Sustainability Matters … with Christian Palmer

Members of the Windward Community College Sustainability Hui work on various projects throughout the year -Christian Palmer

Windward Community College Student Sustainability Hui

The Windward Community College Sustainability Hui is a small but dedicated group of students that works to help our college be more environmentally friendly.

The focus of the Hui is on practical, hands-on projects that will make an immediate difference on campus. Each year, the students choose one or two projects, research the problems and then develop and implement action plans based on their research.

Last academic year, the students focused on improving recycling. First, they researched the problem by mapping out all of the recycling bins on campus and then presented a plan to the Campus Sustainability Committee. Once their plan was approved, the students worked to implement the plan. This included an educational campaign with stickers, emails and flyers as well as installing wire recycling baskets on all of the trash cans on campus.

This year, the Sustainability Hui has painted all of the storm drains on campus to educate the community that these drains go to the ocean and to avoid dumping waste or trash in the drains.

The Hui is also currently researching ways to reduce waste on campus by researching what we throw away, how much that waste costs and what some potential solutions are to decreasing the amount of waste generated on campus.

In addition, the Sustainability Hui participates in monthly service  projects with local community and non-profit organizations like Paepae o He‘eia, Papahana Kuaola, and Hui o Ko`olaupoko.

These opportunities can fulfill service-learning on campus and connect students with some of the incredible organizations at work in the community.

They also provide ways for students to get outside and learn more about our local ecosystems and traditional cultural knowledge.

Finally, we go on hikes once a semester to get outside and enjoy the beautiful place in which we live. Enjoying and appreciating nature is a great way to get excited about sustainability and to remember why this work is important.

Students, faculty and staff are all invited to participate in the Student Sustainability Hui. We usually meet on Friday mornings to plan and then on some Saturdays to do service projects, hikes and to implement our sustainability projects on campus.

If you are interested in participating or learning more, email me at