It's Our 2nd Anniversary!  One Island Sustainable Living Center

Honaunau, Hawaii


One Island's Story
Sustainability Challenge
Social Change as the Lever
7 Cornerstones of Sustainability

Aloha Friends of Hawaii Sustainability,

One Island is celebrating two years of public service and we welcome you to learn about the deeper vision that informs our work. If you appreciate any of these ideas - put them to good use, please!



Hawaii is home to One Island's Sustainable Living Center, a research and education  facility that is focused on defining and demonstrating inter-related green living systems.  Our goal is to identify the levers that can open new doors of opportunity to live more sustainably and to help create healthy, thriving sustainable communities. 
When One Island opened its doors to the public on May 8th, 2010, we had quietly invested five
years of work exploring how to design, build, and manage an innovative learning resource center. In that development process we listened in on many local community meetings to find out what our island community's common urgent needs and interests really are. FOOD and ENERGY INDEPENDENCE were right up at the top of list. We also listened to other non-profit resource-specific programs nationwide - solar programs, organic farming programs and more (see our inspirations in the lower links). 


What we came to realize is that sustainability is about a LOT more than promoting local food. It is about much more than installing solar panels or buying energy efficient light bulbs. Sustainable living requires a whole system design that interweaves multiple practices and disciplines. 
Achieving sustainability is really about changing the way we think and behave - and then changing our values and actions to embolden us to work on promising solutions. For this change to happen on a significant, effective scale, it is important that we develop a belief system that tells a very different story than the short-sighted never-ending-consumption story that our industrialized society has offered us.


Many of us are ready for a New Story.


How do we create a transformative story of hope
and action, one that speaks to green values?
And that paves a way toward intelligent local community and resource planning?


How do we turn our hopes and ideals into real,
solid practices that change the destructive
high-speed consume-it-all paradigm?
How can our personal green values be reflected more clearly in our society's values and policies?



Sustainability Lever


Sustainability is, at its core, a SOCIAL CHANGE movement.  "Necessity is the Mother of Invention" and this era is a time where a convergence of science, business, the humanities, human thought and spirituality are all seeking a common voice to invent a New Story - one that will help us overcome the sizeable obstacles that a history plagued by failed behaviors has caused.
Why social change?   Let's put the punch line right up front and center - Sustainable Living requires a change in our society's values. A change in HUMAN BEHAVIOR  is the pivotal force needed to shift the global view of how to achieve a sustainable human future on the Earth. So, what steps can we each take? 



 are foresighted individual
and community actions:


Redefine and reclaim our
LOCAL FOOD system.
            Adopt smart, RENEWABLE ENERGY and fuel options.


Protect our NATURAL RESOURCES from a viewpoint of 

whole system interdependence.


Foster a vibrant GREEN ECONOMY that creatively re-engineers the entire producer/consumer and supply chain relationship. 


Understand that HEALTH and WELLNESS are an integral part of living sustainably - human wellbeing IS part of the story.


Celebrate the ARTS and CULTURE that weave a sustainable community together by embracing diversity, tolerance and cooperation.


Planting CornTake responsibility for OUR OWN BEHAVIOR, every day. Choose to be the difference that makes a real, measurable contribution to achieving our sustainability goals - and not just helping ourselves to be green, but helping others in our community to join in the process and become part of the solution too. 


Green is a Verb - Let's Do It,     



  solfest 4

How We Got Here -

One Island's HISTORY
full circle kwOne Island is an education program and facility hosted by Heritage Ranch, Inc. (a 501c3 educational non-profit working in Hawaii since 2002). Our first project serving Hawaii was a distance learning program funded by the USDA which linked elementary and high school students in Hawaii with counterparts on the mainland.  School partners were granted mobile lap top carts at Konawaena High and Pahoa Elementary, and  received funding for environmental field trips that included contact with inspirational local mentors who encouraged our students to continue on to higher education as a pathway to meaningful careers. This program had previously been honored to receive a Smithsonian Technology Innovation Award.
Our second project was to transform 10 acres of scrubby kiawe and impenetrable christmas berry into a dynamic outdoor learning laboratory that creates local rural jobs and offers innovative education programs. This effort was funded by HUD as a rural economic development project and saw the construction of agricultural buildings and infrastructure that brought our outdoor sustainability learning center to life. We also were fortunate to receive support from an AmeriCorps NCCC volunteer crew. We now have a 4,500 sq ft greenhouse in production, four fruit orchards, a 32,000 gallon catchment tank, and a 2,500 processing and meeting space. And new nursery / grow houses are going up soon.. Woo Hoo!
mobile solarThe third project we undertook broadened our programming to also include a solar energy grant program that is providing an average of $5,000 grants to 160 homes, farms, small businesses, non-profits. These USDA rural utility funds are allowing us to install solar electric, solar hot water, solar refrigeration, and solar water pumping equipment on the rural west coast of Hawaii. Participants joined in energy efficiency training activities, applied for their renewable energy grant, and we have 140 sites installed or nearing completion. The remaining 20 awards will be going to help non-profits, schools, teaching farms, community organizations, and Native Hawaii Fishing Villages. We now have over 300 applicants on our waiting list and seek additional solar energy funding on their behalf.
school garden 1This year finds One Island creating the SAME CANOE COMMUNITY FOOD SYSTEM PROJECT which includes 18 Community Gardens, a Farmer's Coop project, a Gleaning Project to gather food that would otherwise go to waste, a Farmer-Chef-Retailer survey, and a Community Garden volunteer program. Thanks to support from the USDA and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, we are bringing another $184,000 into rural West Hawaii for economic and food development projects 2012-2013.
Mahalo Nui Loa to our volunteers, interns, grantees, and project partners!
From Marcy, Stephen, Raven, Kally,Theo and the One Island Crew
Web Site
Mailing List
Tour Inspirational Sister Program links below
Rural Development Projects sponsored by Heritage Ranch, Inc and One Island programs:  $2,259,500
Jobs created: 10 regular, 32 seasonal
100% of this federal funding has been invested directly into local programs including grants to local recipients.
All projects require local matching funds and our participant and partner contributions are key to attracting these grant funds to Hawaii.



 Occidental Arts & Ecology

Solar Living 

Visit SLI


Solar Living Institute

Visit RDI


Regenerative Design Institute 

whidbey institute
Visit Whidbey


Whidbey Institute 

good cheer

Food Bank Garden

Visit GEN


Global Ecovillage Network 


to our



One Island facilitates many types of great learning opportunties. None of this would be possible with out the help and support of our esteemed faculty.

We'd like to thank the following teachers and artists for their outstanding contributions: Hallie Iglehart, Kat Harrison, Nancy Redfeather, David Bruce Leonard, Drake Weinert, Josiah Hunt, Zac Hosler, Chris Smith, Lisa Grieg, Markus Class, Guy Toyama, Dana Tomasino, Breelyn DePertuis, Michael Holwell, Friendly Aquaponics, David Stark, Diana Duff, Greg Smith, Hector Valenzuela, Anne Hassler, Jana Bogs, Teri and Jim Sugg, John Replogle, Bob Shaffer, Gerry Herbert, Noa Lincoln, Una Greenaway, Rick Bennett, Raven Bolas, Steve Sakala, Maka, Andrea Pro, Jamie Gilmore, Kona Celtic Connections, and Elizabeth Theriault.