Garden Check In

The Conscious Traveler

The conscious traveler is someone who seeks to make choices that are as environmentally and socially responsible as possible. This ethos is rooted in respect – for the land, for history and culture, and for people of all backgrounds. We hope to create a wondrous and authentic experience for our visitors while implementing practices that are sustainable and mindful of maintaining the natural abundance around us, and giving back to the community we love.

On the last Saturday of each month Mark Hanson of The Hawaii ReForestation Project organizes volunteers to plant native tree saplings he has grown from seeds in his Nursery. Volunteers meet at the Puu Waawaa Forest Preserve in the morning. This is a 1/2 day of getting out in rugged mother nature planting or maintaining sapling native trees on the slopes of Puu Waawaa just above Kona Town.
The high elevation brings you to another climate zone on the Big Island offering cooler temperatures with breathtakingly beautiful scenery and bird watching.   This is a unique opportunity for families to contribute to keeping our island beautiful while enjoying another one of the island’s 11 climate zones.  Recommended for children 7+ and up.
If you are staying with us or on the island the last Saturday of the month and would like to join Mark as a volunteer, here is a list what you need to make the most of your experience.
  • Pack your Lunch and water bottle.  Please avoid one-use plastic bottles if possible. Everything must be packed out. No trace left behind.
  • Bring a hat, sunscreen, light jacket or rain parka you can pick up in the grocery store.  Layers are a good idea as the weather is so unpredictable.
  • Closed-toed, comfortable stable shoes.  Hiking boots if you brought them.

Green Practices

Composting: Each Bungalow has a convenient sink top composter for your green waste. We will remove this as needed and add it to our compost.

Cotton Towels and Linens: Puakea uses only 100% Cotton or Bamboo products that don’t add VOCs to the air, thus helping air quality in our bungalows. Towels and linens that are a blend of cotton and synthetic fabrics aren’t sustainable because of their reliance on petrochemicals.

Durable Service Items: Our dishes, cups, glasses, mugs, tableware, and serving pieces are long lasting, not disposable. We encourage you to pack up your picnic using the provided, not breakable containers and dishes. Just please bring them back!

Eco-friendly Food: We encourage you to buy your produce from open air, produce markets found in both Kawaihae and Hawi towns. These markets offer produce and flowers grown in a manner sensitive to its natural habitat for preserving wildlife and other plants, organically grown and raised, and local and thus freshly “harvested”. There is a Farmers Market in Hawi town under the Bayon Tree every Saturday morning from 7am-1pm. When at the grocery store “Buy Local”.

Energy Conservation: Puakea is committed to reducing the amount of energy used. Through our use of energy-efficient lighting and appliances, turning off lights and appliances when not in use and using fans, not air conditioning, as well as low flow toilets and showerheads we urge you to be mindful of your energy consumption. It is possible to dramatically reduce energy consumption for powering our bungalows with little or no sacrifices. Please join us in reducing our dependency on non-renewable resources and reduce the costs connected with excessive energy use.

Environmental Cleaning: We approach housekeeping and laundry from the perspective of not using harsh or harmful-to-people chemicals or cleaning styles.

Fresh Air: All natural products are used whenever possible. In its travel across the Pacific the trade wind air in North Kohala is charged with ions. Upon arrival your Bungalow will have windows that are open as part of a fresh-air exchange. It’s been said that its the cleanest, freshest air in the world! People travel here for ultimate rejuvination. So breath deeply during your stay with us! Fresh air is healthier than the musty, stale air of closed-up rooms.

Guest-room Recycle Bins: Please use provided recycle containers in each bungalow. Place your rinsed glass, plastic and metal items in the bins provided and our staff will take care of sorting and collection.

Maintenance for Conservation: Our Green Program included replacing all of the old, wasteful fixtures (light bulbs; old toilets which use lots of water in their flushing; old shower heads and faucets that allow more than 2 gallons/minutes through) and appliances (refrigerators and freezers, ice machines, washing machines and dryers, air conditioners) with new efficient fixtures and appliances.

Non-Smoking Rooms: Puakea has a strict non-smoking policy inside our bungalows. Bungalows are guaranteed to be safe from the pollution of smoking. Please preserve the quality of our indoor air, our furnishings and the well being our guests sensitive to second hand smoke.

Water Conservation: At Puakea we strive to reduce water usage. Water use reduction methods range from more efficient practices to capturing water in catchment projects. We are installing large gutters on each bungalow to capture and reuse rainwater. More efficient practices include using low-flow toilets, and faucets; washing sheets and towels less frequently (though of course between guests); planting xeric gardens — using native plants that don’t require much additional water beyond what falls from the sky; and gray water recycling systems.

Sheet and Towel Re-Use: Guests are encouraged to sleep on the same sheets for the duration of their stay with us. Drying lines are provided at each bungalow to hang bath, beach and pool towels for reuse at least 3 times before washing.

Xeric Gardens: Xeriscape is a coined word derived from the Greek ‘Xeros’, meaning dry. It is used to describe landscaping with water conservation as a major objective. It often is also accomplished by using plants native to the region. A xeric garden is an attractive, sustainable landscape that conserves water.

Recycled Building Materials: On all past and future restoration projects we are committed to reusing and refurbishing existing materials whenever possible. Windows, doors, hardware and fixtures that could not be salvaged were replaced using building salvaged resources and recycled materials reducing consumption and disposal.

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