When writers encourage people to visit a place, no matter how conscious those visitors are, the impact on the environment magnifies. I wondered if there was a way to go beyond even the low-impact approach of ecotourism and give 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). I then 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 merit award for “Best Travel Guide” from the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA).
I next developed Preserve Hawaii, a nonprofit outreach program to share Hawaii volunteering information with 300+ leaders of youth, the visitor industry, and businesses. In 2013, I began collaborating with the Hawaii Conservation Alliance — their site Conservation Connections has now taken over Preserve Hawaii’s role as 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: