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Pictures, Recycling, and the Blues: Paul Buklarewicz’s Sustainable Mixture

Multi-talented Paul Buklarewicz performs harmonica in a blues band and is owner-operator of the Eleventh Pearl Picture Gallery in Volcano, along with many different accomplishments. Throughout Paul’s 15 years with Recycle Hawaii, one in all his staff’s proudest accomplishments was creating Re-use facilities at island switch stations, like this one in Pāhoa.

By Catherine Tarleton

What do an expert photographer, blues harmonica participant, and recycling educator have in widespread? Within the case of Paul J. Buklarewicz of Volcano, they’re all the identical man. A contemporary-day Renaissance man, Paul is a profession educator, lifetime learner, and US Military veteran who has labored his passions for pictures and journey right into a profitable inventory photograph enterprise. Alongside the best way, he taught himself to play harmonica—as a result of it was straightforward to hold round—and began gigging with a blues band regularly.

Paul was govt director of Recycle Hawai‘i, a 501(c)3 nonprofit group primarily based in Hilo, which gives training, recycling, and sustainability packages and sources island-wide. After 15 years, he retired in 2018, and remains to be a lifetime member.

“Truly, I’ve in all probability been in sustainability since I used to be a university pupil in 1970–71 once they had the primary Earth Day. I’ve thought-about myself an ecologist/environmentalist since then,” Paul says.

The New Jersey native earned his bachelor’s diploma in enterprise training from Tempo School in New York and, after dwelling in Turkey courtesy of the US Military, began instructing highschool at Bayonne Excessive College in Bayonne, New Jersey. “It was my alma mater, the place I discovered myself instructing in among the similar school rooms the place I previously sat as a pupil,” says Paul.

“I then picked up a one-year instructing assistantship at Utah State College to pursue a grasp’s diploma in enterprise training,” he continues. “It was 1976. My spouse, Arlene, and I took our Volkswagen Tremendous Beetle throughout nation for the bicentennial. We went from the East Coast to Utah to San Francisco, together with winter tenting by means of a variety of Nationwide Park lands.”

After all, he took panorama pictures alongside the best way, nurturing a hobby-turned-profession that began when he was a boy. “My first digital camera was my mother’s Brownie field digital camera. I keep in mind taking it aside attempting to determine the way it works,” Paul says. (Did he get it again collectively? Paul says, “In all probability not!”)

He labored in movie pictures on the time, and regularly developed a inventory photograph enterprise, promoting pictures to newspapers, textbooks, The New York Occasions and Los Angeles Occasions journey sections, Elle, Scientific American, Journey Vacation, Hawaii Journal, and extra.

Click on the duvet to see this story in our digital journal.

Paul’s Hawai‘i journey started in 1981 when he and Arlene got here to the islands on trip. “We went residence, offered our home, and inside six months we have been again,” he says. “It was a superb transfer, no regrets.” They settled on O‘ahu the place he spent six years with the college of the workplace of automation and expertise division of Kapi‘olani Neighborhood School.

Subsequent they moved to Japan, the place Paul taught at a non-public conversational English college whereas constructing his library of inventory pictures. He additionally labored as stringer, writing cross-cultural articles (and submitting pictures) for a Los Angeles-based journal, Transpacific.

In 1990, Paul and Arlene moved to Hawai‘i Island and Paul went to work at United Hawai‘i/Kunori Pacific School in Hilo, coordinating a long-term vocational training program. “Our college students got here from a non-public highschool and junior school in Urawa, Japan,” Paul says. “As vp, it was a really fulfilling place that constructed on my two years’ expertise dwelling in Japan.”

On the similar time, Paul grew to become extra concerned within the arts group, serving as president of organizations such because the Massive Island Artwork Guild, Hawai‘i Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers, and Volcano Artwork Heart. He additionally helped promote juried artwork displays on the Wailoa Heart and the East Hawai‘i Cultural Heart.

He started work with Recycle Hawai‘i (RH) in 2003, as govt director. “I didn’t actually intend to tackle the ED place. I answered an advert for a part-time educator,” he says. “Nonetheless, former RH directors have been shifting to fill positions on the newly shaped County of Hawai‘i Division of Environmental Administration division, so I used to be in a position to fill the void. It turned out to be probably the most fulfilling expertise I had in my training profession.”

At its peak, RH had 30 workers, operating as many as seven packages on the similar time, on all sides of the island. Many have been grant-funded by the federal, state, and county governments, with occasional help from non-public grant funders. One among their outreach packages to colleges and group organizations was a inventive collection of occasions known as “Edu-tainment,” the place RH subcontracted native cultural practitioners and musicians to offer sustainability training whereas entertaining audiences of all ages at faculties and group occasions.

“Edu-tainnment packages have been spearheaded by employees educators just like the late Joann Diatalevi, who taught in faculties beneath the persona, ‘Tūtū Hana Hou,’ utilizing puppets comprised of recycled supplies,” says Paul. “Singer/songwriter Howard Shapiro and educator Marsha Hee took turns growing Edu-tainment packages like Artists and the Surroundings whereas serving as training administrators for RH.”

“Sustainability to me is attaining a balancing act between current restricted pure sources, our widespread cultural and religious values, and technological values.”

One of many RH staff’s accomplishments was growing the Re-use Facilities (mini thrift shops) at switch stations, beginning with an preliminary pilot mission on the Kea‘au switch station, and constructing to seven areas islandwide.

Paul says, “We misplaced the contract in 2017, when it was awarded to a for-profit enterprise, however our mission was already completed. Everybody noticed the worth in diverting supplies away from the landfills, as we regularly helped to extend the general County recycling charge from 15 % to over 37 %.”

One other RH mission throughout his tenure concerned development and demolition (C&D) reuse. Working with Re-use Hawai‘i, an O‘ahu-based nonprofit that focuses on C&D work, the staff assisted with resort renovations, hauling usable salvaged supplies over to RH’s Kea‘au Re-use and Recycling Heart for resale in help of their academic packages.

“When Kona Village Resort was shut down in 2011 as a result of injury brought on by the tsunami from the Japanese earthquake, I personally bought a dozen sliding doorways, and used them to shut off two sides of my residence’s storage,” says Paul.

Paul and his spouse Arlene at Volcano Artwork Heart’s 2019 fundraiser “Love the Arts,” a celebration of Woodstock’s fiftieth anniversary.

Re-use Hawai‘i did the deconstruction work, however discovered it impractical to ship the salvageable supplies again to O‘ahu. “This type of staff work is a wonderful instance of how two nonprofit sustainability organizations collaborate to meet our mutual missions of cut back, re-use, recycle,” he says.

Different packages, just like the Used Motor Oil Recycling, and E-Waste Recycling, and the Recycling and Re-use Heart packages have been designed to function incubator pilots to be later turned over to for-profit companies or County-provided companies. Maintaining It Inexperienced Hawai‘i used to be one other program that acknowledged native companies and organizations for his or her efforts in contemplating the setting of their common enterprise practices.

Additionally they supplied a collection of residence composting workshops, the place attendees would obtain an “Earth Machine,” a passive composting unit for residence use. Earth Machines have been additionally free to any college wanting to include composting into their curricula. Purchases of the EMs have been county-funded, and the models have been comprised of recycled beverage containers.

“My Earth Machine remains to be going after 15 years,” Paul says. “We’ve diverted tons of natural waste out of the landfill and improved the soil at our residence in Volcano. I’ve been doing it for 26 years, and I’ve by no means hauled any natural waste off the property.”

Sustainability, Paul says, will not be solely the job of nonprofits, governments and different organizations. There are methods that any particular person could make a contribution. “Since Hawai‘i Island is usually a rural group, we are able to work in direction of sustainability by empowering grassroots organizations with said missions in direction of integrating our restricted sources with these of our residents’ wants.” He suggests two ideas for us to contemplate:

“We are able to begin regularly lowering, and finally banning, organics from the waste stream by utilizing them to provide merchandise to enhance our soil,” Paul says. “We are able to additionally encourage packages having zero waste objectives established by the County Council in 2009. One among their suggestions was to encourage decentralized, community-based options to divert organics from the waste stream. This avoids the price of setting up a large-scale centralized operation, and the inordinate use of fossil fuels to haul inexperienced waste and different organics from across the island.”

He continues, “We are able to additionally help state and native legislative initiatives associated to diversification of agriculture. For instance, current federal legal guidelines on marijuana cultivation put a damper on rising industrial hemp for quite a lot of industrial functions and Hawai‘i Island is well-suited so as to add industrial hemp to its record of potential excessive worth industrial crops.”

Nowadays, along with residence composting and persevering with to teach himself and others, Paul remains to be pursuing his love of pictures, and supporting the humanities in Hawai‘i. He’s owner-operator of the Eleventh Pearl Picture Gallery in Volcano, and has continued to play harmonica, jamming with the Blue Tattoo Blues Band, beneath the stage identify (and tongue-in-cheek name to motion) “Ideas Mahalo.”

A multi-talented kama‘āina with a deep aloha for Hawai‘i Island, Paul stays steadfast in his imaginative and prescient of and dedication to a sustainable future for our island residence. ❖

All pictures courtesy of Paul Buklarewicz

For extra info:
Eleventh Pearl Picture Gallery:
Blue Tattoo Blues Band:

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