What can you do to live more sustainably? An online dashboard offers answers

What can you do to live more sustainably? An online dashboard offers answers
An interactive online dashboard maintained by Hawaii Green Growth is aimed at highlighting key goals -- and what just about everybody can do to help the state meet them. (Source: Hawaii Green Growth)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Climate change can sometimes seem not only huge but inevitable. And with each new headline or scientific prediction, the situation appears to get worse.

It’s that kind of thinking that Hawaii Green Growth is trying to deter.

Climate change is certainly a big problem, the organization says, but it’s not one without solutions that everyone can contribute to making into a reality.

To help policymakers, businesses, community leaders and regular folks figure out what those solutions look like ― and what they can do to help ― Hawaii Green Growth maintains an interactive online dashboard that monitors sustainability goals and the state’s progress in meeting them.

The goals are modeled after the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

There are goals that focus on energy, local food production and consumption, natural resource management, solid waste reduction, sustainable communities, and a green workforce and education.

Chelsea Harder, Hawaii Green Growth’s dashboard coordinator, said the tool isn’t for finger-pointing. “This is what we all need to do together,” she said. “It’s really one-stop-shop for sustainability data.”

So how is Hawaii doing on those sustainability goals? It’s a mixed bag.

The dashboard says we’re on track to meet the goal of increasing renewable energy in the electricity sector to 40% by 2030, and Hawaii is making progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

But the state still has work to do to dramatically reduce the volume of petroleum used in ground transportation. In 2017, some 516 million gallons of petroleum were used for personal and commercial vehicles. By 2030, Hawaii’s target is to get to 165 million gallons.

The dashboard doesn’t just present the goal, though, it offers some solutions.

For example, it suggests everybody work on reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled in a given year. And of course, it notes that switching to electric vehicles could move the needle.

Harder said the dashboard is designed to empower residents with information.

Hawaii Green Growth, an organization that’s partnered with public and private entities, is also working to showcase projects underway in the community that are addressing the climate change goals.

“We’re essentially the glue that connects all of these different groups,” she said, adding that the target date for the goals is 2030. “This is going to be the decade of action.”

To explore the dashboard, click here.

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