New Year, new sustainable goals? One local nonprofit lists easy steps you can make

Local News
Re-use Hawai'i

HONOLULU (KHON2) — With a new year comes new resolutions, and many people are pledging to be more sustainable in 2022. 

Re-use Hawai’i is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing waste and reusing materials for affordable building materials. 

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Organizers say becoming more sustainable is all about taking small steps towards a larger goal.

“Start small and be compassionate with yourself and others,” said Ariana Whalen, Director of Communications for Re-use Hawai’i. “All of our sustainable habits add up to make big changes. Get involved with organizations that are focused on creating a more sustainable future in Hawaii.”

Whalen suggests following the five R’s when starting your sustainable journey.

“Refuse to use single-use items and non-recyclables, reduce your consumption, reuse materials repeatedly, repurpose them when they can no longer be reused for their original purpose, and lastly, don’t forget to recycle,” said Whalen. 

Whalen said following the five R’s might look overwhelming, but she suggests taking it one step at a time.

“Carry a water bottle with you to reduce single-use consumption and stay hydrated,” said Whalen. “Purchase and use reclaimed and secondhand materials from places like Re-use Hawai‘i — it helps reduce waste and creates a more sustainable future.”

You can also donate unwanted material instead of throwing it away in your trashcan or taking it to the dump, along with switching from paper towels to washable cloths and towels. 

Whalen said with the new year comes new DIY projects, which is a perfect time to incorporate new sustainable habits.

“When we start DIY projects and reorganize our spaces, we have an opportunity to rethink waste and see the abundant resources that surround us,” said Whalen. “Reorganizing our spaces clears the way for new and fresh energy, and often items no longer fit in our space. “

Re-use Hawai’i redirects hundreds of tons of waste from the landfills, along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the entire supply chain. 

Whalen said since they are a nonprofit organization, they rely heavily on support and donations from the community.

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She said ways you can help their organization is by donating or buying materials at their retail locations and sharing their organization with friends and family. 

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