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Kanalani Ohana Farms

Hawaii Island

Melanie and Colehour Bondera met at UC Davis where they bonded over their shared interest in living a life without fossil fuels and fell in love. The couple bought Kanalani Ohana Farms, their home and business, with the intention to create a sustainable family farm as a unit of sustainable community which could in turn, form a sustainable society. In addition to inheriting five fruitful acres in Kealakekua on Hawaii Island, their off-the-grid home came with two solar panels dating back to the 1970s.
The Bonderas added two more panels with the help of a federal grant to power their home and business. The family’s vision for their sustainable home and business included limited fossil fuel use in every aspect of their lives including plastics. “It’s kind of crazy how few people acknowledge that plastic and fertilizer are all fossil fuels,” said Melanie. To reduce their carbon footprint, almost all farmwork is hand operated with few exceptions. The Bonderas pulp their coffee using bicycle power and then sun dry their coffee on a traditional hoshidana.

However, Melanie and Colehour believe they can do more, “We can do this, we can be like, we are not contributing anymore carbon to the atmosphere.” So now the questions remains, what does a net zero carbon life look like? Looking forward to a 100% renewable future, the Bonderas are considering small and large lifestyle changes, such as upgrading their solar PV and storage system or replacing their gas-powered weed whackers with goats.

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