Kona Charter School “Greening Up” With Community Support

Kona Pacific Public Charter School is becoming an island leader in green school practices, thanks to generous community support and the commitment of school administrators, faculty and students.
The first few months of 2013 have been exciting ones for Kona Pacific’s ambitious program of environmental awareness, sustainability and green school practices. Several generous donations from community members and businesses have helped support the school’s various green initiatives.

Solar panels were installed this year on one of Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s new buildings. The school is now 100% solar powered.

Solar panels were installed this year on one of Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s new buildings. The school is now 100% solar powered.

Kona Pacific is now 100% solar powered. In January, solar contractor P.A. Harris Electric and private benefactors donated and installed a high-capacity rooftop solar power system, which has reduced the school’s monthly electric bill to less than $300.
Due to the school’s new proactive program of careful purchasing, aggressive recycling efforts, compost, and an ethic of re-use, the daily solid waste output is now a single garbage bag, for an organization of almost 300 people, and water use is now 25% of what is considered average for a school of this size.
In March, supported by the “Zero Waste” Initiative of Hawai‘i County’s Department of Environmental Management, students from Kona Pacific pitched in at two major community events, the Kona Brewers Festival and Keoua Honaunau Canoe Club’s Mac-A-Thon, to man zero-waste stations in an effort to minimize the amount of waste material going into the island’s landfill and reduce the events’ impact on Hawaii’s natural environment.
“These efforts are a terrific way to engage students in turning their school into a green school, which is one of Kona Pacific’s strategic goals,” said [who should be quoted?] “It’s the enthusiasm and activism of our young people that will create a green future for our island.”
Kona Pacific, which offers a rigorous academic program inspired by Waldorf education and firmly rooted in the land and culture of Hawai‘i, is located on 40 acres of prime agricultural land mauka of Kona Community Hospital. The school also operates a significant community service, the WHOLE Food Service Program, which provides more than 200 at-risk and disadvantaged students, young children and elderly with healthy meals.
The school’s gardens and biodynamic farm will be integrated with the food service program to ensure the WHOLE Food program’s sustainability and ongoing access to local, affordable and high-quality produce.
Most recently, in April Kona Pacific received a $6,000 grant from the Bill Healy Foundation in support of the school’s dedication to green efforts and community well-being, and this month received a $17,500 grant from the Sam Mazza Foundation for the  construction of a “green” nature-based playground, using only natural materials.
For more information about Kona Pacific’s green initiatives, or to learn more about The WHOLE Food Service program, please contact:
Chris Hecht
Executive Director
Kona Pacific Public Charter School

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