2023 Sustainability Fair

After running virtually during the pandemic and reemerging last year as a smaller in-person event, the annual Sustainability Fair was back on Thursday, bigger than ever, with 30-plus interactive booths. Students from across the grades visited the fair to learn about environmental sustainability and conservation, just in time for Earth Day on April 22.

Local and national organizations, including NOAA, Sustainable Coastlines, Hawaii Energy, Hawaii Nature Center, Blue Planet Foundation and more, showcased their educational and conservation efforts. NOAA, for instance, brought in a research boat to demonstrate how they count fish populations.

Students and faculty also featured sustainability-themed projects, educational games and art projects, such as jewelry made from marine debris. Academy Glass Instructor Tracy Kirchmann showed how littered glass is being recycled into new glass in Punahou’s studio, while food curriculum specialist Mark Noguchi ’93 debuted dishes from locally-sourced ingredients, which students could vote to include on the cafeteria menu.

A performance by Academy band Monkey Bread added to the liveliness of the event, and the spirit of sustainability continues on Friday, with a clothing swap for Academy students in Cooke Library.

Established in 2006, the fair is a partnership between the Luke Center and students. Planning started last November among eight student leaders; Chandra Peters, administrative coordinator for Luke Center for Public Service; and Debbie Millikan, director of Sustainability.

Student leader Lily Arima’s ’23, for one, was eager to join the planning process after seeing an increase of plastic on beaches and learning more about climate change. It was her second year planning the fair, and she hopes it sparks interest among students on environmental stewardship – just as the fair inspired her in seventh grade.

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