How does a trip to Hawaii sound right now? We imagine that after a year of sitting tight at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re itching to get out and travel as much as we are at CarbonCure. So today we’re taking you to the island of Oahu to experience some of its magic and visit Island Ready-Mix Concrete, a pioneering company that is using CarbonCure’s carbon utilization technology to help protect its beautiful island home.
And our journey won’t end in the Aloha State—this is just the first stop in a brand-new series, Around the World with CarbonCure. So if you’re signed up for our blog, every month we’ll take you on a trip to explore a new destination and meet a new concrete company that is helping transform the built environment.
Hawaii, with its ravishing beauty, distinct and welcoming culture, warm currents and iconic outdoor activities, is not just one of the most beloved travel destinations in the world—it’s also one that is especially vulnerable to the rising oceans, extreme weather and other devastation related to climate change.
So it’s no surprise that the state and its capital, Honolulu, are leaders in setting goals and taking action to reduce their carbon footprint. In April 2019, Honolulu’s city council made concrete one of its climate-change solutions, passing a resolution asking that the city consider using carbon dioxide-mineralized concrete for all construction projects.
Enter Island Ready-Mix, which is situated west of Honolulu on Barber’s Point in Kapolei, just minutes from the beginner-friendly waves and monk seals of White Plains Beach Park. Founded in 1983, Island Ready-Mix now has 43 employees, one plant and 24 trucks, and its projects are as varied as residential driveways, schools, multi-story office buildings, entertainment attractions and highways. Acting on a desire to make green and environment-friendly products, it adopted CarbonCure’s technology in March 2019.
The company debuted its carbon-injected concrete in a test project for the Hawaii DOT two months later, pouring 150 cubic yards (115 cubic metres) of it next to an equal-sized pour of conventional concrete on an access road of the Kapolei interchange. The HDOT noted at the time that the technology could cut the embodied carbon of its projects by 25 pounds per cubic yard (15 kilograms per cubic metre) of concrete, meaning that every mile of highway construction could offset the carbon released by more than 550,000 miles (885,139 kilometres) of highway travel by an average passenger car.
“I am pleased to see HDOT moving ahead with CarbonCure and local concrete companies to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide (CO₂) emitted during the construction process,” said Hawaiian Governor David Ige, on the eve of the test. “As the daily baseline measurement for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere reaches the highest level in modern history, it is especially important for all of us to do all we can towards ensuring a sustainable Hawaii for future generations.”
The successful pilot launched the state’s official adoption of the technology and has enabled Island Ready-Mix—in just the first three months of 2021 alone—to sequester 2,424 pounds (1,100 kilograms) of waste carbon, ultimately saving 46 tons (42 metric tonnes) of carbon from being released into the atmosphere.
Now, if you have time to relax for a few days before travelling home, Brandon Williams, CarbonCure’s Market Development Manager of the West Coast, and past resident of Hawaii, has these great ideas for you:
Polynesian Cultural Center Luau
Present-day Hawaii is populated by an eclectic mix of nationalities, but native Hawaiian culture is still very much alive in the state.
You might think “tourist trap” when you hear Luau, but a good one can offer insights into Hawaii’s history and people through its fragrant pig roasts, mesmerizing dance and historical theater and reenactments.
“I would recommend this for day one,” Williams says of the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Luau in Laie. “You get to visit three different villages with their unique experiences and have a grand Luau at the end.”
In the area of outdoor sports, Hawaii offers an endless list of epic possibilities, including snorkeling, diving, hiking (more about that next) and kayaking. But it’s in a class all its own when it comes to surfing.
“Surfing is a must-try,” Williams says, noting that some of the best beginner waves are right on Waikiki beach in Honolulu, and he recommends signing up for lessons.
But if you head to the North Shore in the winter, it’s best to watch from the beach. (Those giant waves are absolutely not for novices!)
Hike to a Waterfall
Oahu offers hundreds of hiking trails and no matter your ability, you’ll be able to reach spectacular views and tropical flower-scented rainforests.
One of Williams’ favorites is a 1.6 mile (2.6 kilometre) trail close to Waikiki that features a majestic 150-foot (46 metre) waterfall.
“Manoa Falls is a great hike that is less touristy than Waimea Falls, and also has a couple photo opportunities from the show “LOST,” Williams says.
So have we sparked your appetite for adventure?
Stay tuned for our next stop in May to visit one of our newest customers, ABC Ready Mix in the Golden State capital of Sacramento. And with gold rush experiences, great food, wine tasting, terrific museums and stunning nature abound we will have lots of suggestions for a trip to California.