Living Sustainably on Hawai’i Island

By Staff
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February 2019 Sponsored by 
Kuwili Lani

In recent years, the Island of Hawai?i has evolved as a center of environmental awareness with an emphasis on sustainability, self-reliance and healthy living. This forward-thinking lifestyle ethic has now come to fruition in a nascent intentional community called Kuwili Lani, situated in the heart of the verdant Hamakua Coast. Located on the east side of Hawai?i Island, this coast is a place of history, amazing agricultural diversity, and extraordinary beauty, where the Hawaiian heritage of the land is honored and protected.

Kuwili Lani is a 13.9-acre site, consisting of 11 one-plus-acre lots zoned for agricultural use and designed as a low-impact / low carbon footprint development. All lots have beautiful ocean and sky view planes and peaceful pastoral scenes. The first-of-its-kind agrihood (or “agricultural neighborhood”) on Hawai?i Island, Kuwili Lani is an innovative, residential community promoting self sufficiency, independent food production, renewable energy, green building, and a low-impact, sustainable lifestyle.  This lifestyle emphasizes producing one’s own food as much as possible.  Hence, the idea of an agrihood or a neighborhood that embraces agriculture and food production and establishes a tie with the land, rather than passively living on it.  Simply, it’s designed for both younger and older residents who share a vision of living in harmony with the land.


There are already hundreds of banana trees, pineapple and citrus planted in multiple orchards on the Kuwili Lani site. In addition to the orchards, there will be vegetable gardens, greenhouses and other food production systems proposed. With more than 50 different species of edible landscape suggested within the Kuwili Lani subdivision, homeowners will have a veritable Garden of Eden.

“We see the agricultural component of Kuwili Lani as being key for homeowners who would like to use their property and the land for the highest and best use: that of providing healthful, fresh food for daily consumption,” says Michael Whelan, the project’s managing partner.   

The Kuwili Lani agrihood model provides multiple personal benefits to homeowners, including:

  • Food produced within the agrihood is not dependent on outside availability, transportation, or use of fossil fuels.
  • The opportunity to grow a variety of tropical fruits, nutrient rich vegetables, and other healthful items for private use.
  • Food Security via edible landscape for peace of mind knowing you are influencing future generations while enhancing your own life in the present.
  • Growing food in a controlled environment that is far superior to food bought at the market.
  • Allowing for a healthier outlook on life by being “engaged in the garden” with the surrounding verdant beauty and tranquility.

In addition, Kuwili Lani is a natural reflection of Hawai?i Island, which is at the forefront of promoting renewable energy sources statewide – primarily solar, geothermal, and wind – and is well on track to meet a target of more than 90 percent renewables within a decade.

Kuwili Lani property owners will have assistance and a wide range of options in designing and building homes that are energy efficient and a good investment.  For instance, homes designed using passive solar lighting and passive ventilation are highly recommended, as are homes designed for low maintenance and a return on investment. As the Hawai?i Island’s first and only agrihood, Kuwili Lani’s design guidelines were created to help people build homes that adhere to “green” sustainable building practices, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) guidelines, where applicable. No other subdivision on island intentionally plans for this level of sustainability and green building practices via its suggested design scope.

Aloha and welcome to Kuwili Lani, where you can live in a more mindful way today, while creating a legacy for your family and the planet tomorrow.

Additional details:

  • Private road, security gate, on-site water system and Wi-Fi service
  • Renewable energy to be used throughout subdivision
  • All underground utilities: no visible utility wires / poles on property
  • County potable water for indoor use
  • Rain harvesting system for outdoor water use
  • Perfect location: ideal landscape, rainfall and climate for enjoying the ultimate island lifestyle

Kuwili Lani is in a quiet neighborhood one mile from the village of Laupahoehoe and 25 miles from the city of Hilo, with airport, university, hospital, county government, malls, restaurants, and services. Flight time from Hilo to Honolulu is 50-minutes.

Want to know more?  Visit Kuwili Lani or call (808) 924-6835 for photos, blogs, videos and complete information.