Sunday, October 14, 2012

BLUE HAWAII - Green and Yellow and Clean

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to the state of Hawaii as the guest of my sister and brother-in-law. Gay and Stu had been there before, but they gave me the experience of seeing that far off land I’d never seen and will not likely see again. The plane trip is far too hard to get over. 

We arrived in Honolulu and stayed one night in a hotel across the street from a beautiful Hilton. Because of my problems with indoor air pollution, I dreaded entering the Ramada Inn, thinking they would likely have sprayed chemical fragrance in their lobby and in the rooms. But I was surprised to find the hotel smelled clean -- not artificially deodorized with chemicals. No scented soap or personal body care products bothered me in the room. My first impression of Hawaii was great.

We flew to the island of Kauai the next day. We arrived at the airport in Lihue. My hosts said this was the least commercialized of all the islands. I loved the drive to the Marriott on Poi Pu Beach. Tall grass grows wild on the roadsides. I was told it was cane grass or buffalo grass. We passed wide open green fields with fat cows and sleek horses. We drove through a tunnel of trees and some small towns before reaching the coast. So much green, so many shades of green, and I didn't see one beer can on the side of the road.

It seems the residents of Kauai know the value of a clean ocean, clean air to breath and the natural world in which their native people depended upon for many generations. Never have I seen people so dedicated to recycling and caring for the environment.  

Plastic bags are banned on Kauai. 
Can you imagine that? If a store uses bags, they use paper and it is plainly printed on the side, Recycle.
I found the best method of recycling is a little fabric item called a market bag made by a lady selling them in a booth. It unzips and opens to a bag as big as one of the tote bags we find at the grocery store. This market bag can easily be refolded, zipped and carried in my purse so I will have it with me all the time. I wish I had bought several of them. 

Some retail stores in Kauai don’t offer bags at all. If you buy a blouse, you take it home in your hands – no plastic to fill the landfills and clutter the rivers, streams and oceans. Coincidentally, I heard tonight that our oceans are so dirty, oysters are dying out. The oyster farmer said this is like the canary in the coal mine. If the oyster goes, other things dependent on clean water will go also. Yes, I know he didn't say it was plastic in the water that was harming marine life, but all the junk adds up.

sunset on Poi Pu Beach

Gratefully, I breathed in the ocean air of Kauai and gazed on the blue water as I watched birds, some familiar, but most unfamiliar, in the sky, on the ground, and lighting in boughs of yellow and orange hibiscus bushes, and the multitude of flowering shrubs everywhere. 
It was easy to forget my responsibilities and worries. I couldn't have been more removed from reality--unless I had landed on the moon. 






11 comments:

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm so glad you had a good time Glenda. That's very nice of Gay and her husband.

It's interesting about the bags. In France you are expected to bring your own bags. Usually in Provence, it's a big straw shopping bag. At the supermarkets you pay for your cart outside the store with a euro, then when you return the cart, your euro is refunded. No carts scattered willy-nilly in the lot or taken home. Everything is neat and orderly. I wish our stores would try that here. I bring my bags most of the time and don't mind at all. We have a long way to go in the states as far as saving our landfills.
Sam

DJan said...

In Bellingham, Washington, we have banned plastic bags too. When you go to the store you pay for a paper bag if you need one, but if you don't have your own and don't want to pay, you walk out with the stuff you bought in hand. Almost everyone has at least one nylon bag in their purse or pocket. :-)

Ellen said...

Wonderful post, Glenda. I'm glad that you didn't have a problem with your allergies at the hotels and I hope that folks in our area will be inspired to go green more and more and use less and less plastic.

Abbie Taylor said...

Hi Glenda, it sounds like you had a nice trip. Did it inspire anmy writing? I wrote a poem about the last time I visited my brother in Jupiter, Florida, near the Atlantic Ocean. You can read it on my blog at http://abbiescorner.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/a-visit-to-the-atlantic-coast/.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of
We Shall Overcome
and
How to Build a Better Mousetrap:
Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
http://abbiescorner.wordpress.com

Glenda C. Beall said...

Hi Sam, DJan, and Ellen and thanks for your comments. As I talk to people about the ban on plastic bags, I hear of more places in the U.S. that have done something similar. I'd love to see our beautiful mountains clean of plastic, litter on the roads, and our streams protected.
And I really wish we could ban the artificial scents. I went to a cute little area of shops today, but could not go in and look because the sickening scents of artificial fragrance took my breath away.

Oh, how I wish we could end indoor air pollution.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Wonderful posting, Glenda. I know how you feel regarding fragrances. I'm glad Writer's Circle is a fragrance free zone. I enjoyed Will Wright's workshop very much on Saturday.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bgabriel said...

So glad you enjoyed yourself, and happy that Hawaii proved itself to you by not being a bother to your chemical sensitivity. That must be frightening and frustrating to try to anticipate what could happen! On the reusable bags idea, Portland OR also banned the plastic, so I keep a half dozen of the totes in my car, on my bicycle, etc so I always have one with me.

bgabriel said...

So glad you enjoyed yourself, and happy that Hawaii proved itself to you by not being a bother to your chemical sensitivity. That must be frightening and frustrating to try to anticipate what could happen! On the reusable bags idea, Portland OR also banned the plastic, so I keep a half dozen of the totes in my car, on my bicycle, etc so I always have one with me.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Brenda, I'm glad you enjoyed Will's class at Writers Circle. He is very knowledgeable, isn't he?
Thanks for your comment.

Glenda C. Beall said...

Barbara, it seems the west coast is far ahead of the rest of the country in protecting our land, streams and air. I can see you riding your bike with your tote bags. I'm so glad you like your new home.