The Green City Series: Honolulu, Hawaii

With it’s stunning coast and magnificent hikes, we are so lucky that every day is Earth Day in Honolulu. Honolulu ranks one of the greenest cities in the U.S. for so many reasons. It has one of the highest percentages of green space and more solar energy per capita than any other U.S. city. Check out Bikeshare Hawaii to join a bike share program during your stay, eat local Hawaiian delicacies and hike along some of the most magnificent trails you will ever experience.

There are many hidden hikes in Honolulu that lead to magnificent waterfalls. I can’t remember the name of this hike, but it was magical. Photo credit Monika Kaufman

WHERE TO STAY: There are many green hotels in Honolulu (see our list below). However, the resort that holds the crown jewel in eco-tourism is The Turtle Bay Resort on the north shore of Oahu. Listed as a Platinum Level Green Leader on Trip Advisor the resort created an official green committee in 2009, features rooftop solar panels, energy efficient lightbulbs and has a resort-wide recycling program. We love that Turtle Bay uses locally grown produce in their restaurants and donates excess food to food banks to help eliminate waste. Enjoy the Nalu Kinetic Spa for a unique multi-sensory experience. Turtle Bay Resort and Spa 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731. 808-293-6000.

Areal view of the Turtle Bay Resort and Spa. photo credit Turtle Bay Resort

If traveling to the North Shore is too far for you, try these other green hotels right in Honolulu: Aqua Bamboo Waikiki, Hyatt Regency Waikiki, Moana Surfrider and The Aqua Palms Hotel. The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association offers a list of Hawaii’s green hotels throughout the islands.

WHERE TO EAT: One of the greatest things to discover in researching eco-friendly restaurants in Honolulu is the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant Guide, Oahu. In order to make the list, restaurants take a pledge to use reusable table wear, have proper recycling throughout the space, use ocean friendly bags and offer vegan and vegetarian options as well as sustainably sourced seafood to their menu. They also have a NO styrofoam, plastic bottle and straw policy.

Mud Hen Water ranks incredibly high on this list for all of the reasons above. The menu is a unique reflection of Hawaiian cuisine and the atmosphere is a welcome space with an outdoor patio that is both fun and unpretentious. Try the Beet Poke with avocado, pickled limu and smoked macadamia nuts as well as the I’a Lawalu, the fresh catch buried in coals served with fresh local veggies. Mud Hen Water 3452 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816 | 808-737-6000 |

The incredible I’a Lawalu with roasted local veggies at Mud Hen Water. Photo credit Yelp

THINGS TO DO: Honolulu is the mecca of health, wellness and multiple eco-conscious activities throughout the city. Take a responsible Whale Watching Cruise, go Stand-Up Paddle boarding or have a beer at the Maui Brewing Co. The locally made brews come in eco-friendly recycled cans, plus they donate their spent grain to Hawaii farmers. Try out the Oahu Nature Tours Eco-Tours or spend the day at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Photo credit Laura Frecon
Relaxing at the Maka’puu Tidepools. Photo credit Christine Walsh
The sunset whale watching cruise in Waikiki. Photo credit Laura Frecon