Three Ways to Visit Hawai’i Respectfully

Resources & organizations to support on O’ahu



Spend Time with Culturally Aligned Organizations, Rooted in Education

Mālama Loko Ea is a foundation that has restored the Loko Ea fishpond in Haleiwa. They focus on community and education, spreading awareness of ancient Hawaiian fishpond techniques and the importance of natural resources. They are a 501(C)(3) organization that rely on volunteers, keiki, and the community to help achieve self-reliance at the fishpond. In addition, they offer multiple educational classes to learn about Hawai’i’s culture, ʻŌlelos, and ancient practices.

How will this make a difference?

Immersing in the culture while volunteering is a great way to learn about the places you visit as a tourist. Fishponds were, and are, a vital resource to Hawaiian culture and self-sufficiency. These provide a sustainable food source for the people here in Hawai’i, providing a natural place for fish and seaweed to thrive. Encompassing fresh streams and spring resources, the fish ponds at this foundation make up the third-largest wetland on O’ahu.

Ka’ala Farms is a lo’i patch that focuses on ancient Hawaiian farming techniques. Its mission is to reclaim and preserve the ancient practice of lo’i farming patches and help serve the Hawaiian community.

How will this make a difference?

Lo’i patches are an ancient Hawaiian technique to grow Kalo (Taro). Taro is a purple root starch used to make poi and other Hawaiian dishes. Taro leaves are also used in cooking certain Hawaiian dishes like lao lao. These practices and other Hawaiian techniques were attempted to be forced out with the annexation of Hawaii in 1898. With the urbanization of Hawaii, farming land was taken over. Ka’ala Farms focuses on educating the community about the importance of Hawaiian farming and self-reliance. With the blow of Covid, Ka’ala farms needs support more now than ever. Volunteering with this company will enhance your knowledge and connection to the Hawaiian environment.

Plant Tree Hawaii is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit that focuses on restoring Hawaii’s forests. Pulling weeds, planting legacy trees, and cleaning the land is an excellent way to make a difference while traveling. Volunteer on community work days, or even schedule a time to volunteer.

How will this make a difference?

Over the last two hundred years, Hawai’i has gone through waves of new plants, trees, and animals. As a result, the islands have seen an influx of invasive species and new environments. These invasive species can outcompete the species endemic to Hawaii. Oahu especially has been subjected to many alien species that can outcompete and take over areas of the island. This initiative presented by Plant Tree Hawaii will help restore Hawaii’s native forests and be rid of invasive plants and weeds that never belonged here.

Sustainable coastlines are an initiative here in Hawaii inspired by sustainable coastlines of New Zealand. Their mission is to clean our beaches; however, they reach farther by working to put a stop to plastic making its way to our oceans. They find ways to get rid of the debris found on the beaches without it making its way back.

How will this make a difference?

It isn’t new news that the ocean contains an unimaginable amount of plastic. The ocean is infested with microplastics and larger garbage patches. The Pacific garbage patch (the closest to Hawai’i) is estimated to hold 3 million tonnes of plastic. Most of this plastic is micro, leading to widespread of this plastic (National Geographic). The patch is located between Hawai’i and California, bringing debris to the islands. Sustainable coastlines focus on sifting out microplastics from the beach and collecting large pieces of plastic and nets. Microplastics find themselves a target of consumption by marine life, mistaking plastic for plankton or even turtles mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish. Microplastics can contain multiple toxins that can find their way into our own bodies through our consumption of seafood. When in Hawai’i, you can volunteer at a community beach cleanup or reach out for other volunteering opportunities. When visiting beaches or trails, please also help by packing out any trash you find along the way. Hawai’i is currently becoming completely plastic free, so pack reusable shopping bags and water bottles to keep your visit as plastic-free as possible!

Eternal Tides started as an adventure elopement photography and videography business and expanded in 2022 to offer private sailing charters. We’re on a mission to redefine what sustainable tourism means. Eternal Tides offers sailing, snorkeling, and elopements at sea aboard the renovated 1978 sailboat. We offer citizen science charters, and 1% of gross revenue from the charters is donated to Hawaiian-led coalitions and Environmental Non-Profits.

How will this make a difference?

Some tour boats off the coast of Honolulu are motor-powered and use larger amounts of diesel than sailboats do. Eternal Tides hopes to purchase an electric engine in 2025, finalizing the transformation of Blue Planet. This upgrade would make us the first fully electrical commercial charter in the Pacific, helping set a precedent for other businesses to follow and allowing us to combine our passions for both photography and ocean science. We want to bring together the two in an environment that fosters learning and stewardship of our oceans. We will use this business as a platform to teach guests about how they can help protect the marine life, reefs, and coastlines in which we live and play.

Couple plants endemic Legacy Tree in Hawai'i


Spend Your Money with Hawaiian Organizations and Businesses


Have Aloha and Respect the Locals

A few other things to consider