Tourism to Maui has rebounded from the pandemic with around 1.86 million total visitors* to the island in 2021 alone. Yet with all of these visitors returning to our island shores, what’s most important now is maintaining the critical balance between tourism and what’s sustainable for Maui’s delicate ecosystems and resources. Here’s how we can work together
In the Hawai’ian language, there is a word known as “mālama” which means to care for or to take care of by ways of serving, honoring, preserving and protecting.
“Mālama” isn’t just a word, it’s a heart-based relationship that is cultivated and grown for a deeper, stronger bond between people and place (the island of Maui) — every time you serve.
When you are of service and ‘give back’ — to the land, the ocean, the wildlife, the forest, the community — you’re playing a vital role within the whole interconnected circle of life. You’ve also formed a much deeper heart-connection and bond with the island itself, which allows the island to then give back and open up her own natural beauty and gifts to you, as a reciprocal relationship.
You see, Maui is not just a piece of land — she is her own living, breathing sentient being, alive and full of ‘mana’ (spirit) and in need of your care (“mālama”) to help honor, preserve and protect her, for our greater shared survival and prosperity as one.
So, how can we start to “Mālama” (give back)?
There are several ways that you can “Mālama” (give back) to the island by being of service.
Some examples are
#1. Choosing Certified Sustainable Tour Operators
Choosing Certified Sustainable Tour Operators ensures that you are experiencing the best of your vacation while also supporting responsible businesses and activities.
#2. Choosing Certified Ocean Friendly Restaurants
Plastic pollution is suffocating our ocean and the many animals that call it home. You can help by choosing to dine at these certified Ocean Friendly Restaurants.
#3. Native Hawai’ian Owned Businesses
Building a sustainable economy includes supporting local and native Hawaiian owned businesses where Hawaiian language, culture and aloha are the foundations.
Several organizations are also offering unique Volunteer Opportunities ranging from reforestation projects and tree planting to Hawaiian quilting sessions through the Malama Hawaii Program. Through the program, you could qualify for a special discount or even a free night from a participating hotel when participating in its dedicated volunteer activity.
#5. Self-Directed Sustainable Actions
Self-directing by picking up any trash on the beach or on trails when you see it, using less energy and water, using re-usable alternatives and donating any unused items.
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Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Article reprinted
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