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Tackling environmental challenges

Plastic pollution, invasive species, climate change, over tourism … these were among the weighty issues tackled by our Distance Learning grade 4 and 5 students recently.

Plastic pollution, invasive species, climate change, over tourism ... these were among the weighty issues tackled by our Distance Learning grade 4 and 5 students recently. They researched the challenges facing their own island homes and wrote persuasive letters with potential solutions to Hawai‘i Sen. Brian Schatz. He wrote back to them all.


Temperatures are rising in Hawai‘i and it’s causing lots of damage to the environment.

After learning about temperatures rising, coastal erosion, rainfall decreasing, and sea level rise you can probably tell that climate change is a very big problem for Hawai‘i. Even though this is already happening doesn’t exactly mean we can’t prevent it from doing any more damage. To help with climate change you can use less energy at your home, a lot of our electricity comes from coal, oil, and gas. You can use less energy by lowering your heating and your cooling, washing your laundry with cold water, or hanging clothes instead of using a dryer. Another way to help with climate change is to walk, bike, or take public transportation. Walking or riding a bike will lower greenhouse gas emissions and help your fitness too.

~ Eames N.


Every day, one person makes 4lbs of trash.

A class from Hilo joined forces with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to clean up at Kamilo Beach. The team was shocked that the beautiful beach turned out to be what looked like a junkyard. They call it a plastic beach because you are walking on trash like toothbrushes, brooms, and other debris. There was so much trash it made 10 foot high mountains of debris! People used to climb it to look for treasures. They picked up 1,400 pounds of debris when they were cleaning up the beach.

~ Shia M.

Invasive species

Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death has killed trees in all districts of Hawaiʻi Island and has the potential to kill many more ʻohiʻa trees statewide.

It is extremely critical for everyone to prevent the spread of invasive species in Hawai‘i, protect its native ecosystems, and preserve its biodiversity. Efforts to slow and stop the spread of invasive species begin at home and everyone can do their part by preventing further introductions and protecting the remaining unique native plants, animals, and ecosystems of Hawai‘i.

~ Xylan O.

Did you know that an organism as small as a frog can disrupt an ecosystem?

The government has worked hard to battle invasive species, however it is not enough. It needs the help of the public. Government officials should encourage the public to help out and do their part. For example, residents can plant native species. These plants provide shelter for local birds and attract bugs and butterflies, which can be food sources for other native wildlife. Another way they can help fight invasive plant and animal species is to make sure that these aren’t spread to other environments is by checking their boots and shoes before or after they go hiking or exploring to prevent carrying an invasive species seed that could forever change the environment. In addition, the government should pass laws to make it illegal for residents to release their pets or other unwanted animals into the wild where they could be a threat to the environment. Instead, the government should set up programs or incentives so people can surrender their pets safely. Let’s all work together to fight invasive species so future generations can enjoy the native wonders that Hawai‘i has to offer.

~ Tyzo Y.