“Mālama ʻāina” means caring for and preserving the land, though it has a deeper significance when combined with action, putting our respect and intention at the forefront. We chose the name “Mālama ‘Āina Community Cleanup” because it conveyed our mission to honor and cherish the ʻāina while inviting all the people who love the Our Kaka‘ako neighborhood to also do their part. It’s amazing the good we can do when we all lend a hand.
The energy was high on Saturday, April 2, with lots of sunshine and blue sky as everyone headed out, gloves on, grabbers and reusable trash bags in hand. 120 volunteers checked in at The Barn at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako and grabbed their gear, ready to tackle all the trash and debris out there. To give them a boost before and after their hard work, we provided iced coffee and tea and hot chocolate, courtesy of our friends at Starbucks at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, as well as snacks—mahalo to Waterfront Plaza and SP+ for the delicious doughnuts!
A special shoutout to our friends at Surfrider Foundation and 4ocean for collecting everyone’s trash at Mother Waldron Park! They not only weighed everything but also took the time to count and record the types of trash collected, which will provide valuable data to inform future cleanup efforts. Have you ever thought about how the kinds of waste vary depending on where you are? A residential neighborhood tends to have more discarded beverage containers and cigarette butts, while a lot of plastic and fishing debris accumulates on the beach.
When the last trashbag was weighed, the total came out to 375 pounds, beating our last cleanup record by 72 pounds! We love seeing our community come together to support each other and our ʻāina.
Mahalo to our partners, Waterfront Plaza and Surfrider Foundation, and our many sponsors: Kamehameha Schools, Kaiāulu ‘o Kaka‘ako Owners Association, Parallel Capital Partners, Integrated Facility Services Hawaii, Premium Incorporated, Hawaiian Building Maintenance, Servi-Tek, Belfor, SP+, and Starbucks! Mahalo to our retail ‘ohana who offered special deals for our volunteers to show their support: E.A.R.L., Moku Kitchen, Pitch Sports Bar, Redfish, Sun Tea Mix, and Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room. And mahalo to all of our volunteers! Our cleanup was a success thanks to all of you.
If you’re eager to help out with more cleanups, keep up with the Surfrider Foundation online and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We’re also planning another Our Kaka‘ako cleanup in the fall, so sign up for our emails to get the latest news on upcoming events!