This last weekend we hosted the first ever Honolulu Climathon. The event was a BLAST, and we’d like to extend a big thank you to all of those that attended, as well as our community that helped make the event happen. This includes our list of esteemed judges: Chelsea Harder of Hawaiʻi Green Growth, June Matsumoto of Pacific Islands Institute, and Chris Barzman from Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii.
Another special thanks to Dr. Darragh O’Carroll for being our guest for the Saturday night film discussion and screening of his new series about climate change and public health. More mahalos also to Molly Pierce from the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, Lauren Wantanabe from Sierra Club, and the local chapter of Project Drawdown, all of whom hosted workshops and shared information for our attendees and for the public.
Climathon Honolulu, as part of the global Climathon day of action, proves that local action can have global impact. Earlier in 2019, we convened a diverse group of stakeholders to design the first Climathon for Honolulu. The group determined that reducing the human impact of tourism in Honolulu would be a great focus for the first Climathon. So this weekend, this was the guiding question for our participants: How do we reduce the human impact of tourism in Honolulu?
When we saw the final pitches on Sunday, it was awesome to see how the various groups approached the question. Some teams looked at policy solutions, some offered technology solutions, and others were “surprisingly analog,” according to Honolulu Civil Beat reporter Brittany Lyte in her feature story about the event.
The winning team, named Get Zero Wasted, created a solution to reduce waste from all the goods that tourists purchase for their holiday. This business idea is to deliver gently used (and cleaned) items like snorkels, masks, boogie boards, beach mats, and other items to hotel rooms, so that tourists don’t need to purchase these items new (and throw away when they are done). The team featured Severine Busquet, Engineer & Product Design, Miranda Gallegos, BSW, Community Organizer, Jake Roberts, MBA, BD, Sarah Daigle, and Scott Cooney, seriel eco-entrepreneur and advisor to the group.
Watch their winning pitch in the video below:
This team is eligible to head to Paris, France, for the Global Climathon event to be held in January 2020. They also receive membership to Impact Hub HNL and 15 hours of mentorship from local business leaders, like Alec Wagner from Purple Maia, Lisa Kleisner, an impact investor and founder of Hawaii Investment Ready, and the founders of the Impact Hub Honolulu (Nam Vu, George Yarbrough, Anne Weber).
Some of the other proposed solutions we saw from our hackers during the pitches include:
- A policy solution that creates an ‘eco-pass’ that gives visitors passes to all city and state parks, and additional regulation for tour operators to educate guests about sunscreen and single-use plastic;
- Videos and education to inform tourists about the importance of the Ohi’a plants, which are facing an extinction crisis due to a fungus;
- The Global Green Energy Hospitality Initiative that will monitor energy use in the hospitality sector;
- And a crowd-sourced composting company to reduce waste in our favorite neighborhoods.
And if you missed our other discussions about the Climathon, here’s some background: Climathon, a project of Climate-KIC and under the auspice of the European Union, has the official mission of empowering a global wave of change-makers and innovators to help humanity achieve zero emissions in 20 to 30 years. Last year the Global Climathon included 113 cities with over 5000 participants and 400+ solutions – and this year will be bigger than ever. This year, the Climathon team connected with Impact Hub Global, joining together these two organizations to build ongoing climate solutions.