We’re guessing you don’t need more reasons to book a trip to Hawaii, but you should know that we’re much more than just a pretty state. Hawaii has led some powerful initiatives for sustainability and change in 2015. Here are the top 5 that we’re proud to brag about:

1. Hawaii Became the 1st State to Ban Plastic Grocery Bags


Plastic bags are not biodegradable, and they’re a leading cause of ocean pollution around the world. Hawaii is leading the way for more conscientious shopping habits by becoming the 1st U.S. state to entirely ban plastic bags from grocery checkouts. We’re proud to bring our own bags to the market– because we want to ensure our little slice of paradise still looks this good for the next generation.

2. Hawaii Became 1st State to Ban Live Animals from Performing


The Hawaii Department of Agriculture recently voted unanimously to prohibit the importing of live animals for performance or exhibition. This means no more big cats, bears, elephants and other wild animals in Hawaii will be dressed up in silly costumes and forced to perform. Animal rights activists and nature lovers are celebrating this awesome news that will hopefully set a precedent for the rest of the country.

3. Hawaii Turns Old Bus Fleet into Mobile Homeless Shelters


Honolulu based architecture firm Group 70 International came up with an innovative solution for Hawaii’s retired transit buses: repurpose them as mobile shelters and relief vehicles for the state’s homeless population. The fleet hopes to feature a separate bus for sleeping, showering, etc.

4. Hawaii Aims for 100% Renewable Energy by 2045



Hawaii governor David Ige signed a bill calling for the state’s electricity sector to transition to 100% renewable power sources within the next 30 years. This unprecedented move puts Hawaii on the forefront of the fight against climate change, and with our state’s abundance of solar power, hydropower, volcanic heat and strong trade winds, Hawaii is on track to make history with a drastically reduced carbon footprint.

5. Hawaii’s Dolphins Hitch Rides on Whales for Fun


Lest you think Hawaiians are all work and no play, consider our wildlife. While bottleneck dolphins and humpback whales have long been known to be highly intelligent and playful species, there’s something special about these amazing sea creatures who like to winter in Hawaii’s warm waters. These pals have have caused quite a stir recently in the scientific community with their frolicking, which can best be described as pure, unadulterated fun—the kind you’re guaranteed to have in Hawaii.

Whale photo credit: Lori Mazzuca. Marine Mammal Biologist at US Navy SPAWAR Systems Centre Pacific.