Kauai’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants has expanded to include its first floating eatery as Holo Holo Charters has jumped on board and gotten the certification from Surfrider Kauai.
It’s a program designed to reduce the amount of single-use and polystyrene plastic that’s going into the ocean and dozens of Kauai restaurants are getting certified through Surfrider.
Some of those restaurants include Little Fish Coffee and Kalaheo Coffee on the south and west sides; Aloha Aina Juice Café and The Greenery in Lihue; The Local and Tiki Taco in Kapaa; and Opakapaka Grill and Bar in Hanalei.
Now, the first tour boat charter company has joined the mix.
“Holo Holo Charters has been doing its part in cutting down single-use plastics for quite some time and has been proactive in creating less overall debris that could end up in our ocean,” said Kit Furderer, spokesman for Holo Holo Charters.
It was Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant state of Hawaii co-chair Anny Barlow who suggested the company get the certification after learning about some of those steps the company has taken to help keep the oceans clean.
“Holo Holo Charters uses biodegradable cups and reduces single-use throw away items by using reusable dishes on board its vessels,” Furderer said. “Holo Holo Charters has long been a part of the global movement to clean up our environment and believes the smallest steps have the potential to make the biggest impact.”
Since the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program offers restaurants an easy way to show their commitment to making sustainable choices for our ocean it made sense for Holo Holo Charters to become certified, Furderer explained.
An Ocean Friendly Restaurants certification requires an eatery use no expanded polystyrene and follows proper recycling practices. Only reusable tableware is used for onsite dining and disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request.
“Holo Holo Charters (is) not a typical restaurant, but being on the frontline, they have chosen paper cups and reusable utinsels for their guests,” said Rebekah Magers, Ocean Friendly Restaurants coordinator.
She also pointed out Holo Holo has been a big supporter of Surfrider’s Net Patrol campaign, which removes fishing nets from local beaches.
“We feel its our kuleana (responsibility) as a company to do our part in helping the community and environment through education, action and dedication,” Furderer said. “Anytime we see large trash, fish nets or animals endangered; we stop to assist in the best way.”
Those who work with the company say Holo Holo understands that a large amount of plastic pollutants end up in our water and can create a toxic environment for the fish and anything that consumes the fish.
“We must change the way we consume and package single use products and change to purchasing biodegradable and earth-friendly products,” Furderer said.
The tour company also has a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Dolphin Friendly designation.
Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.