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Some pictures taken at the HPA Student Sustainability Congress 2010

Posted by Jessica Kawana, Mililani High School


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HPA Sustainability Congress Summer 2010


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The congress began with a tour of the Energy Lab. I attended this program last year and we got to see the Energy Lab in construction. It was really interesting for me to see the end product of it done so quickly. I also thought the “living building” concept was great! I hope to see more living buildings serving students in the near future. The one thing I disliked about the first day was the video conference in the Energy Lab. It was hard to pay attention to the speaker and I didn’t find it fascinating. I think the many other sleepy eyes I saw would agree.

Jesse Law

The most fun and inspiring workshop I attended was the one lead by Jesse Law. In this workshop he related psychology with sustainability. He used modern day examples to explain that we are missing something in our lives that has made this kind of barrier to taking action to be sustainable. An example he used was FarmVille on facebook.  People spend hours of their time building a virtual farm on facebook that isn’t serving any purpose other than their own entertainment.  If all these FarmVille facebookers were to dedicate all that time, energy, and money (yes, people spend money on that useless online game) to making a real garden/farm in which they can nurish themselves I believe that this world would be a better place.  This has directly affected me beacause my own sister is guilty of playing FarmVille.  Everytime I saw her wasting her life on that rediculous game I would always say, “I will one day secretly monitor your time on this website to see just how many hours you spend doing that, without a doubt in the course of a year you will have logged more than enough hours that could have been spent building and maintaining a real garden at home.” He discussed a lot of other things related to sustainability though it all pretty much focused on how most people view it; what’s the philosophy of the majority of people on earth. What educators have to do is educate and change the perspective of the average guilty person so that we all think sustainably so that our earth can repair the damage done.  His presentation inspired me to want to start a new project at my school that would be, of course, centered around sustainability.  I want to change the perspective of the students at my school so that they want to be more sustainable. This idea is still in the making though I would like to begin it the 2010 2011 school year.

Posted by Taylor Wainani Traub West Hawaii Explorations Academy

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HPA Charlies Angels

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HPA Sustainability Congress, Aquaponics Farm (Steve)

We finally got to our last activity of the day, we stepped out of the bus and smelt the fresh air. As we watched our steps making sure that we don’t step in horse manure, we were surprised with a goat sprinting towards the fence near us. He stuck his head through the opening and stared at us. Everyone was frightened and eventually walked up the stairs to the Aquaponic farm tanks and planting system. There we met a little girl named Rose (the girl in the pink and black striped shirt) , everyone stared at her shirt for a second wondering what was moving inside. As we stood there looking clueless, out came the head of Steve!, Steve is a baby male mongoose he was about 8 inches long and was eventually the cutest thing in the world. He had a small head with soft fur, and he was shy and very energetic. He moved from one end of Rose’s body to the other. Everyone was speechless when we first saw Rose holding him, everyone asked questions like “Doesn’t he bite?”, and made comments like “Oh my gosh!, is that a mongoose?” Rose’s response was “Yes he is my pet, we caught ’em about 3 months ago” Majority of the time Steve hid in Rose’s shirt. He warmed up to us somehow and began crawling on Kimberly’s shoulder, as suspected… she freaked out! She kept screaming “get him off!, get him off!” I then grabbed him off of Kimberly and then held him softly, he was soft and cute! Steve was calm and he didn’t bite anyone since he’s been caught. I gave him back to Kimberly who held him for a minute and then handed him back to Rose. Steve crawled off of Rose and onto her brother Jack (the boy with blonde hair and a black shirt). Jack then held him in his shirt letting Steve crawl around. Everyone said there goodbye’s to Rose, Jack and Steve as we headed to the planting system to finish the tour. Steve made this trip even more fun, I most definitely will not forget about him.

Mahalo nui loa,
Kalamaku Freitas, Ke Kula O ‘Ehunuikaimalino

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The Experience: Sus Con 2010

Ever since I left HPA campus after my first time at the Student Congress on Sustainability in June 2009, I have been looking forward to being sent to this wonderful facility to learn about sustainability, conservation, and to have the wonderful experience of making new friends and creating life long friendships bonded through the passion of keeping our planet green. In May 2010, the headmaster of my school notified that my friend and I would be attending the congress in June 2010. My hopes of attending this wonderful place again now became a reality. I packed my bags and arrived in Kona on June 1 and headed to HPA. I was immediately met by the greetings and hugs from friends I had made from last year’s congress. I also made even more friends from the Big Island and Oahu.
Eventually we had to cut the greetings short and had to get to work to learn more about a sustainable lifestyle and ways to become sustainable. This year, we were fortunate enough to be able to work in the new Energy Lab at HPA. This Energy Lab is completely green. All the materials used to build it were plastic free, chemical free, and they also had to meet specific green standards. Apart from being completely green, the energy lab is beautiful and has technology that is capable of checking CO2 levels in the building, monitoring the electricity flow in the building, and chatting with schools internationally to talk about matters concerning sustainability. Here, we had some lectures, classes, and other various activities.
Throughout my experience at HPA, I attended classes and lectures which explained different people’s view on sustainability as well as their own solutions to the problems associated with global warming. I picked up information that I WILL TRY to apply to my own school. These include aquaponics, hydroponics, hydrogen power, and many more. Along with these classes, we went on excursions around the Big Island. I attended an aquaponics farm and a cucumber and tomato farm. Here, I learned about how they grew their crops and how they built their aquaponics systems. These excursions helped me learn about sustainability in a fun way as well as interacting with other students in Hawaii.
The lectures consisted of video conferences with a school in Australia, video productions to promote a sustainable lifestyle, guest speakers such as Darren Kimura, and other students who spoke about their green teams. Through these lectures, I saw the effects of global warming on different countries, learned about other schools’ green teams, and learned how other people are taking action.
This wonderful experience has shown me why and how we should become more sustainable and green. Although I can only attend this congress once more in my high school career, I can use what I have learned here to spread the word of the global footprint and sustainable methods such as solar, wind, and vermicompost. I hope I will have the opportunity to attend this congress next year in 2011.

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Here are some pictures from the 2010 SusCon

Posted by:
Jared Shimada
c/o 2012

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Connecting the Dots to the Future

So what can I say about this conference, better yet I should ask what can’t I say about the conference. I have never learned so many things in four day then what I have experience here. I went to the conference last year and learned a lot, but this year I learned way more. The first day of the conference was great because it was an opportunity to to hear from other schools and individuals talk about what they are doing to make things “greener” at their schools and homes. It was the next day, however, that really started to open my mind and make me realize things that I never really thought about. The focus this year was more on waste and oil consumption then anything else. That night we even got to preview a new system that can measure the global footprint index, created by Mathis Wackernagel. I learned so many facts and figures that were not only shocking but a little depressing. This idea would show up later in the conference as well.

My first workshop was on hydrogen power. Grant Mitchell made a version of a hydrogen powered engine and now his van gets 4-5 more miles per gallon then before. Not to mention his vehicle runs a lot better and there is less CO2 going into the atmosphere. This is an example of how to reduce your carbon footprint and have less dependence on foreign oil. The next workshop was on making your our natural fertilizer from organic materials. When I first saw this on my paper I thought about cow manure. However, when we got to the workshop I quickly learned that this was just an easy way to make good fertilizer from common ingredients. The idea was put in place to make it easier for developing countries with a large population, like Korea, to make lots of food that grows well. Workshop three was about jobs that pertain to the field of environmental sciences. The fourth workshop was on “Closing the Loop,” or realizing where our materials actually come from and how much oil it takes to get to us.

After lunch was when I got to go back up to HPA’s super cool million dollar green building and have a workshop up there. Dr. Bill Weicking talked more about the global footprint index and we did an experiment with different countries and saw how they were doing based on the terms presented by the index.

Also learned by Michael Franklin about the politics of waste and how to make worm composting and an engine that runs off of vegetable oil.


For my excursion day I got to go to a hydroponics farm, Kawamata Farms and the Friendly Aquaponics Farm, which in my opinion is the face of the future of farming. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Then we ame back to HPA to plant trees and pull weeds.


I think the reason I continue to come to the Sustainability Conference is because I am so passionate about nature and where it is headed. I love to take hikes and go diving and would like that to be available for my children and grandchildren and so on. I learned so many facts that get me all worked up and excited about helping the environment now and as a career later. I think it is important to educate everyone about what is going on, especially the young, and get them interested in reducing, reusing, and innovating.


“Make the obvious reality.”

“Technology doesn’t just need to take.”

“Our world has enough for each person’s need, but not for his greed.”- Gandhi

Posted By: Quitney Price, Kealakehe High School

This is us at HPA planting trees.

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Sustainability Conference (suscon) Craze

We’re going to save the world!!!! At Hawai’i Preparatory Academy (HPA) on The Big Island of Hawaii, high school students from Maui, Oahu, The Big Island and Colorado came together to help the Aina be more sustainable.
I have been attending this conference for the past two years. This year was probably the most interesting and the most fun. The workshops were better than the past two years.

This year there were several new workshops. One of the workshops that I really enjoyed was the “Fuel from Water:Hydrogen Booster” class. This class gave valuable information about using hydrogen to power your car. I learned that a car runs smoother on hydrogen than oil and it increases fuel efficiency . The amazing thing about converting your car to run on hydrogen is that you will be helping yourself and the world!!!! It only costs $500-$600 to convert your car to run on hydrogen. You will be making all that money back in less than a year. You will be seeing less of the gas station. The instructor Grant Mitchell converted his van to run on hydrogen fuel. His van is now a hybrid and runs smoother. This inspired me to convert my car to run on hydrogen!!!! SAVE MONEY, REDUCE CO2, and SAVE the world!!!

This conference is fun and at the same time educational. You meet new people that have the same drive as you to help global life! Do you have the drive?? Want to feel the craze? Come on over!! 🙂

posted by-
Micah Ramos
Kea’au High School
Home of the Cougars!

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