An experiment in conscious living.


About This Project

The Experiment. After two years of dishing eco-living advice in the form of the “Get Your Green On” column for the Big Island Weekly, it’s finally time to put my feet where my pen was. It’s time to live by example the life I pushed on everyone else.

Sure, I’ve been recycling since before the HI-5 incentive and granola has been a favorite breakfast food of mine for decades, but I must confess to never having done an energy audit, biked to work or started a garden. Over the next year, I will challenge myself to walk the talk and determine once and for all if a sustainable island lifestyle is indeed attainable.

The Commitments. The easiest way to get to a more sustainable lifestyle is one step at a time. Enter Kanu Hawai`i. Kanu Hawai`i is a social movement that practices island-style activism — changing ourselves first, then leading by example — to transform Hawai`i into a model of economic resilience, environmental sustainability and compassionate community.

Each day of 2010 will dawn on a new commitment for me, and anyone else who wants to join in the experiment.  .  .  you’re all invited!  Together the actions we take — from the small and temporary to the large and permanent — will represent the type of lifestyle changes we will have to make to achieve a sustainable future.

As we move forward throughout this year you can expect these commitments to become more difficult. Still, don’t feel intimidated. You are free to participate in as little or as much as you like. Though I must warn you, it can be addictive. You might start out grocery shopping with a reusable tote, but don’t be surprised if you wind up gardening and driving a hybrid.

The Test. In my years of trying to convince people to care, I found that if you simply ask the question, “What would you do if the barges stopped coming to Hawai`i?,” you can engage almost anyone in a conversation about sustainable living. In an instant, they understand the importance of building a more self-reliant and resilient community. It then becomes the ultimate test of whether or not these commitment-induced lifestyle changes will make us more sustainable.

Beginning May 1, 2010, I will go for 171 days living as if the boats did stop shipping to Hawai`i — this in honor of the people who endured a dock strike that began May 1, 1949 and lasted that same number of days. The project will end with a  period for myself, and all those who participated, to reflect on the journey and consolidate the collective wisdom we’ve attained.

About TheEcoBoss

Who is TheEcoBoss?  I am Keana Okuda, designer, writer, entrepreneur and founder of  Born and raised on the Island of Hawai`i and a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in LA, I have been conscious of social and environmental problems my whole life.  For the past five years, I have dedicated myself to researching and writing about these issues and now I am focused on finding solutions.  As a member of Kanu Hawai`i — a non-profit organization that inspires islanders to create positive change — I realized what I have to offer the movement.  This multi-media project is the next step; it is an invitation to join me in living an examined life for the benefit of all.

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