Heartfelt congratulations to Vincent Mina, who received the Malama I Ka 'Aina award, and Mahina Martin, who received the Onipa'a Award at the Sierra Club annual meeting this past Saturday. Mahalo also to the Sierra Club for hosting such an informative gathering.
Maui County Environmental Coordinator Rob Parsons shared with us that one of the number one complaints his office receives is about smoke from cane burning. Rep. Kaniela Ing shared that he is working on getting a working group together with both sides of the cane burning issue present at the table.
Vincent Mina shared with us the benefits of natural farming and actually passed around some natural insulation made out of hemp and a sample block of hempcrete used as a mildew resistant building material.
I hope HC&S can work with the public, county and state agencies on transitioning from sugar to growing and locally processing organic industrial hemp. It could be used to create environmentally friendly building materials, paper, cloth and remediate the soil. It would be an innovative way to create more jobs and help our island become more self-sufficient without the controversy that surrounds marijuana. It would also keep agricultural lands and jobs in production.
This is just one suggestion and I'm sure there are many more, so I urge our community to continue to work together and look for viable win-win-win alternatives where the environment, the economy and the community all come out winners.