KAHULUI - The University of Hawaii Maui College's Sustainable Living Institute is hosting five free evening workshops aimed at local businesses.
The workshops, from Thursday through Oct. 27, are being held in conjunction with the college's continuing education program, VITEC.
The array of topics include smart grids, the proposed-Ulupalakua geothermal energy project, water conservation, energy efficiency as well as conservation and "zero waste." Everything is meant either to inform business leaders about the latest limited-resource protecting technologies and/or provide them with environmentally friendly ways to save money.
The series of workshops, called "Sustainable Technology Business Pau Hana," is intended specifically for Maui businesses, according a news release from the Sustainable Living Institute. The idea is to "continue the conversation about making smart choices with our resources," organizers said.
They said they want to not only provide knowledge but also inspire business leaders to increase or introduce sustainable practices into their operations.
The Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training is funding the project.
One goal is to demonstrate how new, advanced technologies can be implemented to make a business more sustainable, and, ultimately, more profitable.
Each monthly workshop will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Class Act Restaurant in the Pa'ina building on the UH-Maui College campus.
"Business people are invited to come hear about exciting opportunities that are on the horizon," organizers said.
* On Thursday, the series begins when James Griffin from the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute on Oahu will present the latest information on "smart grids" and the upcoming opportunities for them on Maui.
A smart grid is a technology that both Maui Electric Co. and its parent, Hawaii Electric Co., are investing in to make the sometimes highs and lows of renewable energy output, such as wind and solar power, more adaptable and reliable - often through battery stations where power is stored for cloudy or still days.
* On July 21, Christopher Heaps of ORMAT will describe the geothermal energy project that is being tested in the tectonic plates of Ulupalakua. The plan, with the help of the ranch, is to drill deep into the earth and extract naturally hot water - from Haleakala's dormant volcano - and control it in a circular, enclosed system to create steam power.
* On Aug. 25, Lauren Roth of Roth Ecological Design on Oahu will discuss water systems designed to conserve water and save money for businesses.
"With concerns for water availability a constant issue on Maui, Roth's expertise holds promise for reduced need by area businesses," organizers said.
* On Sept. 15, Shanah Trevenna, who was recently named one of the five people who will change Hawaii in the next 50 years by Hawaii Business Magazine, will present the results her organization has been able to achieve at the University of Hawaii Manoa. She is founder of Sustainable Saunders at UH-Manoa.
She will present "direct applicability for energy efficiency strategies for Maui businesses," organizers said.
* Lastly, on Oct. 27, John Harder, an independent environmental services provider on Kauai, will explain the concept of zero waste and how Maui's businesses can reduce waste and save money.
To register for the workshops, RSVP online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sustainable Living Institute directors also can be reached at 984-3379 or via the college institute's website at www.sustainablemaui.org.