By Brooke Carias ’22, Sustainability Fair student organizer
If you were to put the whole of earth’s existence into a 24-hour period, humans have been around for just the latest three seconds. In those three seconds we’ve raised the surface temperature of this planet, put a million species at risk of extinction, driven entire island nations to look for refuge on larger masses of land, and created a gyre of plastic twice the size of Texas, essentially creating the sixth mass extinction on the planet.
In the face of these environmental changes, the desire to create positive change comes from people all over the world. Punahou’s second Virtual Sustainability Fair on Earth Day, April 22, presented as a collection of inspirational and informational videos about living sustainably, highlights glimmers of hope from Punahou student projects, local organizations and videos from students around the globe. It’s reassuring to see how we all have common hopes and wishes for the future.
At times, it might feel like protecting the environment is too big to be an individual’s problem. How can one person make a difference? The Sustainability Fair student leaders were inspired to look at some of the issues our world faces from a different perspective: What are the things even one person can do to make a difference? We all have a kuleana to the planet, so we hope you’ll tune in to learn more about how you can do your part. It’s our hope that you are inspired by the projects and people who are working toward a sustainable future that makes the most of all the seconds we have in the Earth’s 24 hours.
See the student videos in the 2021 Virtual Sustainability Fair Playlist. Mahalo to the Luke Center for Public Service and Wo International Center for their support and helping to make this year’s Fair possible!
2021 Virtual Sustainability Fair Playlist: Video Titles and Descriptions
Artists Save Waves Stephanie Hung ‘21, a senior at Punahou, discusses her nonprofit organization, Artists Save Waves. To spread awareness about ocean and marine life preservation, she painted a 50-foot mural at Wet’n’Wild Hawaii and designed credit and debit cards for Hickam Federal Credit Union. In addition, 100% of the proceeds go to Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. Website https://artistssavewaves.com/
Relief for the Reef Relief for the Reef is a student organization at Punahou that strives to educate and inspire others to take action about plastic pollution and harmful chemicals in sunscreen. Working with various organizations, they have hosted multiple beach clean-ups. They are also working with Friends of Hanauma Bay to support their coral nursery and lobbying efforts, sorting through ghost nets, and advocating for local bills that eliminate production of sunscreens with harmful chemicals. Instagram: @relief_for_the_reef • Website: https://reliefforthereef.squarespace.com/beach-cleanups
Hawai‘i at the Environmental Crossroads Influential people with significant Hawai‘i ties, such as Nainoa Thompson, speak on the issues Hawai‘i faces. These issues have caused us to redesign the way we live and rethink our choices. It is now, more than ever, essential to merge the past with the present, science with spirit and protect our Earth.
Kuleana Coral Kuleana Coral is an organization that works to transport large and dislodged coral colonies and transplant them into areas with more stable conditions. They also work with various partners to further their efforts. Using modern technology, they are able to create 3D models of their coral and track their progress. Website: https://www.kuleanacoral.com/
Tree Awareness Month In this video, Anna Lauren Lerner ’22, a junior at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, shares about the importance of trees to the urban landscape, and the journey to recognize Tree Awareness Month.
Turn Off the Tap Turn Off the Tap refers to stopping the flow of plastic into our environment before it even starts. It’s a phrase that Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii has created to help combat plastic pollution. Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii has engaged over 35,000 volunteers and has collected over 500,000 pounds of plastic so far. They invite everyone to help turn off the tap to create a future where we don’t need to clean up our beaches! Website: https://www.sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org/ • Socials: @sustainablecoastlineshawaii
Let’s Put Our Food to Worm Colegio Internacional SEK in Guatemala shares information about the effects of food waste and how harmful it is to the environment. The project’s objective is to reduce food waste by using food waste sustainably. They will use worms to recycle food waste and turn it into vermicompost.
Community Fridge In this video, Ezra Levinson ‘23, a sophomore at Punahou, talks about a solar-powered community refrigerator designed to bring members of a community together and help those experiencing food insecurity.
Mālama Kai – Nā Kama Kai Nā Kama Kai is an organization in Hawai‘i whose mission is to empower children by connecting them to the kai and `āina to nurture a deeper sense of aloha and kuleana for the natural environment and themselves. They hold ocean clinics around the island of O‘ahu, teaching children about their history and ocean safety. Those involved in their program are also taught navigational and boating skills. Website: https://nakamakai.org/ • Instagram: @nakamakai
Mālama `Āina Clu The Mālama `Āina Club at Punahou works to bring more awareness about taking care of the land. They were able to hold virtual meetings and hear from guest speakers to bring awareness to and learn more about environmental issues. An issue they bring awareness to is the invasive algae threatening Maunalua Bay on the east side of O‘ahu. Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37tMHnWtEP0
King’s Academy Sustainability Fair Please check out King’s Academy Sustainability Fair at https://www.suntainabilityka.com/ This video shows various sustainability projects of students attending King’s Academy in Jordan.
Air Pollution Jackson, a fourth grader at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, talks about the problem of pollution in our world. He talks about the various chemicals in the air we breathe, fossil fuels, and solutions, such as having more fresh air than polluted air in our environment.
Sustainable Development Goal 12 Mrs. Fox’s fourth grade class at Punahou talks about Goal 12 from the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They provide various ways they will practice this goal, such as making upcycled bead bracelets.
21st Century Bill of Economic Rights In this video, Mike Hollingshead from Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina, talks about the 21st Century Bill of Economic Rights that has been proposed in the United States. The 21st Century Bill of Economic Rights also helps to achieve several of the sustainability goals.
Tiny Loans, Giant Benefits In this video, Adam Pierce from Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) School in Fort Worth, Texas, discusses microloans. Microloans offer opportunities for individual people such as small investors to provide funding and some benefits to those who don’t have access to banks. This concept helps to end poverty, prevent hunger and reduce inequality.
Climate Change Causes, Effects, and Solutions In this video, Evi SB from Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) School in Fort Worth, Texas, talks about the four major causes of climate change: deforestation, population growth (increased agriculture), fossil fuels and greenhouse gases.
Hotel Industry Chloe Fox discusses main environmental practices of the hotel industry and ways in which we can improve our environmental management. This video also shares about the harmful impacts the hotel industry creates and ways they can reduce their impact on the environment.
Climate Crisis India Jai Parashar from B.V.B.V Pratap Nagar in Jaipur, India, talks about combating pollution in India as well as the problems India is facing. This video includes a simple and effective step-by-step plan on how to incorporate sustainability into our daily lives.
Agriculture This video talks about agriculture, the meaning, the importance and the different parts of agriculture.
Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2 This video discusses Goals 1 (No Poverty) and 2 (Zero Hunger) of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This video also discusses the importance of agriculture and water in our daily lives.
No Poverty – SDG 1 Lakshya Sharma, a student at SFS Academy in Bangalore, India, talks about Sustainable Development Goal 1 (No Poverty) and goes into depth about this goal set by the United Nations.
Clean Water and Sanitation – SDG 6 Reet Jha from SFS Academy in Bangalore, India, discusses Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). This video compares the expectation of having clean water to the reality and introduces goals for everyone to have access to clean water.
How has the Covid-19 Pandemic Affected the SDG-8? Alvin Jayan, a student at SFS Academy in Bangalore, India, talks about Sustainable Development Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). This video includes information about what happened to people during this pandemic and the economic effects the pandemic had on the world.
Hoping for a Better Tomorrow – SDG 8 Adrija Chanda from SFS Academy in Bangalore, India talks about the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). This video talks about the past, present and future events of the global economy.
The Last Straw – SDG 12 Raimi Felix, a student at SFS Academy in Bangalore, India, talks about Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). This video highlights organizations that reuse materials such as plastic and turns them into bags, edible spoons, plastic roads, tapioca starch bags and floor tiles.
Life Below Water – SDG 14 In this video, Amita S. from SFS Academy in Bangalore, India talks about the 14th Sustainable Development Goal: Life Below Water. Marine life is facing constant threats, which include but are not limited to oil spills, global warming, overfishing and plastic pollution. This video also provides specific examples of marine animals that are facing extinction.
Life On Land – SDG 15 Sriyansh Lal Roy, a student in SFS Academy in Bangalore, India, discusses Life on Land: What is life on land? How is it being destroyed? What are the impacts of this destruction? How do you prevent this destruction? Life on Land is also Goal 15 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
World of Sustainability Soumya Shree from SFS Academy in Bangalore, India, discusses the meaning of sustainability and provides sustainable alternatives to living more sustainably including, but not limited to, sustainable/green buildings, affordable housing and green public spaces.
Climate Change Laksh R. from SFS Academy in Bangalore, India, talks about climate change and what is happening in the world right now. This video also provides information about three strategies that could improve our Earth.
Berkshire School Repair Station How might we contribute towards the elimination of clothing, bags and equipment going to landfill from our community? Sally Anderson from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, discusses reducing, reusing, recycling and regenerating in their school’s community swap shop and repair station.
Heating Systems, Incentives, Considerations Moving Forward Peter Tcheleshev talks about heating systems at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, and goes into detail about different aspects of the campus. This video concludes with information about a survey about your involvement with sustainability in your community.
Ocean Acidification: Individual to Organizational Impacts & Solutions In this video, Cole Paredes, a student from Berkshire in Sheffield, Massachusetts, discusses ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is when there is too much carbon dioxide in the oceans, this is extremely harmful to many marine life and can even affect humans on land. Cole hopes to encourage more sustainable living habits to shrink Berkshire School’s carbon footprint.
Electricity Sourcing, Use, & Impact On Campus Henry Boyle from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, explores sustainable aspects of the Berkshire campus, such as buildings and electricity sources. This video also has information on what can be done to create a more sustainable campus.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Regenerate Systems in the Berkshire School Dining Hall Chandler Gilbane from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, discusses the consequences of trash, specifically plastic trash. Chandler also talks about composting and recycling at the Berkshire School Dining Hall, as well as what you can do to help reduce plastic waste.
Composting In the Berkshire Community – Practices & Systems Jake Blackwin and Hayden Riva discuss composting on the Berkshire campus in Sheffield, Massachusetts, by bringing food waste from the kitchen to composts around the Berkshire campus. This video also talks about the accessibility of composting.
Where is our food coming from? In this video, Jayson Green, a student from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, shows the harmful effects processed meat have on our bodies and the horrifying conditions the animals who become our food are living in. This video also provides options like eating grass-fed beef and “Meatless Mondays” as ways to reduce our intake of processed meat.
Transforming Agriculture: How to Regenerate & Sustain Earth’s Ecosystems In this video, Chace Nethersole from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, talks about the problems of traditional agriculture practices and introduces a new type of agriculture that is more sustainable and beneficial to the world, called regenerative agriculture.
Climate Action Plan, Meditation, & Awareness In this video, Henry Alpaugh and Will Erdmann from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, examine how to build a climate action plan and the relationship climate has with mindfulness. This end-goal is to use mindfulness and meditation practices to be more aware of our actions.
Reusable Mask Making & Repair at Berkshire School Dewie Egan from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, talks about the possible dangers of disposable masks and plastic pollution.
Natural Gas & Fracking: A Systems Approach to Understanding Jackson Howell, a student at Berkshire School, discusses the “Iceberg Model” to further understand natural gas and fracking, especially the things that are not blatantly seen or discussed.
“Paris Climate Accord”, Massachussettes “NextGen Climate bill (S.9)”, & What these might mean for schools Henry White from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, provides information about climate change and how the Paris Climate Accord and Massachusetts “NextGen Climate Bill” relate to climate change.
Sun Protection – Paths Forward In this video, Amanda Miller, a student from Berkshire in Sheffield, Massachusetts, explores the impacts of sunscreen on our ecosystems including what you can do for the environment!
Stewarding Ecosystems for Bees to Thrive In this video, Tyrese Caines from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, discusses the importance of bees and how they connect to local and global food systems. Information about how to help bees is also provided!
Tracking: Learning, Doing, Sharing Jake Simonds from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, discusses finding tracks of deer and hunting and connects it with sustainable community practices.
Food Menu Planning for Healthy & Sustainability Brett Karkus from Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, talks about the importance of healthy and sustainable food.
Save the ʻŌhiʻa In this video, made by a fifth grader at Punahou, spreads awareness about the ongoing problem of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD) and what we can do to help the ʻŌhiʻa trees.
Save the Bees In this video, fifth graders at Punahou provide information on why bees are dying and what we can do to help them.
Save the Alala Malia ’28, a fifth grader at Punahou, discusses the ʻAlalā, an endangered bird native to Hawai‘i. The video discusses the problems these birds are facing and what we can do to help.
Plastic Pollution This video, made by a fifth grader at Punahou, shows the various problems plastic presents and what we can do to help stop plastic pollution.
Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Moa ’28, a fifth grader at Punahou, provides information about the ʻŌhiʻa tree and the problem of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, also known as ROD, and what you can do to help the ʻŌhiʻa trees.
Monk Seals Mehana ’28, a fifth grader at Punahou, discusses Hawaiian Monk Seals, the problems they are facing and what we can do to help them.
A Plastic Straw Kate ’28, a fifth grader at Punahou, brings awareness to the problem of plastic and what you can do to help save the ocean and prevent plastic pollution.
The Great Kapok Tree Ms. Carroll’s fifth grade class at Punahou tells the story “The Great Kapok Tree” and offers prayers and ideas to care for the earth.
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