The episode in Maui has an added twist: make everything as eco-friendly as possible. I also have the added fun of turning the camera towards my crew to shed a light on our collective bad habits of a production crew that aid in the deterioration of this earth. This is going to be fun.
As a production crew we are really just a walking garbage dump, the amount of waste we generate has never been lost on us as it literally piles up in our minivans before us.
Every morning we all come out with our cappuccinos in the cardboard cup with the wraparound snuggie. There is a tower of Styrofoam containers with cold half-eaten egg sandwiches and hardening ketchup.
We all have our own favorite snacks that all come in single serving packages: nut mix, cheese, energy bars, and cookies. Then there are the energy drinks: Gatorade, vitamin water and canned high-octane espresso shots. I should also mention the special vanilla mocha coffee beverages that are the equivalent of liquid candy.
We all agree to cut down our impressive variety to just the essentials: water and Gatorade.
To cut down on waste we agree that instead of buying two cases of bottled water we buy big gallon jugs and refill thermoses. Instead of individual packages of nut mix, we all agree to dip our dirty hands into one super large bag.
Christina has taken on this challenge like nobody else. She reached out to only eco-friendly designers and they were all thrilled to lend us clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry. The selection is amazing and I can’t believe how far this industry has come to making things that are easy on the earth AND something you actually want to wear.
EVEN my make-up, hair products: shampoo, conditioner, volumizer and (gasp) hair spray are made with the protection of our environment in mind.
First up on the itinerary: We start with a snorkeling scene with Dr Richard Murphy, a marine ecologist, who began working with Jacques Cousteau in the late 60′s.
He is a fascinating and passionate man and I love how he describes to me how coral reefs work like self-sustained cities, in which each creature playing its part. Some fish are the doctors, others like sea cucumbers provide garbage pick-up.
I am excited to get to spend time with this truly remarkable person until I have to get into the water, which for some reason I am more nervous than usual. I really am embarrassed by my fear and I always think each time I go in it will lesson but it sticks with me.
We go in the water and I am all right for a while but then I start to feel a panic attack coming. My mouth piece feels like it has those butterfly pieces of plastic the dentists assistant rams into the sides of your mouth to take the x-rays, that are never covered by insurance, making the whole miserable experience something you have to pay for.
I actually start to choke then hyperventilate underwater. Part of it is fear, the other total humiliation as children nearby me are as comfortable as the fish themselves.
Back on land and I could really use a stiff drink. In keeping with the theme of the show I promise to recycle the empty bottle.;-)
Every word Dr. Murphy says is enlightening but one thing in particular wakes me up with a cold slap across my face. The sun block we are using for our own very important protection is killing the coral reefs. The solution: biodegradable sunscreen. At least there is something we can do about it.
Second day: Its 3:30 AM and we are headed to the other side of the island to Mount Haleakala, my favorite volcano in the world. It’s really a showstopper and if you head to Maui you have to see the sunrise at 10,000 feet. It hurts getting up that early but the payoff will be great.
The sunrise was even more beautiful than we imagined and one of the park rangers herself a native Hawaiian sings ancient chants of gratitude towards the sun and earth.
We are shooting the road to Hana, which I have done a number of times, but this time I am going on a bus. I am not one for bus tours but more people sharing a ride means a lighter load on old mother earth.
We get to Hana and have one of the most incredible meals at Hotel Hana Maui. Everything served was grown here. The fish was caught from a fisherman who leaves from a spot you can actually see from the table we are sitting at. Amazing.