To raise money for Aloha United Way (AUW), members of the freshman class are selling saimin today, while simultaneously testing out a new biodegradable bowl from Sun Noodle.
The sale runs until 3 p.m. in the Academy Quad, with all proceeds going to AUW. Punahou is in the midst of its annual AUW campaign, with students at all grade levels coming up with ways to support the local charitable organization.
Punahou became a test site for the environmentally friendly bowl, after chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi ’93, a food curriculum specialist in the K – 12 Learning Commons, got involved in the effort and realized paper bowls weren’t going to withstand the saimin’s hot broth. He also thought it would be better to sell fresh noodles rather than instant ones, so he contacted Kenshiro Uki, the son of Sun Noodle’s founder. Noguchi has had a longtime relationship with Sun Noodle.
The timing was right, with Sun Noodle currently testing its new saimin bowl, and the company agreed to sell the compostable, plant-based container made from 100% renewable resources at cost. “We’re happy for this opportunity to work together with Punahou to support students in supplying eco-friendly materials,” Uki said.
Sun Noodle changed its entire production line for the Punahou sale, and Punahou is receiving the first 200 bowls, Noguchi said. “For them to support Punahou, it says something about the efforts of companies that want to support students, and it’s a testament to their commitment to our environment,” he said.
Students were excited to test out the bowls as well. “It was exciting that we found biodegradable bowls, because we didn’t want to use Styrofoam, as it’s one of the worst forms of plastics that ends up in the ocean, “ said Kaelah Kimura ’23, the Class president.
Along with saimin, the freshmen sold reusable utensil kits and offered $1 off the saimin to those who brought their own bowls. They also simultaneously had a bake sale, using trays and paper plates, instead of plastic wrap, to make the whole effort more sustainable.