Families, friends come together at zero-waste Hoʻolauleʻa


Photo by Savannah Rose Dagupion

Sophomore Berilyn Lau mans one of the zero-waste stations at the 16th Annual Kamehameha Maui Hoʻolauleʻa. This year’s event had a zero-waste goal, with all food service take-out items being compostable.

Like every year, there was a variety of food, entertainment, and vendors today at the 16th annual Kamehameha Schools Maui Hoʻolauleʻa, but one element that made this year’s event special was that it was a zero-waste event.

There were zero-waste stations placed all around the high school campus. Student staff were assigned shifts to watch the stations and help people place their trash into the correct one of four bins: food, other compostable items like paper and cardboard, traditional recyclables like plastic, and non-recyclable items.

Everything was bundled in biodegradable corn starch-based trash bags and sent for the appropriate type of removal. Food and compostables will be composted on campus and used on campus as well.

“I think that the introduction of these different types of waste removal systems is a good step into making our campus more sustainable,” junior Logan English said. 

Hoʻolauleʻa had lots of old and new features.

Food trucks like Moʻono, Fat Chickʻs Burgers, Sumo Dogs, Pastele House and more came to sell local favorites. 

“The food is the main reason Iʻm here! Moʻono, Fat Chickʻs fries, and mud pie are my go-tos,” freshman Makaha Pang said.

Groups such as Nā Wai ʻEhā, Kula Kiʻekiʻe Hawaiian Ensemble / KPHOA, and Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi provided great Hawaiian music and dancing for everyone to enjoy, and even local storyteller Kathy Collins took a turn at the mic to entertain people with her comic talents. 

Nā Wai ʻEhā perform for the Hoʻolauleʻa crowd.
Nā Wai ʻEhā perform for the Hoʻolauleʻa crowd.

“I like that the entire school can come together and participated in fun activities, and that people outside of our school can experience what Kamehameha Schools Maui is like,” 6th grader Sara Stupplebeen said. 

One obstacle at Hoʻolauleʻa today was the weather. It was so windy and rainy that tents and bouncy castles started to fly away. Volunteers and operations staff alleviated the situation by taking down inflatables and some tents so no one would get hurt. However, this didn’t stop people from having a good time, and eventually the weather did clear up at about 11 a.m.

“Despite the weather, everybody seems happy, and the shopping is robust. Seems like everybody is having a great time” said Mrs. Angie Abe, high school art teacher.  

Other than food and entertainment, there were a lot of shopping opportunities and activities. The silent auction, rummage sale, vendor village, and country store brought in a lot of the community. There was even a selfie museum where anyone could go in and take pictures in front of fun, beautiful backdrops for five scrips. The Hawaiian 4 and 5 Class also staged Hawaiian demonstrations near the CRB Learning Center where they did paʻi ʻai and ʻohe kapala. 

Mia Symonds poses for a picture at the selfie museum.
Mia Symonds poses for a picture at the selfie museum.

“Besides the wind, it’s going pretty good. I love the selfie museum so much! It’s a really cute place to take pictures,” senior Mia Symonds said.

Hoʻolauleʻa has always been a big occasion that is the main fundraiser to support student activities, like field trips, convention trips and Project Grad.

Today, hundreds of staff and students worked collectively with a positive mindset to achieve the goals of the event. 

“As a person who captures Hoʻolauleʻa through my lens, it is great to see so many faces enjoying the festivities and spending time with friends and family while coming together to get closer and have fun,” said Hezekiah Kapuaʻala, junior and videographer.