Tips for Being Mindful of Nature and Others While Visiting Maui
One thing is for sure practicing mindfulness makes us all feel better. There are so many ways to be mindful. We can be mindful of nature, the safety of animals, the health of our environment and of course we can all be considerate and mindful of one another. We are all deserving of respect and mindfulness. No one is better than anyone else we are all here together so let’s make the best of it. Here are a few ways to take care of the land, nature and each other on Maui.
1. Stay on the trails. This is for your safety and the protection of nature. Many of the trails on Maui are very challenging on their own. Our mud is thick and slippery so wear good hiking shoes, take a good look at those shoes and know they will never look the same after they get stained with Maui mud. Hiking poles may also be your friend when adventuring here.
2. Keep your vehicle on the road. Unless pulling over for emergency vehicles or to allow faster traffic to go by. Let’s keep the cars on the road in order to protect natural habitat and plant life.
3. Take ownership of your garbage – Take your trash with you. If it can be carried in, it can be carried out. Isn’t it nice to experience a pristine natural view? When going on adventures around the island you may see something that was accidentally dropped by someone ahead of you. GO ahead and pick it up because somewhere along the way you have also accidentally left something behind that had to be disposed of by another.
4. Respect Animals – Observe wild animals from a distance as to not upset or disturb them. The Hawaiian Monk seal may look like a harmless creature but it can inflict quite a nasty bite if it feels threatened. Our beach is the seal’s bedroom, this is where they come to sleep, so if you come across a resting seal move away quietly. NOAA, The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association, recommends maintaining a distance of 150 feet away from the seals.
5. Show love for plants and trees. Plants and trees have feelings too. Please refrain from carving your name, initials or anything else into the trees and bamboo. Imagine how much lovelier it would be if this were to stop.
6. Shop with reusable cloth bags – never settle for single use plastic. Many stores on Maui sell these amazing souvenir shopping bags. And the reusable nature of these bags makes them not only a usable keepsake but they are great for the environment in that they don’t go straight to the landfill after a single use.
7. Bring your own travel mug for coffee or other beverages instead of using single use cups. Those single use cups will still be on the island long after you are gone.
8. Cigarette etiquette – If you must smoke be mindful of where your secondhand smoke is going. There are many health conscious people living on and visiting Maui. Many people come here to get well and breathing second hand smoke is not part of any healthy lifestyle. Kindly keep the smoking to a minimum and keep track of your cigarette butts and dispose of them properly.
9. Traffic – There are many short term visitors and many long term residents living on the island. We are all going different places at different times. Some are wanting to relax and take in the views and that is great. Some are trying to pick up their keiki (children) on time from school or get to work, that’s okay too. We all just want to get where we are going safely.
-> As the number of cars on the road increases it is important that we show consideration for each other. The roads on Maui can be wet, dark, curvy, and steep sometimes all of those conditions exist simultaneously.
-> When we are not familiar with the roads and have less experience driving in these conditions it can become unsafe. For the safety of all motorists it is recommended to pull over to a safe spot so the faster cars that are able to do the speed limit can go by.
-> Drivers more familiar with the road that are comfortable driving in these conditions, can take the pressure off the slower driver by not tailgating so that driver can have a moment to find a safe spot to pull over so you can go by.
-> Alcohol – Be sober when driving – Do Not Drink and Drive. Let’s make Maui worth remembering for a better reason than getting a DUI or being involved in a crash.
10. Be aware of your surroundings. While taking in the beauty of Maui be mindful of where you are. You may be trying to get that perfect sunset picture and be unaware you placed yourself directly in front of another person wanting to enjoy the same sunset. Notice the others people in the environment and find a space for yourself that doesn’t impede other’s enjoyment.
11. Leave the rocks and the sand with the island. There are laws and curses that will prevent the removal of the natural landscape. Yes “curses” For more info about this read Reasons to leave Maui Rocks and Sand Behind.
Enjoy your time here, no matter how long you stay. Many people have worked hard to preserve the natural wonders of Maui you see before you. We are doing our best and getting better all the time. We appreciate you and thank you in advance for leaving the places you visit on the island a little better than you found them. It is greatly appreciated when good deeds are done. Be the change you want to see in the world. Others will notice your good deeds and follow your lead.