Unprecedented: Hawaiʻi takes a break for Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

By Javiera Hites from Santiago Chile, Hotel Manager. Ma. Global Leadership & Sustainable Development @ HPU (Hawaii Pacific University)


Oʻahu, ‘The Gathering Place’…

…is now the opposite: a place of social avoidance

Waikiki Beach, the heart of Honolulu’s mass tourism, empty!

Due to the pandemic, Hawaiʻi finally took a break from crowds

Waikiki looks abandoned

Only a few ABC Stores and restaurants are open for take-out and delivery.

Most recreational parks are closed too

Trespassing certain areas may result in $5000 tickets, (yes, it is that serious!).

Surfing is Allowed!

However, surfing, which is embedded in the cultural identity of Hawaiʻi, is not off the table, as long as you keep 2 arms of social distance from your surfing buddies.

Today, there is not a soul on Waikiki Beach

Unbelievable, isn’t it?

Waikiki waters are replenishing

As millions of humans step aside, they finally rest from saturating amounts of coral-bleaching sunscreen.

What a relief!

And way before the first ban of toxic sunscreens go into effect on January 1st, 2021.

No ‘Opportunistic Tourism’, please!

When the crisis just started, a Waikiki visitor told me he was doing ‘opportunistic tourism’ as flight tickets were cheap.  Well, practicing ‘opportunistic tourism’ is not much of a traveler!

Travelers need to put their wandering instinct on hold for now. At least on the physical dimension.

Now is the time for traveling places with our imagination.

Let’s come up with ways of creating a positive impact on our future journeys, after this crisis is over.

Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary this Wednesday, April 22nd.

Hawai’i is taking a break from mass tourism when Earth Day is right around the corner.

Let’s take this unprecedented opportunity to align with the Aloha+Challenge Goals in new ways.

Overcoming these hard times with cooperation, humbleness, and solidarity will put us on the right track to give back to the planet.  On this Earth Day, let’s renew our energy and magnify our consciousness.

Do you have any inspiring ideas to contribute to the Aloha+Challenge while practicing social distancing on Earth Day?  Please share them below with the travel2change community.

together we can travel2change

Leave comment below or read more Blogs from travel2change


  1. Midas

    Looks beautiful
    I wanna visit there someday 🙂

  2. Jessica

    It’s so unusual to see the beaches empty! The economy is hurting, but the environment is thriving. Humanity needs to find a way to work with the environment instead of abusing it. This pandemic has brought to light just how much humans impact our environment. Hopefully we will take this lesson and shift to more environmentally friendly solutions now! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kai Bär

    It might be a good time to start organizing our homes and getting them(and ourselves) prepped for recycling, if possible start gardens and grow our own vegetables, fruits, etc. We depend too much on the exterior, in times like these and those to come that is not a wise choice. It’s good to have good enriching relations with the exterior, but dependance is a risky game. These are bad times for us but probably good for the planet. It’s about time to stop thinking so anthropocentric, our understanding of consciousness is absolutely irrelevant when it comes to assesing the value of a living being, life is priceless. If something so bad is so good for everything else, there must be something seriously wrong with humanity.

  4. Lisa

    Beautiful pictures! I hope that when we reopen, we don’t just go back to business as usual and take time to think about what we want back in our lives (and back in the environment).

  5. Sophia Garrido

    definitely brilliant representation of the evident decrease in toxication produced by the absence of large crowds drawn to commercial industry in Waikiki. I believe this is a great opportunity for all of us as a community to reflect upon our food choices and reevaluate our food supply chain. Considering most human diseases have derived from malpractice within the livestock industry, we must shift our priority from quantity towards quality; we need to move from the factory mindset of the 20th century onto sustainable local farm mindset suiting this new era of industrial decentralization.

  6. Amy

    Great photos! I think it’s important to remember that earth day is everyday.

  7. Jacqueline

    The photos are awesome – it shows both the beauty and the eeriness of an empty Waikīkī.

    To celebrate Earth Day today, my family was able to help support the movement in increasing Hawaii’s agricultural economy. Thanks to Hui Aloha ‘Aina Momona and local farmers, they have donated 1400 dry land taro. In exchange for some canned goods, we received huli (kalo) to plant in our backyard to eventually share with our family and friends. One huli could produce food for many generations – recognizing the ability to sustain ourselves, and at the same time, perpetuating Hawaiian culture during these times.

    “Plant what you take, share what you make” #hulikahonua – definitely check it out on Instagram if you’re interested!

  8. Sophie

    Amazing photos!! I love this blog and the opportunity to see the beach in its full essence

  9. Kat

    It would be cool if you could do another footage of the same places a month later. I have definitely seen more people on the streets of Waikiki than a month ago, however lets keep the rules in mind and not neglect anything just because the situation has been improving (at least in Hawaii)
    Lets always stay mindful of social distancing , washing hands and any measures such as the mandatory masks when going in a supermarket. Lets not forget these social norms since these are some of the little details that can make it easier to confront the situation and help not to over-stress or colapse the health system.

  10. Pua

    Wow it’s been so long since the pandemic first hit. Now beaches are open and apparently Hawaii will be re-opened to tourism this Oct 15.
    More than a health crises per-se, the Pacific islands, territories and countries had experienced shock in their economies due to the Covid-19 mitigation efforts. Economies highly reliant on remittances, tourism and the global supply chain. Food systems and food security needs to be revised and I deeply hope that when Hawaii is reopened to tourism It comes by hand with more sustainable practices, moving away from the predation that has characterized tourism on the islands so far.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *