Hawaii is one of the most beautiful and inviting places in the world. The Aloha Spirit Hawaiians are so proud of makes this island archipelago perfect for a long trip. Hawaii, however, is not a place devoid of issues. Volunteering in Hawaii is a great way to give something back to the paradise you have visited. Here are some ways you can help.
- Wildlife Protection
Hawaii is one of the four most ecologically diverse states in the USA. There are a great many native animals on the islands that are endangered. Sea turtles are endangered by pollution. Oahu tree snails are endangered by non-native lizards. Plenty of other species are under threat. Many organizations accept volunteers as they strive to make the islands safe for native animals. Budding whale enthusiasts can help during the annual sanctuary ocean animal count, which monitors the number of humpback whales in the area.
- Volcanic Environment Projects
Without volcanoes there would be no Hawaii to speak of. The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks created by countless volcanic eruptions – peaks that belong to a vast underwater chain of volcanic mountains. Hawaii is always growing thanks to constant volcanic activity. Islands in Hawaii grow around 2.75 inches every single year. Volcanoes spew out minerals and magma. This helps to fuel a unique ecosystem. Hawaii’s volcanic ecosystems are under threat from climate change and human encroachment. Several organizations accept volunteers that want to keep these environments safe from harm. Volunteering at Haleakala National Park you will be tasked with monitoring rare bird populations, educating visitors and removing waste from this fragile and fascinating biosphere.
- Beach Cleanups
Whether you are staying at the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts on Maui or heading from Honolulu to the beach for a surf every day, the chances are high that you will encounter some waste washing up on the beautiful sun kissed sand. The beaches are one of the most beloved aspects of Hawaii’s geography, but their pristine nature is in danger thanks to an increase in plastic pollution. There are several organizations that accept volunteers who want to help keep the archipelago’s beaches free of waste.
- Helping The Homeless
Hawaii is in the grip of a homelessness crisis. Thousands of people are without homes in the state, which has one of the worst records in the USA for keeping people off the street. Homeless individuals in Hawaii are disproportionately from the native Polynesian population. This is true of many homeless populations in colonized countries, where native people have had to adjust traditional methods of finding homes and been introduced to capitalism, drugs and alcohol. The cost of living is extremely high in Hawaii, meaning that many people are only one paycheck away from being homeless. Helping the homeless is a good way of giving something back to a population that often blossoms thanks to tourist developments that raise housing prices.
The Institute of Human Services and the Waikiki Health Center both gladly accept volunteers that want to help the homeless live healthy and safe lives.