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Sonja Kass


Images by: Sonja Kass

On your average sunny day, Sonja Kass is at her Kauai home where she lives with her husband and daughter. Originally from Austria, with a stop in California, Sonja has lived in Hawaii for 16 years, and she prioritizes caring for the environment. On their property she maintains a healthy vegetable garden and tropical staples like avocado, breadfruit, and orange trees.

She always knew climate change was around the corner, but, she says, “for some strange reason it always seemed 20 years away in my mind.” In 2013, the family sold their two gas-powered vehicles and purchased a single Nissan LEAF, using only that and bicycles for all the family’s transportation needs over several years. Later, they were able to save and afford more PV panels, and in 2017, they purchased a second LEAF. Last year they added a more efficient car charger.

While they have acquired more energy-efficient technologies over time to reduce their carbon footprint, they don’t completely rely on them. For example, Sonja hangs the family’s laundry to dry, and grows, harvests, and stores her own foods.

The Kass' also participate in community events, like April’s Earth Day EV caravan and beach clean-up, to “make people aware that EVs are not rich people’s toys.”

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