Students Revive Sustainability Fair

Rachel Breitweser ’03

From 2006 – 2013, Punahou’s annual Sustainability Fair was a tradition that students, faculty, staff and the general community anticipated each spring. The fair, put on by the School, with booths, games, hands-on activities and healthy snacks, focused on sustainability at Punahou.


This year, the first-ever student run Sustainability Fair brought this popular day-long celebration back to campus in a renewed format.

Shoshana ’17, one of the student planners, shares her experience.

I really enjoyed visiting the Sustainability Fair when I was in Middle School. I learned a lot when I went, and it helped foster my interest in creating a more sustainable community. So, last year, with guidance and support from Luke Center, Alexis ’19 and I decided to revive the Sustainability Fair.


Alexis and I began the planning process last year, but most of the work was done this year. Last year, we sent out a survey to find out if people missed the fair, and what they missed about it in particular. All of the responses were in support of the fair.

From the information we got in the survey, we began the long process of deciding what we wanted the fair to be like. That process took the longest because we changed our minds several times.


We wanted to make sure that the fair would appeal to a broad audience and have a big impact, but we also had to remain realistic because we are both full time students with lots of other things going on. What really helped the process was bringing a lot of other students on board to keep the fair student-run without creating an overwhelming amount of stress.

Gordon ’19 joined our team to create the Recycled Art Tent, one of the major features of the fair. Lauren ’19 became the volunteer coordinator and made sure that we had all the help we needed. Alexis ’19 was in charge of the on-campus presenters and coordinated all of the classes, clubs and individual students who participated in the fair.


I worked with the outside organizations and contacted many different people to see if they would be interested in participating. There were a lot of emails and phone calls involved in planning everything from setup and electricity, to what and how they would be presenting their topics.

I learned a lot about planning a large-scale event and how much the minute details matter in making it happen. I also learned about turning a vision into an actual event. Not everything went as planned. There were so many moving parts that I had no control over so I had to become flexible and ready to handle whatever happened.

We are very happy that so many people came out to see the fair!