Local Series: Sustainable Maker Eco Mindful Lei
Photo credit: @yoshitanaka1
Aloha! My name is Gina & I am Eco Mindful Lei and I am a custom lei maker and mindful lei workshop facilitator right here in gorgeous Waikiki! I use seasonal local flowers & greenery, many of which I mindfully forage for. All materials used to construct the Lei Po’o is 100% biodegradable, ocean friendly, and plastic free so it’s pono (which means the Hawaiian word transition for righteousness and balance). I am also a Mindful Sustainability teacher, and garden educator here in beautiful Waikiki and personally know + understand how connecting with nature can soothe the soul. I am also a licensed psychotherapist trained in Mindful Based Stress Reduction techniques. Mindful Lei Po’o making is a full sensory, unique, & truly therapeutic experience that I have fallen in love with.
Connecting with Nature is scientifically proven to have a host of health benefits such as, boosting your immune system, help with anxiety & depression, lower blood pressure, decrease anger, increase energy, and help to relax. Nature is therapy. It’s no secret that connecting with flowers enhance well being, and Hawaii has lots of them. My favorite flower that you will typically see in bloom around town from April-November is the sunset toned plumeria flower! It smells like heaven, it’s irresistible to have one behind your ear at all times. The Hawaiian value of Aloha Aīna means to love all that sustains life: the earth, the ocean, the air. This value is infused into all aspects eco mindful Lei Po’o making keeping it sustainable using renewable plant resources. 100% earth friendly, compostable, & plastic free. Book a workshop, order lei & see some stunning images of my lei & Lei Po’o in action on locals, surfers, & visitors. View some of my work on Instagram, @eco_mindful_lei. I am lucky to call Waikiki home & want to share with you some of my all time favorite things about it.
Photo credit: @tommypierucki
Favorite places to grab a super local, homegrown, unique snack & handmade finds is hands down the farmers market! Oahu has plenty but my favorites are Kaka’ako Aloha Farmers Market & KCC Farmers Market! They are both on Saturday mornings only about 1.5 mile drive/bike ride from Shoreline Hotel Waikiki and not to be missed on your trip. One of my favorite Waikiki coffee spots is Hawaiian Aroma Caffe. The people there are full of Aloha, unpretentious, make a delicious latte, & Barbi is one of the best coffee artists in the world! They have live music, open air seating, & plants dangling all around so perfect for snapping those Instagram photos. All of these things are very close to one of my favorite beaches, which is by lifeguard tower 2F Sans Souci Beach (located at the Diamond Head (east) end of Waikiki). There’s grass & tables it’s walking distance from the hustle & bustle of Waikiki yet feels serene & chill. This is where I usually conduct my beach Lei Po’o workshops. Then after I love to grab a bite at the eco-friendly Barefoot Beach Cafe & listen to Uncle Art & the Barefoot Boys jam & serenade the sunset. Hope you have a chance to check-out some of my favorite places in Waikiki with you & help spread some Aloha!
Mahalo! Gina @eco_mindful_lei