Kokua Hawaii Green Pro­grams Im­press EPA

MidWeek Islander (Windward Oahu) - - Front Page - By PAIGE TAKEYA

For some people, a life­style change can start with swap­ping a plas­tic bag for a re­us­able one. Kim John­son and the Kahuku-based Kokua Hawaii Foun­da­tion truly be­lieve it.

“Some people, they start with the bag, then they start car­ry­ing around the re­us­able wa­ter bot­tle and it just be­comes habit,” John­son said. “Then you start see­ing, ‘Oh wow, I don’t need to take a straw be­cause that’s dis­pos­able; I only use it once,’ or you start think­ing about where plas­tics come in in other ar­eas of your life.”

John­son and mu­si­cian hus­band Jack founded KHF 10 years ago to es­tab­lish en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams in schools and the com­mu­nity. What started with a re­cy­cling pro­gram has ex­panded to in­clude mul­ti­ple projects in­volv­ing thou­sands of stu­dents around the state.

And those out­reach ef­forts have earned the at­ten­tion of the U.S. EPA’s Pa­cific South­west Re­gion, which named the or­ga­ni­za­tion one of its eight 2013 En­vi­ron­men­tal Cham­pi­ons. “The ex­cit­ing thing for us

In ad­di­tion to tend­ing to gar­den crops and re­cy­cling drives via Kokua Hawaii Foun­da­tion pro­grams, area school­child­ren are in­tro­duced to this wig­gly form of com­post. Photo from Natalie McKin­ney.

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