Welcome to the One Island Sustainable Living Programs, Hawaii


Water, Soil & Sun  April-June 2014 Programs    
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One Island logo courtesy Rob Schouten

 ALOHA     One Island is a non-profit sustainability project with a flagship organic farm in Honaunau, West Hawaii and a sister center in Kapa’au, North Kohala, both on the Big Island of Hawaii. We are hosting  collaborative Green Living programs focused on learning to practice a more sustainable lifestyle right where you live and work, every day.

‘Green is a Verb’ - it is an empowering action we each can choose to do 

  Programs focus on short, easy-to-implement projects and longer term strategic sustainability efforts. Cornerstones include: local food system strengthening, renewable energy / energy efficiency tools and grants, watershed protection resources, green economy incubation, health and wellness programs, and arts and culture events. We host regular volunteer learning days and present special guest speakers and retreats that demonstrate a variety of ‘green living’ sustainability options. And for educational fun, we are hosting hands-on workshops that allow our participants to turn our farm’s local resources into hand-built products, from food to art to body care, from building materials to home gardens to renewable energy – skills you can take with you where ever you live.

We are all in the Same Canoe – grab a paddle!

Bamboo garden art work provided courtesy Rob Schoutten Gallery


Water – a Sacred Element

Kukui aerial 2 75One Island is hosting its 10th annual Earthday Celebration and the culminating Water Series event in a beautiful tropical streamside garden sanctuary in North Kohala on Saturday, April 26th. Presentation begins at 1pm. Includes a magical walk through time from 21st century renewable power water technology back to ancient Hawaiian irrigation practices. Host and Guide will be Nani Svendsen, founder of the Konea o Kukui non-profit garden sanctuary that is celebrating its 13th birthday this month.

kukui stone sculpture with lei2 75


A special feature for the afternoon is a powerful chant and hula presentation about the natural water cycle from a traditional Hawaiian cultural perspective offered by Lanakila Mangauil, a gifted kumu hula from Honoka’a.


To make a reservation, rsvp to  Hawaii@oneisland.org and directions will be sent.

Photos by Maureen Garry

Water Systems Field Trip

Can a 460 acre ranch run completely on catchment water with no well or county water? Kumau Ranch of North Kohala set that as a goal and has developed effective agricultural and residential water catchment systems varying from roof and gutter, to a living roof and tank, to large ranchland ponds that provide water for their cattle herd and family home and workshops. Our field trip to Kumau on March 8th was a chance to see an inspirational green built compound and to learn how securing adequate water has been an impetus for creative design.

230px-Water_turbineHow can a small ranch turn water from an agricultural ditch into so much hydropower it has at times had to turn ON appliances just to use up the excess power in order to keep the system in balance? And provide water for its agricultural and residential water needs plus replenish a seasonal stream flow? Star Seed Ranch was our second field trip destination on the 8th and thankfully the rain held back just long enough for us to enjoy both a tour of the hydroelectric pump house, electricity conversion and impressive battery storage system, and the garden systems it irrigates. The use of ditch water for power, reuse of that water for the ranch needs, and then overflow as recharge for the local stream bed was an impressive system to witness.

Grey Water Workshop

anna grey water group 5Saturday, February 8th we brought guest teacher Anna Birkas from Village Ecosystems in Mendocino County, California to North Kohala for an afternoon grey water design workshop.

Twenty-five people attended and we learned about below ground grey water distribution system dos and don’ts that show how simpler-is-better in getting our anna soil perc 5bathroom sink, shower and washing machine water out to our plants. Anna did a soil perc test, taught us how to recognize soil types, and guided us on laying out a model grey water pipe system. Great event!

Water – The Source of Life

kohala coastWatersheds, water rights, water quality – these things impact us where ever we live. Jan-Apr of 2014 is full of water themed education, field trips, workshops, speakers and celebrations. Learn more by clicking here .


blue-goldWhere ever you live, we encourage you to explore your watershed and learn about the water issues impacting your region. Water IS the BLUE GOLD of the 21st century.

January Water Talk is on Mon. Jan 13th in Kapa’au at the Old Courthouse with Boyd Bond, Ken Melrose and Councilwoman Margaret Wille. 6:45pm

Film Night is showing BLUE GOLD on Sat Jan 25th at Walker Hall in Kapa’au. 6:30pm

The Art of Sustainable Papermaking

group back mdAmazing fun with natural fibers from local plants. Our first papermaking workshops held October 19th up in Kapa’au and November 23rd and 24th were a fantastic experience for everyone involved. Instructor Susan O’Malley brought buckets and buckets of amazing plant fiber pulp and the crew of 14 made dozens and dozens of paper sheets, collage pieces for fusing to larger sheets, and several sculptural pieces. Ages 12 – 68 were present!



NEXT SESSIONS: January 25 and/or 26 in Kapa’au, North Kohala
and February 8 and/or 9th in Honaunau, South Kona
See the One Island Store to register
susan      paper lift