Hongwanji Mission School is teaching a new curriculum and fitting with Earth Day on April 22nd.

Head of School Dave Randall, “From our preschool through our 8th graders, we have multiple initiatives in place, such as hydroponics and vermicasting with our middle school students, and the worm dirt is then used in our garden.

We are growing our own wauke and dye plants for our annual Kapa-making projects led by 4th grade.

In addition, our middle school students have a garden growing multiple kinds of edibles that is they can take home.

The produce and plants in the garden vary by season.

Thanks to our partnership with Sodexo, our lunches often highlight other fresh, locally grown produce.

“We have a large compost patch on campus  and a small amount of food scraps, shredded paper, and yard clippings go there for middle school students to maintain.  Finally, in 2017 we began using Malama Eco Products in the cafeteria, including the Malama trays, bowls, plates, utensils and take-out containers. That decision was both a win win for the environment – everything is compostable – and from a financial standpoint, overall the paper goods and utensils cost no more than the styrofoam products we no longer use.”

We also asked why it’s important to model sustainable behavior, “We are an island state, and so I think everyone is very aware of what we use, what we throw away and how we maintain the beauty of Hawaii. We are all in this together. And that is why we’ve made it a focus here at Hongwanji Mission School to not just teach sustainability, but to live it.  Parents have been very supportive of the school’s move toward healthier options and eco friendly products in the cafeteria.  Parents and children are more in tune with using locally sourced foods and products that are friendly to the environment, in fact they expect it.”

Dave Pang is the owner of Malama Eco Products and they quickly hit it off and realized sustainable products and schools could easily go hand in hand.

”Our kids played basketball together.  We had a BBQ at our house and were using Malama products. We started talking about how I felt I needed to give something back to our community, and keep Hawaii the way it looked like when I was growing up, so I created Malama Eco Products. Dave said, “These can’t be eco friendly, they don’t fall apart like every other eco product I’ve tried.” I gave him some samples and the pricing and he was surprised at how affordable it was. He and Hongwanji are so committed to sustainability, and I’m so happy we can help each other meet our goals for a sustainable Hawaii.”

Malama Eco Products are available at a store near you.

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