'Earth Day' Celebration Inspires Environmental Awareness

Kim Stempien
Kim Stempien
Claire Steineman
Claire Steineman
Katie Dalgamouni
Katie Dalgamouni

MANOA (KHNL) -- Hawaii celebrated Earth Day 2008 Friday and looks for ways to protect the environment in our island state.

A day-long festival at the University of Hawaii at Manoa continued to go strong into the evening, as the campus and environmental groups showcase products and ideas that could help save our aina.

Friday's festivities included an eclectic mix of music, fun, and of course environmentally friendly products.

Music fills the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus.

This is part of Earth Day celebration, a yearly remembrance to inspire environmental awareness.

"To stop and pause and reflect on wildlife and nature. Realize that our actions really do affect everything else and try to find way where we have the least amount of impact," said Manoa resident Kim Stempien.

Companies showcased their globally-conscious products.

Many of them looking to harness wind and solar power into usable energy.

And this vendor sells environmentally-friendly products you can even wear.

"It's the best quality and it can also be distributed on mass scale with hardly any environmental impact compared to cotton and other crops like that," said John Harper, owner of Herban Development, a hemp clothing company.

Harper says his products can also help save the rainforest.

"And hemp paper, why are we cutting down trees, we could be growing hemp, we don't have to be cutting down 100-year-old trees, we can just grow them in a month, and we can have all our sources for paper and stuff like that," said Harper.

Respect for the aina and protecting our precious environment become especially important living in an island state.

"Really, stop to think before you go and purchase something, do I really need that other material item in my home, do my children really need more toys," said Stempien.

As a mother of a young son, Stempien says she wants do her part to preserve the environment for future generations.

"Now that I have a child, I see how important that is and I want him to be able to see the beauty that we have seen in our lifetime," said Stempien.

The celebration continued with live bands performing until 11 pm.

Even school children got involved with the Earth Day celebration at University of Hawaii at Manoa. Students from Le Jardin Academy in Kailua created "green" and "red" posters. Green ones that look at how we can help save the environment, and red ones that examine the negative impact on the world around us.

"They are about how we want the change to be," said Claire Steineman, a Le Jardin sixth grade student. "A lot of them are about the earth and using bikes instead of cars and stuff like that, and we also have red posters, and those are the things we really stand up for."

"A lot of people poach for the trophies so they put a deer's head on their wall," said Katie Dalgamouni, another Le Jardin sixth grade student. "I'm afraid that if they kill all the animals, my children and grandchildren won't be able to see the things I see today."

Le Jardin students also collected data on how environmentally conscious Hawaii residents are. They have recycling and other "green" programs at their school.