Frequently Asked Questions

iStock_000006143614XSmallThe Aina (Earth, or Land in Hawaiian) is important to us and in that we want to do our part to preserve that which is sacred to us.  Living out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by so much natural beauty Hawaii prides itself in striving to promote sustainability.  We cherish our mountains and our ocean that residents and visitors alike play in daily, we are nourished by our clean air and fresh water.  In this, we find it important as island residents and Realtors who ultimately represent the health and well being of the Hawaiian lifestyle to do what we can to “GET OUR GREEN ON”.  Because of this desire we have created the Koa Realty “GO GREEN” page in hopes that we can instill a little more green in our own lives as well as that of our client base.

The “GO GREEN” page is intended to provide you with the ability to easily and efficiently navigate to a wealth of useful materials that will allow you to learn, work towards, and become more environmentally friendly.   Or as we like to say “GET YOUR GREEN ON”!!

From tips on greening up your home space, to becoming a localvoir (consumer of local goods) through our rigorous research we have sought out answers on a local and national level as to how we as individuals can do our part in caring for and nurturing our earth and our islands future. –The mission of Recycle Hawai`i is to promote resource awareness and recycling enterprises in Hawai`i.   This is a great site and a great organization!  images-25Any question that you may have about what can be recycled and who can help you recycle it are covered.  Take some time and get to know this link well!!  It is a wealth of information if you want to get involved with the island of Hawaii’s strong recycling efforts!  Be sure to check out the PDF document for Hawaii Island Recycling guide 
— Did you know that Hawaii has created a PLASTIC BAG BAN and by January 2014 all single use carryout bags will be prohibited.  You will notice that most of the local grocery stores charge a small fee for the purchase of a plastic bag, this is the start of the process of “weening” our community off the use of plastic bags.  Using reusable bags takes a little getting used to, but what I find is the more convenient the bag the easier it is to incorporate into our daily practice….



County of Hawai‘i Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance

The purpose of the ordinance is to reduce or eliminate single use plastic carryout bags.
The law became effective January 17, 2013.




  • Plastic bags can entangle or choke fish, turtles, birds and other animals that mistake plastic for food.
  • Plastic bags contribute to litter, especially because they are easily carried by the wind.  Knot them to prevent flyaways.
  • Plastic bags may degrade into unsafe chemicals.
  • Single use plastic bags are not consistent with the County’s goal to reduce the quanititly of materials going into the landfills.


  • All businesses including groceries, restaurants, farmer’s markets and other retailers must comply.
  • Beginning January 17, 2013, if stores provide single use plastic carryout bags, they must charge a fee.
  • One year later, on January 17, 2014, all single use plastic carryout bags are prohibited.
  • Allows for plastic bags to be used for bulk items such as meat, fish, nuts, grains, fresh produce, small hardware, garments & prescription drugs.

To read more about the Hawaii County plastic bag ban ordinance log on to!



As of January 1, 2010, all NEW single-family dwellings built in the State of Hawaii are required to have a solar water heater (Act 204, June 26, 2008, now HRS 196-6.5).Solar water heaters typically cost home buyers about $5,000 extra on their mortgage, but island residents will save thousands of dollars over the years on their electricity bill.  Solar water heaters reduce residents’ electricity costs between 30 percent and 35 percent —  With savings like that the initial expense of a solar hot water system is usually paid off in three to four-and-a-half years time.  Not only is the financial savings something to feel good about, but our lawmakers even described a government requirement for solar water heaters as a way to protect the environment, and reduce Hawaii’s heavy reliance on foreign energy sources.

Consumers in Hawaii enjoy a range of incentives and tax breaks that can reduce the cost of a $6,620 solar water heating system down to $2,064, according to Hawaii Energy, which has a contract with the Public Utilities Commission to administer the state’s energy conservation program.

Hawaii Energy also recently launched a program with federal stimulus money that provides an upfront rebate of up to $1,000 to cover interest costs for a consumer borrowing money to install a system.


Average cost of a solar water heating system $6,620
Instant rebate from Hawaii Energy $750
35 percent federal tax credit $1,955
30 percent state tax credit $1,761
Net cost to consumer $2,064

Source: Hawaii Energy


Get some facts on Hawaii Energy usage throughout the state and learn more about the advantages of the Solar hot water initiative.


Big island Farmers Markets

Our food is our daily nourishment.  It is just as important in this era as it has been through all others.  Hawaii islands resources for food production are abundant.  And thankfully,The big island of Hawaii has farmers markets popping up all over! Farmers markets are a wonderful part of the Hawaiian way.  With all of the exotic fruits and vegetables that are grown here it is a great way to explore many of them as well as have the opportunity to meet the local farmers.  Have you ever eaten durian or mangosteen, or eaten a dish made with bitter melon?  These are just some of the reasons to pop in to one of our islands local markets.

Here is a list of many of the farmers markets that are available to you around our island home.

Hilo’s Farmers’ Market
Wed., Sat., 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mon., Tues., Thurs., Sun., 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Corner of Kamehameha Ave. and Mamo St.

Keaau Village Market
Daily, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
16-0550 Old Volcano Rd.

Mamo Street Market
Daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mamo Parking Lot

The Market Place
Wed., Sat., 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Across from the Hilo Farmers’ Market

Panaewa Hawaiian Home Lands Farmers’ Market
Daily, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Corner of Puainako and Ohuohu, on the sidewalk of Hilo WalMart

Honokaa Farmers’ Market
Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Old Botelho Bldg., Downtown Honokaa

Laupahoehoe Farmers’ Market
Sunday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Makai (ocean) side of Hwy 19 between mile markers 25 and 26 (next to the “Minit Stop”)

Hawaiian Homestead Farmers’ Market
Saturday, 7 a.m. – 12 noon
64-759 Kahilu Road (located at Kuhio Hale Building)

Kekela Farm
Tues., Fri., 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
64-604 Mana Road

Under the Banyans Farmers’ Market

Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Waikoloa Village Farmers’ Market
Saturday, 7:15 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Waikoloa Community Church Parking Lot
68-3625 Paniolo Ave., Waikoloa

The Kings’ Shops Farmers Market
Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Waikoloa Beach Resort

Alii Garden Market Place
Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat., Sun., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
75-6129 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona

Keauhou Farmers’ Market
Saturday, 8 a.m. – noon
Keauhou Shopping Center, fronting Ace Hardware

Kona Farmers’ Market
Sat., Sun., 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Old Industrial Park, Kaiwi Square, Kailua-Kona

South Kona Fruit Stand
Daily, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
84-4770 Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook
Near the old Higashi Store, between mile marker 103 &104

South Kona Green Market
Sunday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden
Across from Manago Hotel, Captain Cook

Village Farmers’ Market
Sat., Sun., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Across from Hale Halawai, Kailua-Kona

Holualoa Gardens Farmers Market
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 noon
76-5901 Mamalahoa Hwy in Holualoa
North Kona

Hooulu Community Farmers Market
Wednesday, 10:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Keauhou Beach Resort Royal Gardens


Kau Farmers’ Market
Wed., Sat., 8 a.m. – 2 p.m
In front of Ace Hardware, Naalehu

Akebono Farmers’ Market
Sunday, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Akebono Parking Lot, Pahoa

Fern Forest Town Market
2nd Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Makuu Farmers’ Market
Sunday, 6 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Highway 130, between Keaau and Pahoa

SPACE Farmers Market
Saturday, 8 a.m. – noon
12-247 W. Pohakupele Loop (Kalapana Seaview neighborhood)

Volcano Farmers’ Market
Sunday, 6:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
1000 Wright Rd.,
Cooper Center, Volcano