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Sustainability at Hawai'i Community College

Aloha, and welcome to Hawaiʻi Community College's Sustainability page. This page serves as a resource for our Hawaiʻi CC kauhale – students, faculty and staff - as we focus on our campus commitment to sustainability in educational offerings and operations.

Several working groups at Hawaiʻi CC are dedicated to Sustainability, each with its set of focuses and kuleana, or responsibilities:

  1. The Academic Sustainability Committee
  2. The Environmental Sustainability Committee
  3. The Sustainability Initiatives VISTA Fellow Program
  4. Hui Mālama ʻĀina Sustainability RISO (Student Club)
  5. Lā Honua Earth Day Fair Committee

The Academic Sustainability Committee

Since 2018 the Hawaiʻi CC Academic Sustainability Committee has focused its work on SF (Sustainability) Designation for courses and on an ASC (Academic Subject Certificate) in Sustainability. The Committee reports to the Hawaiʻi CC Faculty Senate. Select members of the Committee also represent Hawaiʻi CC on the UH SSCCC (System Sustainability Curriculum Coordination Council).

The Committee has contributed to other campus initiatives, including the Sustainability-themed Kauhale Day Fall 2019, Lā Honua Earth Day Fair, and has put forth faculty resolutions on Maunakea, electric vehicles, and composting. It has supported the formation of the Environmental Sustainability Committee and the Sustainability Initiatives VISTA Program.

Drew Kapp ( and Kristine Kotecki ( serve as Committee Co-Chairs in Fall 2021.


The Environmental Sustainability Committee

Also known as the Kauhale Sustainability Committee, this committee was established in 2020 and focuses its work on campus initiatives including recycling, composting, electric vehicles, a bike share program, county and community partnerships and more. The Committee reports to the Hawaiʻi CC College Council.

Debbie Weeks ( and Kaʻea Lyons ( serve as Committee Co-Chairs in Fall 2021.

Sustainability Initiatives VISTA Fellows Program

Since 2019 our College has been assisted by Sustainability Initiatives VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Fellow Charlotte Cheek, who established the Mālama ʻĀina Sustainability RISO, surveyed students on sustainability, wrote articles on sustainability, worked towards a Waste Audit and Bike Share Program, and helped to create a virtual Earth Week Fair 2020 packet and Lā Honua (Earth Day) 2020 Video. In 2021 Charlotte also has had a role in promoting SF-designation and the Sustainability ASC, and creating sustainability programming for New Student Orientation.

In 2021 she is joined by VISTA Fellow Bethanyjacqueline Kiley. There is a strong focus on food security in their positions, and they have established community partnerships around sustainably-produced food. VISTAs report on overall campus sustainability in conjunction with the UH Office of Sustainability through the creation of STARS (Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System) Reports for Hawaiʻi CC. Both VISTAs serve on the Environmental Sustainability Committee and are also guest members on the Academic Sustainability Committee.

Charlotte Cheek ( is affiliated with the Hilo campus and Bethanyjacqueline Kiley ( with the Pālamanui campus.

Hui Mālama ʻĀina Sustainability RISO

Since 2019 the Hui Mālama ʻĀina Sustainability RISO has engaged students with projects related to sustainability and environmental well-being. Students have participated in a marine debris clean-up and a sustainable farm visit, and anticipate being able to participate in stewardship activities at loko iʻa (fishponds), in loʻi kalo (taro patches), and with dryland forest restoration at Pālamanui in 2021, pandemic conditions permitting.

Drew Kapp ( and Debbie Weeks ( serve as Co-Advisors in Fall 2021.

Lā Honua Earth Day Fair

Each year Hawaiʻi CC celebrates Lā Honua Earth Day in April, coinciding with the Global Earth Day. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaiʻi CC and UH Hilo offered an annual in-person Earth Day Fair and Conservation Career Day in which typically about 1,500 students from K-12 schools, as well as Hawaiʻi CC and UH Hilo, would participate. Noelie Rodriguez (retired), Claudia Wilcox-Boucher and Drew Kapp have served as Hawaiʻi CC Earth Day Fair Coordinators in recent years.

In 2018 former Earth Day Fair Coordinator Noelie Rodriguez shared the importance of the event in this Earth Day 2018 Video.

In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic forced the sudden cancellation of in-person events. Hawaiʻi CC responded by creating a collaborative Lā Honua Earth Day 2020 Video, featuring Hawaiʻi CC and UH Hilo students, faculty and staff responding to the question: What Does Lā Honua Mean to You?

In 2021 Hawaiʻi CC and UH Hilo hosted Earth Day online, including Earth Week for K-12 students, and a virtual, multi-day Lā Honua Symposium for Hawaiʻi CC and UH Hilo students, faculty and staff. Please see the links below to our 2021 Lā Honua Symposium Keynote Presentations.

Drew Kapp ( currently serves as Hawaiʻi CC Coordinator for Lā Honua Earth Day, and Hawaiʻi CC Coordinator for the Lā Honua 2021 Symposium.  Kaʻea Lyons ( served as Earth Week 2021 Hawaiʻi CC Coordinator.

Sustainability Articles & Newsletters

Follow @sustainhawcc on Instagram 

   >>>Related Link: UH System Sustainability Office