Reflections on Sustainability Concepts: Aloha ʻĀina and the Circular Economy
3. Historical Background
3.1. The Origins of Aloha ʻĀina and Contemporary Hawaiʻi
“… the first-born son of Wakea was of premature birth (keiki alualu) and was given the name of Haloa-naka. The little thing died, however, and its body was buried in the ground at one corner of the house. After a while, from the child’s body, shot up a taro plant. After that, another child was born to them whom they called Haloa, from the stalk of the taro. He is the progenitor of all the peoples of the earth.” (p. 244)
“The truth is, there is man and there is environment one does not supersede the other. The breath in man is the breath of Papa (the earth). Man is merely the caretaker of the land that maintains his life and nourishes his soul. Therefore, ʻāina is sacred. The church of life is not in a building, it is the open sky, the surrounding ocean, the beautiful soil. My duty is to protect Mother Earth, who gives me life. And to give thanks with humility as well as ask for forgiveness for the arrogance and insensitivity of man.”
“Between households within the ʻohana there was constant sharing and exchange of foods and of utilitarian articles and also of services, not in barter but as voluntary (though decidedly obligatory) giving. ʻOhana living inland, raising taro, bananas, wauke and olona, and needing guards, coconuts and marine foods, would take a gift to some ʻohana living near the shore and in return would receive fish or whatever was needed. The fisherman needing poi or ʻawa would take fish, squid or lobster upland to a household known to have taro, and would return with his kalo or paʻiʻai … it was the ʻohana that constituted the community within which the economic life moved.” (pp. 5–6)
3.2. Sustainable Development and Circular Economy in Europe
4. Closing the Loop: Case Studies of Best Practices in Germany and Hawaiʻi
5. Results and Discussion: Aloha ʻĀina and the Circular Economy
- Community sites of aloha ʻāina continue to be utilized, adapted, and innovated by community experts; these projects are rich places of knowledge exchange that can inform complex economic and socio-ecological questions;
- Methods and tools of CE can inform aloha ʻāina practitioners and initiatives, especially the installment of top–down approaches to implement and institutionalize community projects;
- Immersed experiential knowledge exchange across cultures, and shifting expert and participant roles, allows for exploring at a deeper level cross-cultural characteristics;
- CE engagement with indigenous knowledge systems that model bottom–up approaches produces socially and culturally relevant solutions to the challenges of changing linear systems;
- Aloha ʻĀina and other indigenous knowledge systems have struggled with the linear economy in different ways; there is now an opportunity to ally and uplift to change the outcomes of how the system is functioning;
- The goals of a CE to change the status quo of linear economic systems could benefit by also addressing social justice and environmental justice issues of indigenous peoples and other peoples of color;
- Establishing networks of local–global practitioners is beneficial to solving complex sustainability issues and addressing environmental and social justice.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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Beamer, K.; Tuma, A.; Thorenz, A.; Boldoczki, S.; Kotubetey, K.; Kukea-Shultz, K.; Elkington, K. Reflections on Sustainability Concepts: Aloha ʻĀina and the Circular Economy. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2984. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052984
Beamer K, Tuma A, Thorenz A, Boldoczki S, Kotubetey K, Kukea-Shultz K, Elkington K. Reflections on Sustainability Concepts: Aloha ʻĀina and the Circular Economy. Sustainability. 2021; 13(5):2984. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052984Chicago/Turabian Style
Beamer, Kamanamaikalani, Axel Tuma, Andrea Thorenz, Sandra Boldoczki, Keliʻiahonui Kotubetey, Kanekoa Kukea-Shultz, and Kawena Elkington. 2021. "Reflections on Sustainability Concepts: Aloha ʻĀina and the Circular Economy" Sustainability 13, no. 5: 2984. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052984