so I constantly seek to balance my time indoors and outdoors
    • I can tell when my body is in search of daylight, fresh air, the heights of a mountain, the tranquility of a forest, the chaos of an ocean, just the sensation of nature
    • Everyone needs to unplug and enjoy the silence and beauty of nature
  • Aloha ʻĀina is Hawaiian and means “love (aloha) of the land (aina)”. I have a healthy respect for the land and try to minimize my impact on it
    • Take care of nature, and nature will take care of you (provide you the balance I previously mentioned)
    • I also have a respect for Hawaiian folklore, myths, and legends. I don’t remember how or when I learned of them, but I know certain actions are not to be taken as to anger the gods
      • Night Marchers
      • Carrying Pork over the Pali Highway
      • Turning your back to the ocean
      • Whistling at night will call Obake (Japanese for ghosts) 

My concerns about the environment

  • In general, I want to increase awareness of being a responsible person within the community. Small actions can go a long way
  • Reduction of my personal eco-footprint and take care of my local aina

What I’m doing about it

  • #alohaaina walks
    • Weekly, 2 mile “adopt a highway” clean up effort, minus the formal organization
    • Post my progress (each week and a running total) on social media to inspire and  show how simple it can be for someone to contribute to clean up
  • Increased use of reusable food items to reduce overall disposable trash
    • Weekly food prep within reusable food containers and utensils
    • Personal water and coffee containers
    • Reusable Keuring coffee pods
    • Bring my own bags for grocery and food shopping (sometimes I’ll just carry the item and bring it home, no plastic bag needed)
    • Recycle as much as possible, but I’m learning that sometimes those programs aren’t as clean as advertised
  • I’m always interested in smart ways to reduce my impact on the environment. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, please contact me!