Volunteering as a Remedy for Loneliness

When creating this website I knew I wanted to include a page to list Opportunities to Volunteer.  Supporting the land and water with community has always been an intention with this project.  I wanted to make it easy for people to find opportunities and be able to participate with our local non profits to support them.  What I didn’t realize was how important volunteering is for the individual doing it.

In a recent article I read in Scientific America I found out that volunteering can serve as a remedy to loneliness.  This article revealed that between a quarter to half the population experiences loneliness.  Loneliness can be the precursor to physical and mental issues including heart disease, cancer and depression.  One study found that with as little as 2 hours a week of volunteering, those who felt loneliness had felt relief.  The effects increase as you offer more time to volunteer particularly as we get older.  The demographics for those who feel loneliest are those over 65 years of age and those under 25.  This split in ages makes a great opportunity for elders to teach and mentor younger people as a benefit for both of these groups.

The article also points out how volunteering can bring meaning into our lives.  Giving our lives a sense of purpose increases our sense of well being.  In addition, the increased connections can stimulate brain activity protecting us from cognitive decline.  For all of these reasons volunteering is a great thing for an individual as well as our community at large.

My mother used to say the old proverb,”many hands make light work” to encourage participation in an activity.  I always say, ” If we each do a little, we can do a lot.”  Whether you are choosing to volunteer for the service it provides or for your own well being, know that it makes a big difference for everyone when we connect into our community.

For Opportunities to Volunteer, click Here.

Know a non profit that is Eco-friendly, supports Hawaiian culture or is committed to preservation?  Click Here to get a free listing and placement on our Opportunities to Volunteer page.

Photo from Malama Hana.

Source article from Scientific America Here.


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Going with the Flow on Maui!

As tourism on Maui becomes more and more popular it is important that visitors have an idea of what we are about before arriving. Those of us that live here are here because we love our island. We love that our lifestyle is very different from anywhere else. All of our individual experiences and challenges are what give the people of Maui an abundance of character, color and love.

We are all one, yet unique in our own ways. The people of Maui are a colorful, creative bunch, unlike anywhere else I have been. It brings me great pleasure to celebrate our diverse and rich cultures and gifts.  Sadly, many people will never get to experience Aloha firsthand, whether they come to Hawaii or not. One must be open to receive!

By living Aloha, our visitors can witness what it is to live with kindness and love.  Some of our visitors will “get it” and bring the Aloha back home. What a simple way to promote kindness island wide and globally!

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Mālama ‘āina, One Diaper at a Time

Kōkua Diaper is a Native Hawaiian and ‘ohana-owned cloth diaper service. We are excited to have Maui raised Melelani Jones share with us about her sustainable business she and her husband have brought to Maui:

My name is Melelani Jones and my husband L.a. Jones are the founder and owners of Kōkua Diaper Service. Our story begins in Brooklyn, NY known for its skyscrapers, broadway shows, millions of residents, and not so clean bustling streets. In 2017 I became pregnant with my first keiki and the thought of diapering my keiki and what my options were suddenly became very bewildering.

My mother Carolyn Kuali’I, which by the way had six children and cloth diapered all of us. She is a total superhero to me, said “Mele, you need to cloth diaper your baby!” My first thought was “ok, I got this” but as I started searching on the internet the information was so overwhelming!

It left me with so many more questions and a feeling of “I don’t even know where to start.”

A few weeks later she mentioned that when she cloth diapered us she used a service. My first initial thought was “there is no way shape or form that NYC has a cloth diaper service.”

Immediately after our conversation I got online and googled cloth diaper delivery service and behold there was one located 10 blocks away from me in Brooklyn called Diaperkind! I felt like my prayers were answered and they were!

My husband and I went to a cloth diaper 101 class that they offered and the next day we signed up for service. We loved the fact that they provided everything we needed and laundered all of our lil girl’s dirty diapers and once a week brought fresh clean ones right to our door. It was amazing!

A few months into our diaper service I was so interested and pleased with the service I wanted to see if they had any part-time work available so I could get out of the house being a new mom and still feel connected to the community I lived in. Shortly after that I began working with these wonderful people.

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10 Easy Ways to Help Maui Be Sustainable

Sustainability is a word I often use when I speak of our island home.  It is a term that references the ability or being able to use resources in a way as to not deplete the resources or damage them.  This is a repeatable action that can continue on as nourishing or restorative allowing a way that works continually; therefore being sustainable.

Here we have compiled a list of easy ways to help Maui and yourself be sustainable.  If you are a visitor, feel free to try them on while you are here or see what works for you to help your home environment be more sustainable.

1.  Recycle-  We talk about recycling a lot as a way to support the environment.  This is because the more we can recycle, the less that gets put into our landfill.  Many people don’t think of it that way but whenever you throw a plastic bottle away it can take 450 years to decompose in a landfill.  Or, you can recycle it and regenerate new plastic and protect our land from this accumulation of plastic.  Maui makes it easy by having many locations to recycle and having many recycle bins on local beaches and parks.Maui-Recycling-Service

2.  Support Local Sustainable Businesses-  This one hits home for us because this is basically the premise for our website.  We wanted to support our local businesses by giving them greater exposure.  By supporting these businesses you not only get great service or products but you also get to increase the sustainability of our island.

3.  Ask Businesses for Sustainability-  We all have our favorite places to go whether is be a restaurant or store.  If we ask the businesses that we patronize most to be more sustainable, they may listen and become more sustainable.  Recently I asked a restaurant if they had sustainable practices, I found out that they mostly did; they had local organic produce that they used and environmentally friendly serving containers.  But they had regular use plastic utensils.  I asked if they could use a more renewable utensil and the owner said they would see what was available.  Sometimes it just takes us asking.  And if we are good customers and investing in the business, they are usually happy to hear it.  If many of us request more sustainable options, these businesses will get the message that we care about sustainability.

4. Get a Reusable Water Bottle- Especially here on Maui when we have active lifestyles and warm weather we all need water accessible all the time.  This saves the expense of buying water bottles and saves the environment from those bottles that take hundreds of years to decompose.  As residents, if we each got a reusable water bottle it could save us more than 50 million bottles a year (1 bottle a day X 144,444 residents= 52,722,060 bottles a year).  Help the environment and stay hydrated; win-win.

5.  Participate in Conscious Events-  When looking for activities and events you can choose to participate in those that will support sustainability.  We have many conscious events on our island, something for everyone to enjoy.  You can help with  a beach clean up or support conscious or Hawaiian music by going to a concert.

6. Take Care of Yourself-  This is one that many people don’t think of when talking about sustainability.  But sustainability refers to that which can maintain and nourish.  We frequently allow ourselves to get stressed or skip things that are important for our personal balance and sustainability.  Do you have all of your personal care needs met?  Are you living your life in a way that is sustainable?  You can ask yourself daily:  What do I need to keep myself nourished, cared for or fulfilled?  And what can I release from my life that doesn’t feel good or is unsustainable?  Even a little adjustment in self care can have a big impact on your sustainable well-being.

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Learn Hawaiian Language on Your Phone

Recently the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (the MACC) hosted a free screening of the animated movie “Moana” with Hawaiian language.  All of the songs and dialogue had been translated and dubbed to create a truly unique and beautiful immersion into Hawaiian language or ‘Olelo in Hawaiian.

It was explained in the introduction before the movie that Disney was providing all school districts in Hawaii with the film to be used as an educational tool.  Although the movie does not represent Hawaiian culture specifically, it draws from many Polynesian cultures, it has many references we can relate to from our island culture.  This includes one of the main characters “Maui” that integrated the legend of Maui harnessing the sun.  We are in great appreciation for Disney translating this movie into Hawaiian and for making it available to the children of Hawaii.

During the introduction before the movie, which was spoken in ‘Olelo and English, the presenters encouraged the learning of Hawaiian language and introduced the phone app duoLingo.  This is a free application available on your phone that teaches daily lessons for new or advanced learners.  You are able to set the amount of time you want to spend; from 5 to 20 minutes per day.  This app speaks the language to you and has you match words to English.  Some fundamental understanding of the pronunciation of the Hawaiian alphabet would be helpful before using this app.

The presenters encouraged learning the language as a way to communicate more fully to our Hawaiian community.  This is a wonderful way to honor our host culture whether you are local to the islands or just visiting.  We have no affiliation with this app but we do promote all forms of honor and support for the Hawaiian people.

We hope you enjoy the information we share.  If you would like to volunteer for one of our islands Hawaiian non profits, check out our page Here.  To see Hawaiian businesses you can support, click Here.

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Hawaii Grown Fruit of the Month for May – Ice Cream Bean

Welcome to the “Hawaii Grown Fruit of the Month ” blog series.  This month we are featuring the Ice Cream Bean! If you are not already familiar with it, soon you will be able to identify it, know how to locate some and know what to do with it once you have it.  If you missed papaya being featured last month and would like to get caught up, click here for Papaya!

What is the Ice Cream Bean:
Ice cream bean is a sweet cotton like fruit that tastes like ice cream.  Ice Cream Bean also known as joaquinquil, cuaniquil guama and guaba is native to South America. It grows in the inga edulis tree and is widely used by the indigenous Amazonians for timber, shade and medicine. The tree can reach almost 100 feet in height and forms a broad spreading canopy. This is a perfect tree for producing shade grown coffee.

Where to get Ice Cream Beans:
Farmers Markets, your own yard, the yard of a friend and Hawaii Grocery stores. Plant a seed and have fruit within 4 years. This tree also grows from cuttings. I grew this tree in less than 4 years from a seed that was taken from an ice cream bean that I bought from the store.  I planted several seed they grew quickly as you can see in the photo below the seeds will sprout while still in the fruit. So all that really needs to be done is cover it with soil and keep them from drying out. I kept 3 and gave many more away. This tree grew to about 10 feet in height and began producing fruit in about 3 years.

When to Harvest Ice Cream Beans:
Ice cream bean is technically a legume, the fruit resembles a giant bean pod. The tree is a frequent producer throughout the year in Hawaii and is tolerant of neglected soil. The Ice Cream Bean tree is a nitrogen fixing tree and an abundant producer of large delicious sweet bean pods packed with easy to grow seeds.

How to eat Ice Cream Bean:
Twist the bean open or make a shallow cut down the side and pull it open lengthwise. you will see what looks like a bunch of white cotton inside the cotton are several large, dark brown flat seeds.  Eat the white cotton like pulp and plant the large dark brown seeds quickly. The seeds may have already sprouted inside the fruit, plant it quick while it is viable. The seed in the photo has already begun to sprout while inside the pod and still on the tree. As easily as these food producing trees grow there is no reason for anyone to go without. Plant the seed in a place that can accommodate a very large tree. Because this baby will be providing food for you and all of your friends before you know it.

Why we recommend trying Ice Cream Bean:
The Ice Cream Bean is rich in Vitamins A, B and C, fiber,protein and antioxidants. It has many health benefits from being an anti inflammatory food, immune booster and an antioxidant.

Find local farmers markets here and local grocery markets here.

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Maui’s Surf History- Hang Loose Surf Club

Hang Loose Surf Club is Maui’s most authentically Hawaiian local surf school. Located in historic Lahaina across from the Banyan tree, Hang Loose Surf Club features extremely talented surf instructors with years of experience in the water.  Here Hang Loose Surf Club shares some Hawaiian surf history with us.

The art of surfing — known as he’enalu or “wave sliding” in the Hawaiian language — is central to Polynesian culture and predates European contact. For Ancient Hawaiians, it wasn’t just a mere sport or recreational activity. Instead, it was integrated into daily life and culture.

Before entering the ocean, a priest would aid surfers in undertaking the spiritual ceremony of constructing a surfboard. They would carefully select a tree, including koa, ‘ulu and wiliwili trees, and select craftsmen would shape, stain, and prepare the board. There were three primary shapes: the ‘olo, kikio ‘o, and the alaia.

The most skilled surfers were often of the upper class or pastors, including chiefs and warriors who surfed the best waves on the island. It was through their ability to master the waves that they gained respect.

Around the beginning of the 20th century, Hawaiians close to Waikiki revived surfing and re-established it as a sport. Duke Kahanamoku, “Ambassador of Aloha,” Olympic medalist and avid surfer, helped expose it to the world. People have been flocking to Hawaii to experience surfing ever since!

Abner Nakihei Jr. is Native Hawaiian and the owner of Hang Loose Surf Club.  Surfing allows him to share his Hawaiian culture with people from all over the world.  “I absolutely love teaching families and kids, and it’s important to me that you have a good time and feel comfortable surfing” states Nakihei.  Hang Loose Surf Club gives you the best Hawaiian surfing experience!

Check out Hang Loose Surf Club Here.

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Heart Path Journeys- Eve Hogan interviews Hoku

Enjoy a conversation with Eve Hogan, owner of Heart Path Journeys, and intuitive energy practitioner Hoku.  This interview shares about getting guidance, moving forward in your life and being an empath.

Check out Heart Path Journeys Here.

Check out The Sacred Garden Here.

Check out Hoku at Real Life Support Maui Here.

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ConsciousMaui.com Surf and Weather Forecast Explained


ConsciousMaui.com posts a Surf and Weather Forecast everyday on Twitter , Facebook and on our Maui Surf & Weather page.

Our compact forecast takes a no-nonsense approach and is packed with all the important information you need – whether you are new or seasoned pro in the sport of surfing, windsurfing or kite-boarding or if you simply want to know if it is a good day to go swimming, snorkeling, SUP’ing etc.

Here is a short explanation post for those new to surf, wind and water sport forecasts. We promise – it’s super easy and your friends will be impressed when you speak “Surf Forecast” : )


Twitter Handle:
That’s our “username” on Twitter. It is also part of our Twitter URL. “https://twitter.com/ConsciousMaui“.

You can use our Twitter handle if you want to include us in a post of your own. For example: “Loving Maui. Getting some Organic Food before going to the Beach. Thank you @ConsciousMaui for telling me where to go”

Forecast Area:
Maui beaches are referenced and named by the direction they are facing. North Shore, South Shore, West Side (nobody calls it West Shore for some reason) and East Side (often referred to simply as “Hana Side”). You will also hear “Upcountry” obviously not relevant to a surf report : )

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Hawaii Grown Fruit of the Month for April – Papaya

Welcome to our “Hawaii Grown Fruit of the Month” Blog series.  Hawaii is an amazing place to have an adventure. Wherever we go and whatever we do there is always a first time and a first impression. Experiencing new foods is no exception. There is some pretty unique looking fruit available on the islands, I encourage you to explore the fun and exciting realm of exotic fruit. This blog is new to 2019, to learn more about last month’s featured fruit, Lilikoi, click here.

The first time I had papaya I was very young, and to me it tasted terrible. Years later I tried it again and meh. I didn’t love it but knowing it was healthy – I ate it.  Then, I got to Hawaii and re-discovered Papaya to be one of my favorites. The point I am making is that our taste buds change and no two fruits, even from the same tree, taste exactly the same.  As far as knowing what to expect, know this,  papaya can be pretty inconsistent. Please let me share some of what I have learned about papaya.

What is Papaya:
Papaya fruits vary greatly in shape, size, and flavor. They can be round or oblong and weigh between 1/4 pound and 12 pounds.

Where to get Papaya:
Farmers Markets, Roadside fruit stands, Grocery stores, Neighbors or in your own yard.

When to Harvest Papaya:
Papaya is a fast growing plant that is easily grown from seed. Some varieties will reach 30’ in height and provide fruit in as soon as 6 months. One plant will produce almost year round for up to 3 years at which time the plant will become so tall that harvesting will no longer be convenient. For this reason it is important to continue planting those seeds in order to maintain a consistent rotation of delicious papayas.

How to eat Papaya:
The papaya should be firm and give slightly to pressure. Cut the papaya in half long ways. Scoop the seeds out. You can eat the seeds, they have a peppery flavor and are great for digestion. The papaya can be eaten with a spoon using the skin as a bowl or peeled and cut into slices or chunks. Compost the skin, and eat, blend or plant the seeds. Enjoyable blended in smoothies or on its own.

There are several varieties of papaya and often even 2 papaya from the same tree will taste different. This is one of those foods that may need to be tried and tried again because you never know what you are going to get.  If your papaya tastes a little to flowery, squeeze some lime juice over the fruit.  Mmmm, delicious!

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  • About our Blog


    Here we offer consciously curated information to educate and inspire. Our conscious businesses submit articles, photos, videos and information. We also create pieces that will inform about Maui's current condition, future possibilities and how our island home is evolving in its sustainability.

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