While visiting a beautiful place like Maui, it is easy to relax on and enjoy the many scenic beaches. Little do people know, it is also easy to discover ways to give back to the island by volunteering a few hours of their vacation. From removing invasive plant species, to donating, to booking eco-tours, Maui can always use as much love as it can get!
Our unique island has been presented with invasive species, both plants and animals over the past 200 years. Most organizations can’t keep up with the rate of growth of invasive species on their own, which is why most will offer volunteer days or stewardship trips to teach visitors about the sensitive ecosystems Maui exhibits. Not only does it feel good to give back, but it also provides a sense of place, giving visitors a deeper connection to Maui than just a destination vacation island.
Friends of Haleakala overnight trips:
If you are looking for something “more” than just a few hours, try a few nights with Friends of Haleakala. They work with Haleakala National Park to restore native vegetation, maintain trails and cabins, remove invasive species, and teach volunteers about Haleakala’s landscapes. Groups meet in Pukalani, and ride up to the park in the morning and hike in the same day to one of three cabins. Group leaders will take you to the sites you will be working on. Learn more.
Hawaiian Islands Land Trust:
Visit their website to see weekly and monthly events at different locations they manage and preserve. With protected lands in Hana, Waihee, Kapalua, Nahiku, Wailuku, Launiuopoko, and many more, it is easy to find ways to give back with HILT and their many protected areas. Learn more at Hawaiian Islands Land Trust
Volunteer on Vacation with Pacific Whale Foundation:
Every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, a trained naturalist will drive you up from Maalaea Harbor to Haleakala National Park to participate in an hour or two of invasive species removal. Bring your own lunch, snacks, water, and sun protection. Learn about Haleakala’s unique microclimate while enjoying a picnic lunch at the summit. Trips go either in the morning or afternoon. Learn more at Pacific Whale Foundation or Volunteers on Vacation.
Trilogy’s Blue’Aina Campaign
Trilogy started their Blue’Aina Campaign in 2010 when company employees wanted to start giving back to the reef system they were exploring every day. Since its beginning, Trilogy has partnered with many different corporate sponsors who donate $1000 to a local nonprofit. Anyone can join the Blue’Aina campaign on the first Sunday of each month, and if you want to become a corporate sponsor, there are links and resources for you to do that through Triology’s Blue’Aina web page.
Surfrider Foundation Beach Cleanups
Clean a beach with Surfrider Foundation! They provide all the cleanup materials; you just need to bring water, sun protection, close-toed shoes, and a good attitude! This is a great way to meet local community members working together to keep our oceans and beaches clean. Learn more.
Conduct your own beach cleanup (at your own risk)!
Each time you go to the beach, try picking up 5 pieces of trash. Most common types of debris you will see are plastics, straws, and cigarette butts. If each person on Maui picks up 5 pieces of trash when they go to the beach, the beaches would be spotless! Keeping beaches clean is a great way to protect marine wildlife and seabirds.
Zip for the Trees with Skyline Eco-Adventures, or Donate to the Partner of the Month When you book online!
Zip for the trees is an annual community and fundraising event that Skyline puts on to restore native forests on the Haleakala course. Over 400 people attended the 2016 event and over $6000 was raised to support 5 local charities. If you can’t make it to the annual event, a good way to give back is to book tours with Skyline as they donate 1% of their sales to environmental preservation, or you can donate to their partner of the month when you book online. Do good while having fun!
About the Author: Skyline Eco-Adventures is Hawaii’s most experienced zipline operator. Feel confident providing your family with a safe and fun adventure during your island stay. To reserve a zipline tour or for more info, visit: https://www.zipline.com/.