Thursday, May 31, 2012

DaBus experiment

So I didn't drive to work yesterday.

I caught the bus.  (Or for da locals: I caught bus.)

There's a few reasons why I did it.  AND NO, my car wasn't broken.

1. Gas - Gas has been going up, up, up, down a little, then up some more and I have been wondering for a while, how high will the price of gas have to go before I start riding the bus? or before I would consider riding the bus? or before I would HAVE TO ride the bus? (It's getting there.)

2. Rail - I don't want it.  SORRY for those of you who do, but I do not.  I feel that it's too expensive, for one.  For two, (haha...who says for two? anyway...) I think using/improving the bus system is a cheaper & better alternative.  I know, people say, "You want to add buses to the traffic? It'll get worse." My thing is if people...we ride bus, our cars will not be taking up space on the road, therefore alleviating some of the congestion.  And FOR 3, I rode the bus because how can I tell/ask someone to do something if I'm not willing to do it myself?  So there you go.  (There's more about this, but I'll just cut it off here.  If you wanna talk w/ me about this transit issue, great.  Let's do it.)

3. Get a feel for my community - I've lived in Hawaii all my life.  I love this place.  But to be honest, I don't feel like I know the people who live here...or I don't know them as well as I'd like to.  I know I can't know ALL THE PEOPLE.  But what I'm trying to say is I guess I feel a sense.  (When you drive, it's just you, the road, and all the other cars slowing you down.  I'm kidding.  I don't think like that.) Of course I know some people.  I know you.  Probably.  There's a...86% chance I know you if you're reading my blog.  To other 14%, nice to meet you & thanks so much for stopping by!

So now we all know each other, but there's a lot of other people who live here.  And I'm not satisfied with living my life just to get as much as I possibly can.  I want to try and help make this place better than how I found it.  (Especially for the little ones.)  I just think that trying to understand where people are at is a necessary step in trying to make things better...and I also think riding the bus is a way of doing that. 

So yeah, I rode the bus...and it was good.
and here are a few random thoughts I had during my short trip.

- Google said that I saved $2.49 by riding the bus ($2.50 fee) as opposed to driving ($4.99 est. cost).   
- It did take me a little longer than what they estimated, but I wasn't in a rush. Google est. time was about 36 minutes.  It took me about 40-45 minutes to get me to work.
- If you ride bus to and from work/school/wherever at least 12 times in the month, you make your money back on your pass...if you buy a pass. (Monthly bus pass: $60 / Daily bus fair: $2.50) Every ride after that is bonus!  FREE!  What a deal...and I know we all like deals!
- At one bus stop, an older fellow wanted to get on, but wasn't sure where the bus was going.  The driver got out and pointed out the route we were on and explained to him what the best option was regarding getting to his destination.  I thought that was cool.  I like to see people helping other people.
- There was a guy who got on the bus who ended up sitting right in front of me...and he was smelling pretty RIPE! But hey, that's life.  That's reality.  But it was cool.  We had to transfer buses because of something, so he and I were one of the last people off the original bus.  He was getting up a little slow, so I asked him if he needed help.  He kinda shook his head and looked at me casually, then asked, "We switching buses?"
"Yup, uncle.  We switching..."
Kinda got to know somebody new.
- It was nice to hear people conversing about their jobs or the new bus schedule that's supposed to come out.

Well, that's all for now.

Would I catch bus again?


Helps me to see other people & think about other people.

Oh! and one more thought - When you ride bus, you no get road rage.

So yeah, that was that.  Maybe I'll see you on the bus next time?

Next experiment...

RIDE BIKE TO WORK! (Please don't bang me if you see me on the road.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where does our food come from?

Lately, I've been...hmm what's the right phrase?

I've been trying to get more information...trying to educate myself on  a particular issue that has become important to me.

Food Security

The state of Hawaii currently produces only 10% (some say 15%) of the food we consume.  The rest is shipped in from various places.  Another stat I recently heard was that Hawaii only has a 3 day (some say 7 day) reserve on hold should there be any interruption to the importation of our food.

That's the sad & scary part.

But, there are people who are and have been working to turn Hawaii out this mess.

I recently got to see a 30min documentary called Ingredients Hawaii.  It shares the inspiring stories of groups and individuals working hard to bring light to issues such as food security, nutrition, sustainability, & culture.  Here's a preview of this great little film:

If you get a chance, I would also recommend seeing Ingredients the film, which Ingredients Hawaii is based off of.  It might still be on Netflix streaming if you have that service.

Now you know a little bit about this issue. What's next?
Well, we can do a few things.
1. Support local & buy local as much as possible If you can check these places out, please do.  If you have already been to or are supporting these places, then right on.  Keep it up.
Sweet Home Waimanalo
Heeia Kea Pier General Store & Deli
Ma'o Organic Farms
2. Check out your local farmers market This falls under the buy local support local idea.  My wife and I have 2 young children and it IS a little difficult to get us all out of the house, but once we're moving, it's all good. Click here for a listing of Farmer's Markets in Hawaii. (Maybe we'll see you there!)
3. Join a CSA. We recently joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  It's through Kula Fields.  Once a month we get a box full of fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables! If you subscribe to an annual membership, delivery to your home is free.  We've gotten two boxes so far and when we get them, it kinda feels like Christmas!  Like Santa came and left you a present.  A big box gets delivered to your home, you open it, and inside there are all sorts of great stuff!  We joined while there was a LivingSocial deal going on, so I think the membership fee was waved.  But still, it has been great. Also, in joining a CSA, you directly support local farmers and their businesses.
4. Try grow something Through out Ingredients Hawaii, there are other stories of regular people (& EVEN KIDS) growing their own food.  Just start with something small...and take it from there.  We'll be trying a few things in the near future...and I'll let you know how that turns out.  Well maybe just one thing and I'll let you know. (While I have you here, if you know of something easy to grow, let me know! I'd love to hear what you're doing...and I'll take some tips if you got any! Thanks.)

Lastly here are a few organizations I follow.  They are actively doing great things to take care of our islands.  Check'um out:
Blue Planet Foundation
KYA Sustainability Studio
Kanu Hawaii
...and find them on Twitter or Facebook if you can.

Ok, I've written enough.  That's all for now.  Let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas about this kind of stuff.  I'd love to hear from you.

Till next time...take care.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

This looks interesting

Lately I've been getting into stuff about Hawaii's food security.  Or our lack of it. 

And I would do something about it except I don't know how to farm...ANYTHING.

But then my wife came across this little video that kinda inspires me to try chance'um. We'll see. Anyway, here it is for you to check out as well.