Habitat For Humanity work 2007-2008


Mahalos to everyone for their hard work!

resized-group-photo.JPG Windermere Wailea volunteering for HH

Habitat For Humanity, Maui is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a non profit organization. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing.

Habitat for Humanity Maui is a GREEN BUILDER. Currently they have 14 homes under construction with more future projects. All proceeds from the ReStore go into the funding of these buildings.

Volunteers provide most of the labor, and individual and corporate donors provide money and materials to build Habitat houses. Partner families themselves invest hundreds of hours of labor – ‘sweat equity’ – into building their homes and the homes of others. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses.

Let’s keep Maui GREEN and also “save the $ green $”!

Solar Water Heaters are now mandatory in new HI developments!


HONOLULU — With a heavy reliance on imported fossil fuels, Hawaii has become the first state to require solar water heaters in new homes, pleasing environmentalists. Republican Gov. Linda Lingle signed a bill Thursday requiring the energy-saving systems starting in 2010. She said the law is “another important step in our long-term plan for energy independence in Hawaii.”

Hawaiian Electric Co. estimates that about 85,000 households, or roughly 20 percent of all homes in the islands, already have solar water heating systems. They come standard in many new homes.

“It’s one of the best things a homeowner can do,” said Darren Pai, spokesman for the utility.

A traditionally powered water heater is the largest consumer of electricity inside a home, accounting for about 25 to 40 percent of the power used. A solar system costs about $6,000, compared with about $700 for an electric or gas water heater.

Over 20 years it is estimated that solar water heating is 40 percent less expensive than a gas heater and 75 percent cheaper than an electric water heater. If you can save $50 a month out of a $150 electric bill the savings are obvious and can become an economic incentive to go green and save money while doing it.

*elements of this blog are from HECO, REMS, and Huffington post websites.

Rent a money saving, Eco-friendly car while visiting Maui, HI

What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative “diesel” fuel, made from 100% natural, 100% renewable sources. Biodiesel can be used in place of standard diesel (which is made from fossil fuels) in almost any place that regular diesel is called for.

On Maui most biodiesel is made from used cooking oil. This cooking oil is collected primarily from restaurants that have deep fat fryers that cook foods like French fries. These restaurants usually hire a pumping company to collect their oil after they are done with it, who then bring it to the biodiesel processor.

Why Rent a biodiesel BIO-BEETLE ECO Rental Car?
You’re not just renting a car…..

1. You’re supporting American farmers instead of the dinosaur
petrochemical industry, and taking a stand about it!

2. You’re preventing pollution and doing something active toward preventing global warming.

3. You’re doing something positive for the future, and your children.

4. These cars get much better fuel economy than 100% gas operataed cars. Biodiesel is cheaper than gas, so one can save a lot in fuel prices!



The Hawai’i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) is making applications available for $20 million in Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCC) to first-time home buyers of low to moderate income.

The MCC program, authorized by Congress in the 1984 Tax Reform Act, reduces the amount of federal income tax, allowing more available income to qualify for a mortgage. With a MCC, 20 percent of the annual mortgage interest is a direct dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit, while the remaining 80 percent continues to qualify as an itemized tax deduction.

MCC’s are only available through participating lenders and can be used in conjunction with a conventional fixed rate, Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs or privately insured loan. A MCC however, cannot be used in conjunction with a Hula Mae loan.

Certain restrictions apply. Purchase price limits vary by county and type of residence, and income limits vary by county and family size. The MCC recipient must occupy the property as their primary residence and cannot have had an ownership interest in a principal residence at any time in the last three years.

The mortgage must be a new loan and not a refinance. For more detailed information on the MCC program and a list of participating lenders, contact Darren Ueki, HHFDC Finance Manager, (808) 587-0586 or visit the HHFDC web page.

*The contents of this post taken from Hawaiian Association of Realtors (HAR) 2008.

Kaheawa Wind Farm, Maui shows progress in HI alternative energy

Wind power offers a local and clean alternative; without burning fossil fuels, building power plants, or relying on foreign sources for our fuel.

Kaheawa Wind farm in Maui, HI operates in harmony with a range of native plant and animal species while providing clean, renewable power that currently meets 9% of Maui’s electrical needs.

The name “Kaheawa” itself describes the wind pattern typically found at Kaheawa pastures where our wind farm is located: wind coming from the windward (and much wetter) side of Maui that often brings cloud formations with it that seem to hover over the ridgeline.

With an abundance of this natural resource and a tradition of self-reliance, Maui is an ideal setting to capture clean, renewable wind energy. Operation of Kaheawa Wind helps reduce the emissions that lead to global warming and other environmental problems and provides local, long-term energy solutions for the people of Maui today, and for future generations.

*Sections of this blog have been reposted from Kaheawa Wind Power material.

Summer is the ideal time to capitalize on the “Buyer’s Market”


Buyers can optimize their investment by taking advantage of peak selling periods. Not only are there more homes to pick from, but prices have stabilized and sellers are motivated to sell in the summer to be settled in their new home before school starts.

“The summer months have always been the most active season. There is more inventory to choose from so sellers become more competitive with their prices and incentives. Buyers now have an opportunity to get into the market and to participate in the next upward movement in prices. Getting involved now will allow a homeowner to take advantage of immediate tax benefits and the next cycle of appreciation.”

How can a buyer exploit the low rates, summer selling season and stabilized prices? Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Find out how much the seller paid.
A seller who is going to walk away with a bag full of money might be more willing to negotiate than one who is barely going to pay off what they owe.

2. How many days has the property been on the market?
Sellers who have been on the market for months might be more willing to negotiate than one who is just listed.

3. What is the list-price-to-sales-price ratio in the neighborhood?
Your Realtor can search the sold listings on the MLS to see roughly what percentage of the asking price is a fair offer. In some neighborhoods, sellers might be getting 100 percent, but if they are only typically getting 85 percent.

4. Ask your Realtor for a competitive market analysis for the home you’re considering.
Past sales in the neighborhood are just as valuable to a buyer as a seller.

5. Know your financial limits. Get prequalified.
This should be the first step, before you even start to shop. Shopping without knowing what you’re qualified to borrow is a waste of everyone’s time.

6. Remember, it’s a buyer’s market and everything is negotiable.
Get as much information as possible. Knowledge is power!

Elements of this blog were posted at the beginning of Summer in an online article by the Custom Publishing Group:

Plastic Bag Pollution…and Solution

Plastic Bag Pollution:
It may seem like a trivial thing, but those “free” plastic bags we get at the grocers, department stores and restaurants are actually contributing to a world wide pandemic of plastics waste. Only 1-4% of the 19 billion plastic grocery and merchandise bags used annually in the State are recycled. That means that nearly 600 bags per second are discarded–destined either for the landfill or our marine environment.

SOLUTION: Hawaii Bills Would Ban Plastic Bags, Styrofoam

At least three bills are currently active in the Hawaii legislature this year that would ban plastic bags or styrofoam across the state, writes Linda Arakawa of the Honolulu Advertiser. This comes on top of numerous local campaigns, including efforts in Maui and Oahu counties. Hawaii State Senator Ron Menor told the Advertiser that he was optimistic about the fate of his polystyrene ban bill:

“I’m optimistic that the Styrofoam bill will get passed, and I think the passage of such a bill is necessary from the standpoint of protecting our environment and, more specifically, to address our significant landfill problems that are being exacerbated by the disposal of these nonbiodegradable products such as Styrofoam containers and plastics.”

How you can contribute to the solution:

1.Use a reusable bag at the store like EcoBroker Meghan Clair’s Free Chico Bag:

windermerewaileapouch.jpg transforms to…windermere-bag.JPG

This business card sized bag becomes a big reusable shopping bag!

2. Recycle your plastics bags and other products at the new Kihei Recycle Center of Piilani Hwy or any other center on Island

Link to Maui Recycle Information

Maui Film Festival 2008 Goes Solar!!!


It’s that time of year again…The 2008 Maui Film Festival is approaching and the event is going green!

“At the request Barry Rivers, diretor of the Maui Film Festival, Rising Sun Solar has installed a 1.25kW Solar Electric system on the carport of the Four Season Resort to power the Sand Dance Film Festival. This is the first step in realizing the Maui Film Festival’s ultimate goal to have a 100% carbon neutral event.”


Please contact Meghan Clair, Maui’s EcoBroker to learn more about the benefits of Solar installation.




Maluaka is Hawaii’s 1st LEED certified residential development


Contact Maui’s EcoBroker: Meghan Clair, for more information on Hawaii’s first LEED residential development, Maluaka!

LEED Certification
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. Dowling Company has committed to achieving LEED Gold certification for Maluaka’s club and a Silver rating for the residences. Earning these LEED certifications will make Maluaka the first residential project in Hawaii to attain these awards.

Please click this link to see a list of Maluaka’s Green Features


Maluaka Club House and Spa

Maluaka is located on the soon to be Private, Makena South Golf Course, overlooks the Pacific Ocean inclusive of outer-island views and has direct Beach access…