When writers encourage people to visit a place, no matter how conscious those visitors are, the impact on the environment adds up. I wondered if there a way to go beyond even the low-impact approach of ecotourism and give something back to the places we visit? 

The answer led me to write the book Preserving Paradise: Opportunities in Volunteering for Hawaii’s Environment (Island Heritage Publishing, 2008). And I created the website www.preservehawaii.org, where potential volunteers could find out the weekly happenings of over 100 Hawaii environmental organizations. In 2009, the book won a national merit award for Best Travel Guide from the North American Travel Journalists Association.

At that time, I also developed Preserve Hawaii, a nonprofit outreach program to share Hawaii volunteering information with 300+ leaders of youth, visitors, and businesses. In 2013, I began collaborating with the Hawaii Conservation Alliance — their site Conservation Connections now handles all outreach for Preserve Hawaii and is a comprehensive resource for volunteer project listings in the Hawaiian Islands. 

To see press coverage of the original book and nonprofit program, please click on the journal names below: