Alternatives to growing sugar cane would make Maui a leader

Brown clouds floated along the beautiful Maui sky for the past few mornings because Maui is one of the few places in the world that still burns its sugar cane to harvest it!

This is such an archaic practice!

Not only does the cane burn when they set the fields on fire, but also the PVC piping and plastic that is used in growing the cane. That sounds wonderfully healthy for the locals here, doesn’t it? And what about the thousands of tourists that come here annually to relax or get married? They plan wonderful sightseeing days, such as taking a boat out or taking a drive around our lovely island, only to have a brownish-black plume of smoke come rolling across the sky along with a foul burning smell.

As tourism is one of our biggest economies, this seems like we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.

The big argument for the cane to stay among the locals is that if the cane were gone all the cane fields would be developed. I wouldn’t want to buy a house in that polluted dust bowl!

Why not plant hemp to make more “Made on Maui” items? Or grow soy or corn to make biodiesel with so we can be self-sustaining. These are ideas that would support our island in becoming more independent.

Maui can be a leader and an example to the world of how to use our resources wisely. No more beautiful mornings ruined!

Angie Hofmann

Olinda