Making Hawaii Sustainable

Our vision is to be part of the effort to create a healthy, ecological, peaceful and economically stable world. We work toward that vision on a local level by taking action to promote, support and advocate for land based sustainable community living in Hawaii.

We were inspired by the eco-activists who are trying to legalize sustainable buildings, communities and living in other parts of America and the world. In turn, we hope the passing of this legislation will be inspirational and used as a precedent for others who are trying to achieve the same goals elsewhere on the planet.

We facilitate networking, communication, information sharing and education among those interested in the vision and goals of sustainable living in Hawaii.

Our methodology is to work closely and cooperatively with each other and with local, state and federal government to resolve issues, and to advocate for new and/or amended laws and codes.

We specifically support and encourage the State of Hawaii’s goal of self-reliance and sustainability. This lifestyle of working together, pooling resources and thereby consuming less is essential to the success of our state becoming more self-reliant on all levels.

A Solution to Global Challenges Now

Sustainable living is vital to solving life-threatening conditions facing the globe right now. We are faced with resource degradation, the breakdown of Earth’s ecological systems, the possibility of climate changes, and social issues such as crime, health and economic crises. Recent scientific and media reports regarding current economic, environmental and social conditions in Hawaii and worldwide show an immediate need to take clear and decisive action on these issues. We believe that time is of the essence, and that this lifestyle is one part of the solution.

Since 2010 we founded the HSCA as an effort to provide a legal foundation for sustainable living communities to become a permitted activity, supported by state and county agencies. We were instrumental in introducing Bill SB2274 to enable innovators and sustainable pioneers to practice and test ways of living that are ecological and sustainable. It would have complemented but would not replace existing zoning codes.

Latest News on Bill SB2274 Relating to Sustainable Living– R.I.P. 

SB2274 Feature Story in the Big Island Weekly

Feature Story in the Big Island Weekly

If it had passed, the Sustainable Living Research Bill would have done the following:

  • Improved our state disaster preparedness by researching and developing practices to alleviate impacts due to a state of emergency
  • Increased real ‘affordable’ and sustainable green housing
  • Increased employment in small business sustainable enterprises
  • Promoted the growth of small locally-owned farms that educate and employ a new breed of young farmers
  • Provided additional protection for consumers from the disruptions in transport of supplies to Hawaii islands
  • Reduced dependence on imports of food and energy by promoting locally sustainable alternatives
  • Alleviated landfill problems by increasing ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle
  • Promoted the development of think tanks focusing on sustainable research and development
    Bring current zoning and land use codes into compliance with local community values

In a travesty of democracy, Senator Malama Solomon (as Chairperson of the Senate Conference Committee) refused to grant SB2274 a hearing by the deadline on Friday April 25th, 2014.  Tragically, our bill was killed after passing through all six Senate and House committees with overwhelming supportive testimony. The purpose of the conference committee is only to resolve which amendments are adopted, and ours were simple.

It should be a formality to give all successful bills a hearing but it isn’t. In Hawaii, the conference committee chairperson gets to decide which bills go forward. All those meetings, phone calls, testimony, discussion, and votes were dismissed at the whim of one person who is given the power of life or death over well-reviewed and well-supported new legislation. This is not democracy. It actually creates a serious and unnecessary time lapse, separating the democratically expressed needs of citizens and the passage of legislation that addresses these needs. When new legislation has been subjected to extensive public and agency review and passed through all Senate and House committees we believe it is too important to be killed by the whim of one person.

Through participation in the legislative process, we have learned how it lags behind changing needs of society and relies upon the public to lead the way in requesting new laws. We therefore urge all of our members to continue their work on the research and development of sustainable living innovations in the faith that legalization will happen and in the knowledge that historically all significant changes in society have come through direct action.

Mahalo to everyone for helping with this initiative! Please stay continue to visit our website and remember that we are open to offers of support of any kind and always welcome new Board members.

The Personal & Political Costs of Trying to Pass this Legislation

Graham Ellis the former President of the HSCA paid a high personal cost in trying to pass this legislation as he noted in an article he wrote for Intentional Community.

Nevertheless he still remains a concerned resident of this island and wrote a recent article on the environmental challenges in Hawaii in the Honolulu Civil Beat.

We Invite Your Participation!

At present, like many of the volcanos in Hawaii, the HSCA is in dormant mode. After the volcano and hurricane shocks of 2014, the County seems to be showing a tiny dose of humanity by seeming to not persecute eco-communities with the same zeal as before. However, the governmental forces that want everyone to live according the the same polluting urban and rural habitats that are deemed ‘legal’ and approved by the County will again start prosecuting eco-communities and individual land owners who wish to live in eco-friendly and sustainable ways that are not ‘approved’ by the government.
At that point, the dormant board and 600 members of the HSCA will be reactivated and we will rise up once again to lobby for changing the over zealous and environmentally damaging zoning laws that govern the way we live in Hawaii and across the USA and elsewhere in the world.
If you would like to get involved, we still welcome your help! Being dormant does not mean being dead! We are still growing and preparing for future legislative actions!
  1. Sign up more members to HSCA. Tell your friends about this site and the work we are doing. The more support we can show, the better. When time comes to send in testimony and speak with Council members we will let you know more details.
  2. Please view our Channel on Youtube. 
  3. Please sign up for our Newsletter and subscribe to our posts, or just check back here for more resources and updates.
  4. If you live in the state of Hawaii in some sort of community or plan to start one we welcome you to complete the HSCA 2014 Intentional Community Survey. This survey will help us to understand the needs of those who wish to live in a community setting in Hawaii.
  5. HSCA Membership. You can help us out by signing up as a member, (see sidebar). As we show that many people support ideas such as sustainable building techniques, building your own home from recycled and local materials, composting toilets and living in community on land.
  6. Donations of any size are also very helpful!  Just click on the Donate button to use Paypal.

We can all gain strength through visiting and networking with other sustainable projects and people throughout the islands. Please connect with us on our Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance Facebook page.