By Don Chapman
Fresh organic vegetables are known to promote health and wellbeing. Healthy persons have more vitality, fewer missed days of work, and less visits to costly health care providers. Imagine being able to walk a short twenty steps to harvest fresh greens, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and cucumbers for a salad at lunchtime! That’s what the Maintenance crew at Kona Hawaiian Resort does. They are using a small plot of land near the Maintenance shack for a sustainable garden.
On Earth Day, they replanted their garden, which will soon be producing an abundance of fresh, healthy vegetables. Having an organic garden on site reduces commercial packaging, shipping, transportation, storage, and labor costs related to supermarket products. Nothing here is wasted. Food scraps are returned to the soil, and there’s a continuous supply of mulch for soil amendment by using grass clipping and green waste from landscaping of the property.
This garden is a small oasis to take a break during the often hectic maintenance schedule. It will be there to provide, as long as we take care of it, just like the Earth.
The Maintenance department crew also spent part of Earth Day reducing electrical energy consumption. The majority of electricity on the Big Island of Hawaii is produced by burning fossil fuel in the form of oil, all of which is imported.
Over the past two years, incandescent light bulbs have been being replaced with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) in public areas and within all of the two-bedroom units. There was still one area that had not been addressed and almost forgotten, the water heater closet. One 60w incandescent bulb is roughly equivalent to what four 14w, CFLs would use in energy consumption. That is four to one! You could light four rooms for the same energy as lighting one room. Eighty-one water heater closet lamps were fitted with new CFL bulbs on Earth Day 2010. They don’t get used often, but a reduction of forty-six watts per lamp will have an impact on the resort’s electric bill and is one small step in helping the planet.