Small Talk

Heeia Pier beach cleanup folo

December 26th, 2009

The beach at Heeia Pier is a tiny bit cleaner today, after our first cleanup on Christmas Eve. It's something my friend Christian and I organized, in an effort to instill a spirit of volunteerism and environmentalism into my daughter, as well as malama our aina. If we don't take it upon ourselves to care for the Earth, who will?


Also, I really don't want Olivia to grow up thinking Christmas is only about presents and material goods. It bothers the heck out of me that for the six weeks leading up to the 25th, Christmas in America has become largely an economic story. It's too much. It's out of control. This is my personal backlash.

Shayna, Christian, Olivia, Dancetta

Shayna, Christian, Olivia, Dancetta

Half a dozen people showed up. Including the organizers. And including people who had no say in the matter, like Olivia and Inca, but I'm going to count them since they were happy to play around while we picked up litter. My husband and Christian's girlfriend came, which could kind of be a grey point in counting them.


Is it their duty to show up since they're our romantic partners? Um, at this point, I'm gonna say no as well. Because I need all the bodies I can get. Or as Paul Drewes spun it: You wanna start low, so next year when you do get a dozen people, you can say you doubled your attendance!

Dancetta Feary, butterfly farmer

Dancetta Feary, butterfly farmer

So actually, the only bona fide attendee was our friend Dancetta Feary, who took a break from her Realtoring to join us. Cleaning the land instead of selling it. She raises butterflies, and brought 20 monarchs to release to commemorate the day! How sweet!

Olivia's first time to hold a butterfly

Olivia's first time to hold a butterfly

We had some  >mumble mumble<  technical issues also. Um, Christian and I miscommunicated on who was in charge of the garbage bags so we ended up having only six. We did, however, have 150 pairs of gloves. And he also got Jamba Juice to sponsor us! He had 20 free 16-ounce smoothie coupons for people! Awesome!

Lots of plastic bags buried in the sand

Lots of plastic bags buried in the sand

We easily filled all six bags. We combed the area from the canoe hale to the first underpass; about 20 yards. I was disappointed to see there was a LOT of trash. It doesn't look that way in photos, but when you get out and start picking up, there's more than you realize. A lot of it is plastic bags and plastic wrappers of all sizes, and it's all filled up with sand. Much of it is tangled in the trees that separate the highway from the shore.


I think if even two dozen people came out next time, we could really clean the beach much better. The strip we cleaned constituted about a quarter of the full length.

I'm theorizing a lot of the garbage is tossed from cars, and a lot washes up with the tides. It makes me sad to see how much litter is out there. Even if it's accidentally blown off people's yards or something, it's just too much. There's so much overpackaging, so much... consumerism.

Some of the grosser things we picked up were four USED DIAPERS. What kind of jerk is leaving their kid's used diapers? Seriously, people? There are trash cans and a dumpster at the pier. Walk ten feet! Someone also left a used, large gasoline canister. People can be such pigs. WHY DON'T PEOPLE CARE?

We are definitely going back next year. Next time we are going to plan it much better. And again, you're all invited!

Posted in child, dad, mom, parent | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Heeia Pier beach cleanup folo”

  1. Moke Young:

    Aloha & Happy Holiday's from New Rochelle,New York,

    I always can connect to a cleaning project and find myself cleaning my surfing beach in Montauk, NY with every opportunity and became an unofficial caretaker for a whole summer.

    Today, I see so many others picking up and including our kids that don't need to be part of a beach clean-up effort and instead taking care of the areas as if it were theirs with a ton of ownership that is inventive at many beaches.

    I had an opportunity to write for my local news paper with a weekly surfing column and pushed ownership frequently using the surfers pitch that when you make believe that it's your beach, you will be certain to keep it clean, improve upon your surfing and become involved with one community. I've pushed the Aloha spirit too bigtime and now see so much of it that brings tears at times.

    I was taught though by my mom & dad why it was important to cherish the beloved land & sea treating it with care not over fishing, foraging or abusing it in any way. I learned the Hawaiian style of care taking at the beach by a big Hawaiian whom use to take care of Punalu'u beach park on Oahu & live on an adjacent property. He treated the park and it's inhabitants with so much Aloha that has been with me for over 40 years now.

    He'eia pier is an important location for me spending a lot of time looking out at the ocean that spawned so many good thoughts and definitely a great place to mediate at. We did our share of socializing there into the wee hours and always took care of our opala.

    Thank you for a nice article and to see that many care about those areas set aside for public use.

    Keep up the great works bringing about great events that involves people. We need to walk and climb together during a time in American history when it matters the most.

    The Mokapu ahupua'a is the most sacred in all of Hawai'i and especially at the shores of Pyramid Rock and North beaches on the KMACS property.

    Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

    With Aloha,

    Moke Young

  2. maxcat:

    "It bothers the heck out of me that for the six weeks leading up to the 25th, Christmas in America has become largely an economic story."

    Agree with you 110%. One of things that bothers me more is seeing people throw trash out of their cars while driving. One of the other very sad things I saw was people dumping large trash items all over Kalaeloa (the old Barbers Point). Used to cycle out there through some of the backroads. Hope that got cleaned up.

  3. Rosette:

    or people will buy more then they can hire people to clean up the garbage full time...if people don't buy during Christmas time the economy will go down..this way of people are buying everybody get rich and can afford to pay for the guy to clean full time instead of just once a year clean up...if you own a store you hire epople to do work so everybody gain.

  4. Rosette:

    if Christmas is not about shopping the economy will go down and more poor people..if more poor who will clean up...can't afford to pay people to long as people clean up then you don't need ot hire but obviously they need rules you have to charge loitering etc etc..then you need to hire people to do that....cycle,

  5. HNL2LAS:

    Diane! Thank you so much! Being a Kaneohe girl and kinda growing up at the pier, it makes me sad that it has so much litter there. I didn't realize it was that bad! If I'm home next time, I will certainly come out to help you!

  6. Diane Ako:

    HNL2LAS, You are welcome! No need thank me! I think it's everyone's obligation to be a good community member. 🙂

    ROsette, your comments always crack me up! Thank you! 🙂

  7. Kaimi:

    Cherish those who care. Few do. Like those hearty volunteers with Ahahui Malama i ka Lokahi working in and around Kawainui Marsh.

    Diane - don't be discouraged, just do what you can in your chosen area. You are, of course, welcome to join us at Kawainui.
    see for current news.


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