We protect what we love, and we love Maui.
We all want to help to minimize the impacts of tourism and reduce over-tourism.
Our company strives to encourage only the best sustainable activities that do no harm to the environment and culture of the island.
Most of our activities are eco-friendly, non-polluting, and totally renewable. We encourage that the “motorised sports” and activities like “whale-watch boat tours” be used sparingly, and our guests are encouraged to participate in culturally-sensitive activities. Our impacts may be unseen, or they might even be felt by future generations of locals living on Maui.
Here are some tips to reduce your footprint and impacts when visiting Maui.
OHANA: Enjoy time with your family, enjoy your hotel, and resort amenities.
FREE STUFF: Watch sunsets, and play together. Simple things are often the most remembered. Learn to relax and just be.
KAMAILIO: “Talk story” with locals when you get the chance. Every person in the service industry is not your servant, they are interesting people with stories and knowledge. Always take time to exchange pleasantries with the people you meet.
POLLUTION: Use motorized sports sparingly. Drive less, walk more. Or use a shuttle or taxi. Hiring a car for your whole trip may be unnecessary and just adds to the island’s traffic.
BUY LOCAL: Support locally-owned businesses. Always buy a local-made product when available.
ORGANIC: Buy organic and visit farmers markets. Non-organic food is not only unhealthy for you, it also hurts the environment. Supporting locally-made food is far better than buying imported food that is flown here or shipped here.
INVEST: Pay a little bit more for locally-made, or organic. You are investing in the health and sustainability of Maui’s community and agriculture. A little bit extra paid for a local product helps the local economy and keeps your dollars circulating within the community.
PARKING: Always park with care, never take up more space than you need. Walk to the beach if you can. Beach parking spaces are very limited. Read and respect the “No parking signs, they are there for reason.
ROADS: Drive slowly, “this ain’t the mainland”. But do not block traffic by sightseeing from a moving vehicle, while blocking local commuters.
Drive with care, stop at every pedestrian crossing if there are people waiting to cross, drive slowly in residential areas. Let people merge into your lane.
POHAKU (rocks): Never ever move a rock or stone. Rocks “pohaku” have history, context, space, and spirit. And you could be destroying historical artifacts. No rock taking, no rock stacking. And never take rocks or coral out of the ocean, there are microscopic animals on there that are living. Any wet rock is a living rock.
FISH PONDS (Loko I’a): Do not walk on any fish pond wall, do not enter any private fish pond without permission. Fishponds and historical structures should always be treated reverently and never frivolously.
SHELLS: Do not collect or take shells. Many have creatures still living in there, or they are used as homes and shelters for other creatures (like hermit crabs etc). Also all shells eventually break down to become our sand, and are important to maintain our marine environment and sustain our beaches.
SEAFOOD: Eat less fish and seafood. If you have to eat fish, buy from a roadside fisherman or from the local fish fishmarket. Avoid buying at Safeway, Costco, or other big stores, that use imported fish, or worse, factory-farmed fish.
CHAIN STORES: Avoid chain stores and big box stores. There are corporate-owned and they send most of your money back to the mainland, they do not contribute to the local economy like smaller stores do.
SHOP SMALL: Shop in the smaller local stores and you will help to keep Maui special. Every dollar you spend in a big store is a lost opportunity to help a local business person and their community.
LISTEN: Listen to the locals, learn about this place and what makes it special. Read some of the history and the conditions here for local people.
RESPECT: Always show respect to others. Kupuna (elders) are always treated with special care in Hawaii. The environment too is sacred and spiritual place. Silence and solitude is also a valuable commodity, so try to be mindful of your noise and presence that could be disturbing to others.
NATURE: Enjoy nature but do not interfere with it. Stay clear of turtles and marine life, do not touch, poke or prod anything. Many sea creatures can be harmed by your touch. Always use reef safe sunscreen or better yet, use a lycra rashguard shirt and hat for sun protection.
CROWDS: Avoid crowds, and overcrowded activities. Crowds are annoying to visitors, and even more so for locals. Do not add to the problem. Choose smaller activities and avoid the tourist traps. Avoid visiting popular places at the busiest times.
RESEARCH: Do your homework before you come. Learn about the places, people, and things that are Maui. Read what locals say about places, and read reviews from unbiased sources.
OLELO (Hawaiian Words): Learn the proper Hawaiian names for things and places.
Place names connect to their context and history. Every single place in Hawaii has a lot of history, and connections to the past. Every place has a Hawaiian name, but some of these names have been obscured over time.
KAPU: Kapu is the Hawaiian word for “tabu”. It means forbidden. When you see it on a sign and someone’s gate or fence, it means “private property, no entry”. Always respect private property and do not trespass. This is one of the most disrespectful things you can do in Hawaii. It is not allowed on many cultures and on the mainland either. Do not go into any farmer’s field or private area without the landowner’s permission. Just because you see something on Instagram or a travel blog doesn’t mean that it is legal or smart to do so. Sometimes Kapu signs indicate a dangerous condition, so it is really a bad idea to ignore these signs because you have been warned.
KOKUA: Helping and giving back is part of Hawaiian Culture. If you appreciate something or someone, you show it by giving back. Just like when you bring a bottle of wine to a dinner, so should you consider giving back to your host culture and island. Maybe give a gift to a local charity, or volunteering for a community project.
MALAMA (to take care of): Malama Aina means to care for the land. Never leave trash, pick up trash when you see it. Do not harm plants or places. Stay on walking trails, do not break plants, never drive off-road, or park on natural areas. Malama Kai, means care for the ocean. If you see trash, take it out of the ocean. Remember that all water flows to the ocean so be mindful of any ways you might be polluting streams and stormwater. For example, using chemicals or soaps excessively. Or dumping fluids into drains and gutters.
WEATHER: Mother Nature is always in charge. The ocean may seem enticing but extremely dangerous for the unwary. Even experts get into trouble in the ocean. Also, the valleys and streams are subject to flash flooding that often strand hikers. Hiking is one of the most dangerous activities for unwary visitors. And so is the ocean. If you cannot swim (well) then you should not go into the ocean. Many visitors get seriously hurt by “going in for a dip” or “just up to my waist”. Shore-break, currents, rip currents, submerged rocks, are just some of the many dangers. Many popular beaches have no lifeguards.
DANGER ZONES: Some popular spots are death traps for visitors. Black Rock (Pu’u Keka’a) in Kaanapali, and Big Beach (Oneloa Beach) Makena, and the Blowhole at Nakalele Point are just a few examples.
Hawaiian Mindset: Hawaiian people expect you to be respectful and do the right thing, and that includes knowing what the right thing to do is. That is the mindset of the host culture. So be prepared to come to this place with some humbleness, open-mindedness, some foreknowledge, humility, and respect. It is always expected to show good manners in someone else’s house in every culture.
If you do these things during your visit to this special place, your experiences will always be pleasant and rewarding.