Hale. (HAH- leh). Hawaiian word for house.
Ancient Hawaiians lived sustainably and recognized that human civilization is an integral part of the natural world. If the human community is to survive, the natural world and nature must be preserved and perpetuated.
The Hawaiian Hale exemplifies the concept of sustainable design.
Pursuing everyday activities in the midst of warm sunshine and gentle breezes ancient Hawaiians lived their lives mostly outdoors. The benign climate did not require a shelter of thick walls and insulation for protection against rough weather.
Traditional hale were constructed of native woods lashed together with cordage. Materials for thatching were provided by the renewable resource of plant leaves and grasses.
Ua mau ke ea o ka `aina i ka pono.
The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. Continue reading
Plastic Water Bottles
About six years ago I initiated a recycling program at my place of employment. I work at a vacation resort where guests stay for a few days or a few weeks. Having so many people come and go I recognized an opportunity to make a difference in the amount of trash being hauled to the land fill. Bins and bags are now provided for guests to place aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass and cardboard which is then separated and taken to a local recycling center. Two to three pick-up truck loads are collected every week. The largest portion of this ‘trash’ is plastic water bottles.
For Earth Day this year my maintenance team built a ten foot tall water bottle of recycled material to bring attention to the amount of plastic bottles that are used once and tossed away.
Recycling is not enough, we must Reduce disposable products and buy Re-useable items.
Did you know that there are 8 million tons of plastic that enter the oceans every year? That equals 5 grocery bags for every foot of coastline around the globe. In the next decade that amount of plastic is expected to increase by tenfold unless the world finds a better way to manage it’s waste.
Plastic does not decompose like organic matter, it only breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. In the ocean environment fish, turtles and birds mistake the brightly colored particles of plastic for food. Undigested the plastic remains in the animals stomach and they die. Eventually some of those fish may end up on your dinner plate. The threat to our already endangered oceans is catastrophic.
That plastic water bottle that ended up in the ocean? It will remain in the maritime environment for 450 years, and fishing line….600 years. Let that sink in.
Can you please use a more permanent multi-use container for your drinking water?
Thank you for your help.
For this Earth Day a bit of inspiration from artist Richard Schilling.
Land Art was a movement in the late sixties and early seventies that used the landscape and natural materials to create sculptures of soil, stones, logs, branches, leaves and water. Sculptures are not placed in the landscape, rather, the landscape is the means of their creation. The art works, often located well away from civilization, exist in the open environment, left to change and erode under natural conditions.
Richard Schilling is an artist whose work has inspired me to create a few transitory sculptures during meditations while out in nature. Perhaps it is something you may try yourself.
Land Art sculptures by Richard Schilling
Pebbles collected on the beach and arranged into a circle to display the varied hues and geology of that place
Always nice to take a break on the back porch.
Meanwhile I’m writing about a Hawaiian hale.
Something new will be coming soon
from Earth Stone Station
Chaco Culture National Historic Park is remarkable.
The canyon’s breathtaking architecture has drawn visitors from around the world.
A thousand years ago Chaco Canyon was the center of a phenomenal culture. Monumental public architecture was constructed with rocks, mud, stone tools and a great deal of social cooperation. For generations construction continued on a cluster of great houses in Chaco Canyon. After prevailing for 300 years, Chaco Canyon declined as a regional center, construction ceased and the great houses where abandoned. Continue reading
The Chaco Phenomenon was an instance of a rapid jump in culture.
Huge three-and four-story houses built with exquisite stonework, and containing hundreds of rooms were built by people that only a short time prior were living in underground pit houses.
During the 11th and 12th centuries the Chacoan people suddenly developed an extraordinary culture, that over generations completed great works of civic architecture.These achievements were only made possible by a social, economic, religious and political system that had not existed before that time. The rapid jump in culture raises perplexing and unanswered questions. Why the marvelous great houses were built and then completely deserted by AD 1250 adds to the mystery of the phenomena. Continue reading