HONOLULU (KHON2) — Five hundred volunteers and 3,000 pounds of rubbish.
That was the result of a few hours of work on Saturday at the Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s Kaimuki Cleanup Festival, where volunteers spread out as far as the eye could see — from Koko Head Avenue all the way down to Saint Louis School.
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“We just want to help our community and not like — get trash in the ocean so the turtles and fish don’t get sick,” young volunteer Parker Mikel said.
Parker was among many keiki who were given educational opportunities about how to sustainably consume goods and care for Hawaii’s environment.
“Great opportunity to teach them to care for our community and our aina,” Parker’s dad Brian said.
Within shouting distance of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, students also made the trek to help.
“We both go to UH. I study natural resources and environmental management,” said Savannah Crosby alongside Maile Coberly.
“I study marine biology and we really care about it,” said Coberly.
Volunteers were provided with reusable bags and gloves to pick up rubbish. Things like cigarette butts clogged many bags, but bizarre items like toilets were also found.
“We’re cleaning up the streets we’re going to the hotspots in sort of our urban-ish area and picking up. We found some beer bottles and styrofoam cups and — just cleaning up and making it more pleasant to live here and walk around.” Kaimuki resident Becky Gardner said.
Palolo Stream was also a popular spot to canvass, as staff and volunteers sought to keep rubbish out of the ocean.
“We want to start moving our solutions to be more upstream so we always talk about collecting marine debris off of the coastlines in Hawaii where it’s washing in but how do we stop it before it gets to that point,” SCH communications & outreach manager Monica McLenigan said. “That starts in our own homes but we can also intercept it along the stream in the streets before it can even get out into the ocean.”
The event was also attended by KHON2 to celebrate Nexstar’s Founder’s Day celebration for the station’s parent company, Nexstar.
Vendors lined the grass at Aliiolani Elementary School, providing education and goods that harmonize with SCH’s mission.
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