Student-Run Fair Celebrates Sustainability

The Sustainability Fair returned as an in-person event on Middle Field on Thursday, showcasing community organizations, student projects, crafts and games, all with the theme of caring for our planet, just in time for Earth Day.

Since 2006, the fair has been a staple at Punahou, promoting environmental sustainability and conservation. Student leaders collaborate closely with Luke Center staff to design, coordinate and run the event, sharing their passion about caring for the earth and also gaining valuable skills in planning, communication and management. For two years during the pandemic, the fair took place virtually.

Open to students of all ages, the fair included booths with representatives from the Audubon Society to talk about preserving Manu-o-Kū (white tern) nesting sites, Aloha Harvest, who discussed redesigning local food distribution networks, and Nā Kama Kai, who presented on ocean safety. Academy students highlighted their sustainable projects, such as a design for a community refrigerator and a program to bring reclaimed flowers to kūpuna in care homes.

Attendees played games and created headbands from old t-shirts. Students made 500 “genki balls” out of soil and microorganisms to help clean the Lily Pond. Punahou’s solar-powered train, built by students at the D. Kenneth Richardson ’48 Learning Lab, was on display as a demonstration of engineering with alternative energy.

Other events promoting sustainability are taking place in April. In recognition of Tree Awareness month, Academy students in the Sustainable Living Club planted a Meyer lemon tree in the Griffiths Hall Academy garden for shade and fruit. On Friday, Academy students hosted a clothing swap in Cooke Library, promoting the sharing and reuse of clothes as an alternative to the environmental harm of Fast Fashion. The Global Issues Speaker Series, put on by the Luke Center for Public Service and seventh grade Social Studies faculty, featured 17 different local and national experts sharing how their work aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainability Fair leaders, left to right: Sabina Funasaki ’24, Lily Arima ’23, Ann Marie Tobin ’23, Lola ten Berge ’23, Brooke Carias ’22, Kaelah Kimura ’23 and Saige Nishimura ’22. (Not pictured, Josh Kobayashi ’24)

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