The CHEST Annual Meeting 2023 will be held in Hawaiʻi, and this archipelago of islands is not only beautiful, but it’s also a unique and complex place deserving of special care.
In the wake of the devastating wildfires in Maui, our hearts are with our Hawaiian neighbors. Here are ways to support the local communities as they recover.
We encourage all attendees to visit respectfully while keeping in mind that locals are still recovering from the impact of the fires, including the lives lost and those who have been displaced.
For guidance on traveling thoughtfully in Hawaiʻi, we consulted with the experts, starting with advice on how to prepare for the trip.
Learn about the history of Hawaiʻi
Wayne Tanaka, Director of the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi—an advocacy organization dedicated to safeguarding Hawaiʻi’s natural resources—recommended that anyone attending CHEST 2023 read about Hawaiʻi’s history and culture before the meeting.
“Learn about Hawaiʻi’s history, including the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy and the subsequent decades-long oligarchical control of the islands by the sugar and pineapple plantation industry,” he said.
“Consider the ongoing need for justice for Native Hawaiians in Hawaiʻi as you decide what businesses to patronize and how you share your travel experiences with others.”
Make sure to read our blog post on appreciating Hawaiian culture and history.
Pack with sustainability in mind
When you’re packing, remember this list for sustainable travel developed by Honolulu-based CHEST Scientific Program Committee Member, Janet Myers, MD, FCCP; Derek Esibill, Program Director of the Pacific American Foundation; and Lauren Blickley, Hawaiʻi Regional Manager of the Surfrider Foundation.
Bringing these items will help protect coral reef ecosystems, decrease your plastic usage, and reduce your carbon footprint during the trip:
- Reef-friendly sunscreen
- Sun-protectant shirt (You won’t need as much sunscreen!)
- Reusable shopping bag
- Reusable water bottle and straw
- Travel coffee mug
- Refillable shampoo and conditioner bottles
Take the Pono Pledge
Before you land in Hawaiʻi, consider taking the Pono Pledge, a collection of eight principles for safe and respectful tourism.
More than 22,000 people have taken the pledge. It has commitments like, “I will mindfully seek wonder, but not wander where I do not belong,” and “I will mālama (care for) land and sea, and admire wildlife only from afar.”
Make a contribution to a nonprofit
Donating to a local organization is another way to engage. Check out these nonprofits dedicated to supporting Native Hawaiians and protecting the islands’ natural ecosystems:
- Conservation Council for Hawaiʻi
- Hawaiʻi People’s Fund
- Pacific American Foundation
- Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi
- Surfrider Foundation, Oʻahu Chapter
Shop local, shop small
Patronizing locally owned establishments is a great opportunity to support the community. Check out these directories to find local businesses to support: