Activities

Five Fun Eco-Friendly Tours for Earth Day

April 19, 2018, 12:20 PM HST
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In celebration of Earth Day on Sunday, April 22, our green, fun-seeking Big Island Now staff suggests five eco-friendly activities to get you closer to nature.

1. Plant a Koa Tree with Hawaiian Legacy Tourstree sapling plant

This nonprofit offers visitors the opportunity to take part in the reforestation project that aims to replenish the koa trees on the slopes of Maunakea, above historic Umikoa Village.

The site was once a majestic forest owned by King Kamehameha the Great.

After planting or “sponsoring” a tree, participants will receive an ID number with the tree’s GPS coordinates and can even track it online.

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Hawaiian Legacy Tours offers ATVs to get to the site, as well as Helicopter Planting Tours through its partnership with Paradise Helicopters.

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Find out more online.

2. Learn About the Life of Bees at a Honey Farm

Spend time with a beekeeper at Big Island Bees and learn first-hand about the vital role bees play in keeping the planet’s ecosystem in balance. Big Island Bees, located in Captain Cook, is a honey farm that welcomes tours to its facilities and honey museum.

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Wasabi Tours, which specializes in small guided tours around the island, offers itineraries that include the honey farm visit.

Wasabi Tours has been noted by the Hawaii Ecotourism Association for its efforts in recycling all cans and bottles used on their tours, avoiding single-use containers and plastics, and being mindful of mileage, among other sustainable practices.

Big Island Bees is located at 82-1140 Meli Road, #102.

3. Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Paradise Helicopters’ Carbon Offset Program gives you the opportunity to compensate for the greenhouse gases produced during your tour.

Paradise is Hawai‘i’s first and only helicopter company to offer carbon neutral seating.

You have the option to upgrade and to “green your seat” and the fees raised are channeled to the Legacy Carbon Program.

4. Get Close To the Water & Aquatic Life

Tour operators offer a range of snorkeling tours and charters along the Kona Coast. Fairwind Cruises strongly encourages its snorkelers to be mindful of their impact on the ocean. Fairwind Cruises even has an “Environmental Pledge for Snorkeling,” which reminds snorkelers about proper use of
sunscreen, to leave aquatic life alone and to recycle.

5. Learn About Renewable Energy & Green Innovations in Seawater Use

Just south of the Kona airport is the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA), which is an ocean research, business and technology park. Friends of NELHA offers both virtual and physical tours highlighting renewable energy resources and uses of sea water in innovative aquaculture and mariculture activities.

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