Each year since 1970, Earth Day has brought people across the globe together on April 22 to raise awareness about environmental issues. The theme for Earth Day 2022 is "Invest In Our Planet."
New owners Steve and Joanie Wynn took the reigns of Kona Earth in July 2021, trading a thirty-year, San Francisco Bay area-based, Emmy-winning career in video production. As longtime residents of Marin County in the San Francisco Bay area, the Wynns know well the importance of supporting healthy environmental resources.
KONA EARTH SUPPORTS REEF EDUCATION AND PRESERVATION
As part of its Care In Every Cup give-back program, the small family-run Kona coffee farm is making a special Earth Day donation to support Kahalu'u Bay Education Center.Located in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kahalu'u Bay is truly a unique place, offering spectacular and easily accessible snorkeling with a colorful diversity of fish and coral. KBEC was established in 2011 to promote reef-friendly practices to protect the bay's fragile ecosystem.
Passionate community volunteers participate in the ReefTeach program, empowering beachgoers daily with simple ways they can respectfully engage with the bay and its inhabitants. Their message includes covering up with UV protective clothing or using mineral sunscreen only, floating while swimming and snorkeling to avoid touching the coral, and giving marine life plenty of space. The hope is that by mitigating these chronic stressors, the ecosystem at Kahalu'u will become more resilient and continue supporting the community for future generations. Additionally, KBEC provides free mineral-based zine oxide sunscreen in dispensers at the bay. Zinc oxide is one of only two active ingredients approved by the FDA as "safe and effective."
Cynthia Punihaole Kennedy, Director, Kahalu'u Bay Education Center: "I am grateful to local businesses like Kona Earth who believe in and support our important work at Kahaluʻu Bay. Working together we can make a positive difference for our ʻāina and our keiki."
KONA EARTH TAKING STEPS TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY ON THE FARM
Making the transition to sustainable agriculture involves taking small, realistic steps toward stewardship of the land and conserving natural resources for the long term.
Having recently completed their first harvest as coffee farmers, the Wynns are doing their part to develop farm practices that will lead to greater sustainability. A few things currently underway at Kona Earth include:
- Utilizing water catchment and a solar pump for all coffee-farming operations.
- Developing more food independence, especially on the heels of the recent supply chain issues which left empty shelves at the grocery store. Alongside their main coffee crop, Kona Earth is beginning to grow herbs and vegetables in addition to the farms' abundance of mango, banana, cacao, papaya, breadfruit, oranges, and avocado.
- Composting coffee cherry fruit, cacao pods & organic kitchen food waste to use as fertilizer in the fields.
- Supporting Kona Earth farm workers with a living wage.
- Planning for Kona Earth farm tours to educate consumers about Kona coffee and cacao production and small-family farm operations.
- Using recyclable packing materials in Kona Earth shipments to customers.
- Using LED bulbs, motion sensor lights, and power strips to conserve electricity.
HAWAI'I IS A SPECIAL PLACE
From the coastal beaches to the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawai'i Island possesses 10 of the world's 14 climate zones, the only place on earth with so many concentrated climate zones in one small area. These ecosystems are interdependent, supporting a wide variety of flora and fauna. They represent a vibrant and unique arbiter of the island's health. In concert, they provide water and sustenance to island inhabitants.
As new Hawaiian residents, the Wynns appreciate their responsibility to preserve and protect their new home's fragile ecosystems. Kona Earth farm is located in the Holualoa Coffee belt ((Aw) Tropical, Winter-Dry), where all 100% Kona coffee is grown.
Joanie Wynn: "Living on an island like Hawai'i puts into sharp focus how these diverse ecosystems are closely interconnected. We are committed to supporting Kohala Center's efforts to protect them."
Steve Wynn: "We feel privileged to be living and working in this incredible place. We are humbled by our responsibility as stewards of the land and continually work to make our farm more resilient and sustainable."
We join with all supporters to underscore Earth Day's 2022 theme: Invest in Our Planet.