My name is Heather Brown and I am an artist on the North Shore of Oahu. You can see my art at


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Heather Brown and The Kokua Foundation

Aloha Everyone!

As many as you know, I am still competing in the Verizon #4g4HopeHawaii Campaign to win $10,000 for the Kokua Foundation of Hawai'i.

I would appreciate your vote so much as the Kokua Foundation is such a great organization here in Hawai'i and their effects are felt through out the world because of the visitors that come through our beautiful Islands each year.

You can vote for me here to help win the $10,000 for the Kokua Foundation, but hurry, voting ends on March 20!!  Please Please take a minute to vote and if you can spare an extra 30 seconds, please share with your friends and family!

I am often asked why I support the Kokua Foundation, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts with you.

I first started working with the Kokua Foundation through Jack and Kim Johnson in 2007 getting prepared for the 2008 Kokua Festival. They had purchased some art from me at one of my shows and I was flattered and shocked when they had come to me and asked if I would be interested in creating the art for the 2008 festival.

Hawaii Artist Heather Brown Kokua Festival Tee Shirt from 2008

I have to admit, at that point in my life I had made some small changes to be more eco friendly, I recycled when I could and thought about what could be done to be a better steward of our environment, but hadn't fully grasped the scope of what needed to be done in our Islands, Country and the World to start reversing our impact. Once I had been working with Jack, Kim and the great people at the Kokua Foundation I started to realize how heavy our impact really is on the world and how I could make small changes to my life (that wouldn't hurt at all!!) and help to keep a better world for us and generations to come. The first big "slap to my face" was learning about the huge negative impact of single use plastics (now of course we all know this is a huge problem and it is really in the public eye) but honestly, in 2007 I had never really thought about it too much, we all drank plastic water bottles and got our groceries double bagged when we went shopping etc. I have always been a huge lover of the sea and all of the creatures that live in our Worlds waterways as well as being a Dive Master and boat captain, so when I started seeing the facts about the negative impacts of single use plastics, I knew that I wanted to use my art and the small amount of popularity that I had gained to start making a stand. With the Kokua Foundation, I created the art for the first Plastic Free Haleiwa Campaign in early 2008.
You can see the initial press release here:

The mission was to get the people and businesses of Haleiwa, Hawaii on the North Shore of Oahu to pledge to be Plastic Free. On a side note, when people ask me where the best place in the world is since I travel so much, I never hesitate to say Hawai'i and of course my beloved North Shore, not only because of the great surf, weather and beauty, but because we as a community are not afraid to sand up and do the right thing!

Our first product was the Plastic Free Haleiwa Re-usable shopping bag.

Plastic Free Haleiwa bag by Heather Brown and The Kokua Foundation
 Then some re-usabe water bottles and the birth of Plastic Free Hawai'i! The Kokua Foundation realized that we could make a difference for the whole state, not just our little home paradise on the North Shore
Surf Artist Heather Brown created the logo for the Kokua Foundation Plastic Free Hawai'i
Since the early days of working with The Kokua Foundation, I have learned so much from them and the great volunteers and people that work with them that as a family, now we have stopped using all single use plastics, we recycle EVERYTHING and we compost on our property with worms and we are constantly thinking about our carbon footprint both at our Island home and where ever we travel around the world.
Not only has the Kokua Foundation made a huge impact in our personal lives and the lives of millions around the islands and the world but they have made a huge impact in my professional life and how we run our business. Chris and I are constantly trying to figure out ways to make our business more eco-friendly and in the past years we have switched to all water based printing for textiles, I only paint with water based paints, we print our matted prints on post commercial bleach free sugar cane paper, matt our prints with recycled paper matt board, we only use reclaimed woods for our frames and we are constantly partnering with companies and organizations that are doing the right things.

I know this has been awfully longwinded for a blog entry, but I hope that you got this far and can help support me in voting and sharing so the Kokua Foundation can win this $10,000!!

Please visit the Kokua Foundation's website to see all of their other GREAT initiatives as I have only scratched the surface in this blog.

Mahalo Nui Loa!

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