Aloha from the green island of Oahu!
Find out how you can take individual action, Big and Small, to combat climate change
Why I started this blog:
Aloha! My name is Liz. I am a mom of two boys, a wife, and an internal medicine physician. We are so lucky to live in the city of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, in the state of Hawaii. I’m worried about the planet we are leaving to our children! I wanted to create a website to catalogue our family’s progress to a greener island life. I wanted to create what I was looking for online: a comprehensive list of things I could do everyday (as a busy working mom) to help our planet.
Alone in the Pacific:
Like many of you, I am so very concerned about climate change. It wasn’t until I had children and moved to the most isolated island chain in the world that the impact of where and how I live really, truly, deeply began to sink in.
(You know the facts, but a good refresher is this simple primer on climate change from a recent New York Times article.)
In August 2018, when Category 4 Hurricane Lane was headed straight for our island, the stores emptied of drinking water and canned food, the gas that is shipped across the ocean was pumped into all of our cars, and the container ships that bring us all of our vital supplies left our ports for open waters.
We were alone in the Pacific, 2,471 miles from the mainland of the United States. High winds and a huge storm surge were predicted. If the storm had hit us, where would we drive to in our cars? What would we eat when our hurricane supplies ran out? How would we survive when Waikiki beach and our shores flooded inland, bringing water and sewage and wreckage? Where would our homeless and elderly population go?
Thankfully, the storm veered off course, but the near miss jolted me awake about so many things related to our green little island and its place in our big blue planet: our food supply, our infrastructure, our dependence on the mainland, our resiliency and community and the future for our kids (“keiki” in Hawaiian). If our future means rising waters, stronger hurricanes, hotter summers, and more uncertainty: what could I do as one individual? What could my impact mean to our island and our planet?
Then, on the week of my son’s 10th birthday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a devastating report. You’ve read the summary: As early as 2045 we can expect to see the consequences of a 1.5° Celsius rise in temperature unless we turn this around. Unfortunately, this seems to be politically unlikely. I started reading about individual changes, big and small. I wanted to create a comprehensive resource, with deep dives into some of the suggestions and deep dives into changes my family makes.
I am hoping this blog inspires YOU to make change: it has to start with individual action, big and small, every day.