Catharine Lo

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Nov 07

Here's a ranking of Hawaii's largest carbon polluters. Note that the top 3 sources pollute as much as the next 21!

Nov 05

A photo journal of the eviction of the Riverdale mobile home park residents in north-central Pennsylvania. From the most excellent website "BURN":

The Riverdale mobile home park used to sit on the banks of the Susquehanna River in north-central Pennsylvania. It housed working families with modest incomes. Earlier this year, all the Riverdale trailer families were evicted to make room for a pump station and pipeline that would move Susquehanna water to fracking sites elsewhere in the state.

Some from Riverdale went willingly. Some did not. Some stayed to fight the evictions. Everyone shared in the hardships. The disruption unsettled families and undermined their support networks as they wondered what to do and where to go.

BURN host Alex Chadwick visits the stories of Riverdale with free lance photographer and Pennsylvania resident Lynn Johnson, who works on assignment for National Geographic.

Check it out here.

Oct 08

Let’s call LNG what it is. LNG is a fossil fuel, just like oil and coal. It’s 90-percent methane (CH4), a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Hawai‘i Gas likes to call methane a “cleaner-burning fuel.” But that handy phrase hides the fact that methane leaks out of the ground during drilling (hello, fracking) and that fossil fuels are consumed to ship it across the sea. LNG is liquefied methane. It’s not clean. It’s not renewable. It’s not local. It’s not sustainable.

Read the rest of our commentary posted at Civil Beat.

Oct 02

Sharing some opportunities from our friends at Hawaii Energy...

Efficiency Sales Professional Certification Program
October 22 – 27, 2012
Honolulu Country Club - Honolulu, HI

The market is filled with sales programs that provide proven strategies for increasing leads, creating compelling value propositions, building client relationships, and closing sales. However, these programs are created for large and varied audiences selling everything from Italian leather shoes to jetliners. When it comes to applying sales principles to your own industry, it starts to get tricky. That’s why EEFG created the ESP Certification Program, which artfully combines instruction on professional selling, financial analysis, segment-specific business acumen, and the energy efficiency industry.

The Program will equip you with the resources, insights, focus, and skills needed to:

·         Identify and capture the attention of the highest-quality prospects
·         Quantify and monetize all of the benefits of enhanced efficiency
·         Understand how people in different segments and decision-making roles view and value efficiency
·         Generate proposals and supporting financials that are concise and compelling
·         Understand the differences between how owner-occupants, landlords, and tenants view and value efficiency
·         Generate compelling value propositions

Continuing education units are available: GBCI 48 CEs (LEED); AIA 16 LUs and 32 HSW/SD LUs
Program Fee: $350 (Note: Hawaii Energy is subsidizing the cost of this program for Hawaii, Honolulu, and Maui county residents.  Residents of other counties must pay the unsubsidized program fee of $2,975). For more information and to register Questions? or (808) 421-8639
Learning to S.E.E. (Selling Efficiency Effectively)
October 29, 2012
Ala Moana Hotel, Honolulu, HI

Energy-efficiency projects and solutions can be a tough sell to building owners in today’s economic climate. Most decisions are emotional decisions, and making energy-efficiency purchases and changes are no exception. Whether you’re selling efficiency solutions or seeking project approvals, understanding what factors play a role in the decision-making process, as well as how to build rapport with key stakeholders, vastly increases your odds of success. Credits: AIA 6.0 HSW/SD, GBCI 6.0 (LEED).

Program Fee: $35 (Note: Hawaii Energy is subsidizing the cost of this program for Hawaii, Honolulu, and Maui county residents.  Residents of other counties must pay the unsubsidized workshop fee of $495)

Register online here. Questions? or (808) 421-8639
Financial Analysis of Energy Efficiency Projects
October 30, 2012
Maui Arts & Cultural Center – Kahului, HI
It is much easier to secure funding for a proposed energy-saving project if all of the associated costs and benefits are properly quantified and the resulting financial return is compelling. This workshop will cover several approaches to calculating a project’s returns as well as the pros and cons of using various financial metrics when requesting capital. By the end of the day, students will know how to model expected cash outflows and inflows over time, how to calculate a project’s present value and other financial metrics, and how to generate compelling capital budgeting requests.  Credits: AIA 6.0 HSW/SD, GBCI 6.0 CE (LEED).  Register
Program Fee: $35 (Note: Hawaii Energy is subsidizing the cost of this program for Hawaii, Honolulu, and Maui county residents.  Residents of other counties must pay the unsubsidized workshop fee of $495). Register  Questions? or (808) 421-8639

Sep 19

Blue Planet Foundation's short film is the winner of the 2012 Bike Shorts Hawaii Film Festival!

Sep 12

Posted on in Blue Planet Updates

Clicking for Cash

Blue Planet Foundation has partnered with Kokua Hawaii Foundation to earn some valuable dollars from the Chase Community Giving program. Chase is donating $5 million to nonprofit organizations across the country, and we would love to see some of it directed toward a better future for Hawaii. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Fundraising is an indispensable part of keeping nonprofits alive. It makes it possible for groups like ours to implement programs that support the nonprofit sector's universal mission of improving the world we live in. With this Chase campaign, instead of asking for your money, we're asking for your vote. The top 196 vote-getters will be awarded with a $10,000 contribution.

Each voter gets to cast two votes, so please vote for Hawaii! Click here to support Blue Planet Foundation, and click here to support Kokua Hawaii Foundation. Voting ends on Sep. 19. We'd appreciate your help, too, in passing these links forward—thank you for your valuable contribution!

Sep 05

There are about 50 spots left to participate in the Hawaii Energy Study. This EPA-funded program is a collaboration between Blue Planet, Kanu Hawaii, and Kupu designed to help Hawaii residents become knowledgeable about their home energy use so that they can reduce their household consumption and their electricity bills. Watch this short video to learn more:

If you're chosen as a program participant, a couple of Kupu's Youth Energy Assessment Hawaii (YEAH) team members will visit your home and conduct an energy assessment, identifying energy problems (for example, my freezer door didn't have a proper seal, so my icebox was working overtime to keep food cold) and opportunities to save energy (they found a few incandescent bulbs I had missed--like in my desk lamp). Participants will also receive a professionally installed TED in-home monitor that shows your real-time electricity usage, as well as a weatherization kit that includes a low-flow showerhead, LEDs, and smart power strips, among other energy-saving tools. These services/products are worth $1,000--a lot more, even, when you consider the amount of money you'll save on your electricity bill each month by reducing your energy consumption. Take advantage of this program. There's no catch! The EPA funded it to help Hawaii residents reduce their energy use.

To sign up, go to Deadline is Friday, Sep. 14. Pass it on! Big mahalos to Mike and Kehau Romero and Leslie Liang for sharing their stories.

Aug 27

On Aug. 25, the Hawaii chapter of the US Green Building Council--the organization responsible for establishing LEED building standards--held its Green Gala at Warehouse MR1.1 in Kaka‘ako, where elements of sustainable design were showcased and celebrated. That evening, they presented their 2012 honorees, naming Blue Planet Foundation as the recipient of the Community Award. The Community Award is given annually to an organization or company that has “demonstrated profound impact on their community through sustainability.”
“We’re grateful for the recognition and thank the USGBC for showing us what’s possible through green design of our built environment," said Blue Planet Executive Director Jeff Mikulina. “Blue Planet continues to encourage builders to incorporate radical energy efficiency into their building projects to align our long-term economic, environmental, and societal goals.”

The Green Gala celebrated the efforts of local designers, builders, and community leaders that are helping Hawai‘i become a recognized pioneer in sustainable design. The mission of the USGBC Hawaii is to create an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous quality of life for all in Hawai‘i through the transformation of the built environment and the way it is planned, designed, constructed and operated. They intend to create a positive impact on the region’s built environment by accelerating the adoption of green building practices, technologies, policies, and standards.

Congratulations to all the honorees, and mahalo to the US Green Building Council for encouraging Hawaii to become a leader of sustainable design!

Aug 15

Thanks to all the inspiring (and scary) superheroes who came to the rescue of Hawaii nonprofits at the Yelp Helps! event at the Hawaii Food Bank. Without the generous support from our volunteers, we wouldn't be able to reach as many communities with our programs.

Jul 31

On Aug. 11, Yelp Helps is throwing an "Everyday Heroes" bash to celebrate the spirit of volunteerism in Honolulu. The event takes place at the Hawaii Food Bank. Registered participants will be able to sample tasty eats, mini cocktails, and spa treats as they walk around and learn about the good work of 20 local nonprofits that rely heavily on the service and generosity of volunteers. The party is free if you RSVP. Here are the details:

Feel like you could save the world but haven't quite been able to take the leap? Well, you don't have to be able to fly like a rocket or walk through walls in order to do a heroic deed! Volunteering in the community makes a huge impact on the lives of those in need and Yelp is making the call to anyone who wants to take action and be transformed into an everyday hero through Yelp Helps!

You're invited to join us for the YELP HELPS "EVERYDAY HEROES" KICK-OFF PARTY which brings YOU together with stellar Honolulu non-profits in need of support and volunteers! Dress up in yelpy super hero attire and enjoy tasty bites from local restaurants, imbibe on delicious beverages, chillax with spa treats, experience musical entertainment, live performances and more! Enter our yelpiest super hero contest and visit our charitable friends for your chance to win roundtrip airfare courtesy of Alaska Air!

What's even better? This party is FREE (w/ confirmed RSVP) and a canned goods or $5 suggested donation to the Hawaii Foodbank!

Location: Hawaii Foodbank (2611 Kilihau Street)
Date: Saturday August 11, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm-9:00 pm
Attire: Super hero themed costumes or yelpy party attire
Parking: Street parking or valet (More info to come)
Cost: Free w/ confirmed RSVP & a canned goods or $5 suggested donation to the Hawaii Foodbank


***YELP ELITES - Please RSVP via the Yelp Elite calendar at or you will not be on the early entry list.
_________________________ _________________________ ______________________

NO DAY OF AT THE DOOR ENTRY, you must RSVP in advance and received an EMAIL CONFIRMATION. We'll begin sending out email confirmations on Wednesday August 1st.
_________________________ _________________________ ______________________

The Hawaii Foodbank (http://www.hawaiifoodban…)

Alaska Air (
Star 101.9 (

Aloha Beer
Aloha Pops & Aloha Ice Cream Tricycle…
bambuTwo Cafe + Martini Lounge…
Hawaii Bitters http://www.hawaiibitters…
Hard Rock Cafe…
Hawaiian Cheesecakes…
Hokulani Bake Shop…
ING Direct Café…
Jamba Hawaii http://www.jambahawaii.c…
Kai Vodka
Mac 24/7…
Otto Cake…
Paul's Poppers…
Tiki's Grill & Bar…
Uncle Bo's Pupu Bar & Grill…
Via Gelato…

Face Art Beauty…
Lena's Fab Brow's…
Bliss Mobile Spa…

RAW Artists Honolulu http://www.rawartists.or…
Photo Ops Hawaii…
Mobile Gamer Guys…

The restaurant and beverage sponsors taking part in the soiree are sampling *bites and sips*, and most definitely not supplying a full-on feast. Please don't be "that guy" with the full plate while someone else walks away without even a nibble. It's tacky, yo.

Here's all the amazing non-profits you'll get to meet:
Aloha United Way & Society of Young Leaders
American Lung Association
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu
Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii
Blue Planet Foundation
Family Programs Hawaii
Family Promise of Hawaii
Hale Kipa, Inc.
Hawaii Foodbank
Hawaiian Humane Society
Honolulu Habitat for Humanity
IHS, The Institute for Human Services, Inc.
Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
Lanakila Pacific
Life Foundation
Paepae o He`eia
RAW Artists Honolulu
Waikiki Aquarium

Don't Feed the Money Monster