Sustainability with Clean Reefs

Recently I got the chance to interview a UH Manoa alumni- Cantlen Forni. She is the director for Clean Reefs, which is a nonprofit organization. They work to protect, document, and restore the world's coral reefs through action, education, and legislation.

The goal of Clean Reefs is to educate society and expose the threats that intense human activity can cause on an ecosystem. As we all know, our climate is at a crisis right now and every little thing we can do to help is necessary.

Forni advised, “The first step is get educated and become aware. With knowledge comes caring, and with caring comes action. I highly advice everyone in society to watch a short documentary, read an article, or even follow local nonprofits that promote marine conservation and become exposed! Another easy quick tip would be re-using all your salsa/pasta glass jars and even your Starbucks cups when getting coffee! It’s not only depleting your single use plastic consumption; you’ll also save 10 cents when you bring your own cup too!”

Some simple ways to live a more sustainable life is to live by the terms “Reuse. Reduce. Recycle.” But what do those truly mean?

Reuse items such as containers, jars, clothing, and anything you can DIY to give a second life.

Reduce food/ water waste by having a compost bin, single-use plastics by buying reusable vegetable/ grocery bags, bringing our own containers, utensils, straws etc.

Reducing meat intake is also important! I’m not saying to cut it out cold turkey if you don’t want to but eating more vegetarian/ vegan meals is more beneficial to our environment! Forni stated, “Another huge problem the world is facing is overfishing and a loss of biodiversity. Even if your fish is sustainably caught, it is still taking resources out of the ocean where populations are most threatened, and bycatch is extremely high.”

Recycle the basics such as cans/ bottles but also try to up-cycle as much as possible!

Cantlen wants to remind the public that all these steps do not make you a “hippy”!


We’ll leave you with this, the most minor of changes could actually be very drastic in this time of need.

Forni exclaims, “I highly encourage you have everyone learn to care about the incredible world we live in and understand that we only have one and cause & effect is a real thing! Especially when it comes to our human footprint. The way the worlds atmosphere is changing will affect us as we get older, for it already is, and it’s only going to get worse your generations to come. As I mentioned before, getting educated and acquiring the correct knowledge is the first step is making changes.”

Make sure you check out and follow their Instagram (@clean.reefs) to be on the lookout for the next opportunity to help out our community! Special thank you to Cantlen for being so passionate about our planet and taking the time for this interview!