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Hawaiʻi Convention Center launches carbon-offset program

FILE - Kawaii Kon 2022 at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center
Liberty Peralta
FILE - Kawaii Kon 2022 at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center

The Hawaiʻi Convention Center is starting a carbon-offset program for conferences and other events using the venue.

The center is partnering with the Hawaiʻi Legacy Reforestation Initiative to plant native trees for the program.

Event organizers are automatically in the program when using the Convention Center, but can opt-out.

"We calculate what the cost would be to offset their rentable space in the Convention Center. And so it comes out to roughly $1.19 per square foot of rentable space that is billed to the organization. And all of the funds that is contributing to this carbon offset program goes right back to tree planting," said Teri Orton, the center’s general manager. "The total cost to plant a tree is roughly $85."

Orton says the center will donate money from the program’s fund to the Hawaiʻi Legacy Reforestation Initiative at the end of every month.

The initiative plants native trees like koa and milo on Hawaiʻi Island and Oʻahu.

She says one tree can offset a vacation for a family of four.

Casey Harlow was an HPR reporter and occasionally filled in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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