The Kahua Institute is an Eco-Retreat Center

Bamboo Living: Resorts from Bamboo Living

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What makes this an Eco-Retreat?

Our land was built and designed with ecologically friendly concepts in mind. Kutira and Raphael are firm believers in living harmoniously with higher beliefs,  and using the best and cleanest technologies available today.

Eco-tourism is:

“Responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the
environment and improve the well-being of local people.”

Eco-tourism is about connecting conservation, community, and sustainable travel.

This means that those who implement and participate in responsible tourism activities should follow the following eco-tourism principles:

~ minimize impact

~ build environmental and cultural awareness and respect

~ provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts

~ provide direct financial benefits toward further conservation efforts

~ provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people

~ raise sensitivity to the host country’s “political, environmental, and social climate’

“Eco-tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host
regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future.”

Solar Panels and Wells

We are “off the grid” because our electricity comes entirely from solar panels. Our water is pumped up from 460-foot wells connected to an underground aquifer.


Sometimes the sky is cloudy for days on end, and our solar powered system runs too low. We then run our generator using <b>bio-diesel</b>, which is fuel made from vegetable oil. Bio-diesel is now becoming a popular fuel for diesel cars around the island. Some bio-diesel engines run on specially converted vegetable oil, and some run on filtered cooking oil (think huge vats of french fry oil from the local fast food joint). Bio-diesel runs much cleaner than petroleum and comes from fast-growing sources such as corn, sunflower, or hemp oil.

Organic Land & Compost

We do not use any chemicals in maintaining our beautiful grounds. All organic yard and kitchen wastes are disposed of in a compost bin where it slowly breaks down into very rich, fertile compost.


We put an emphasis on recycling and make sure to recycle cardboard, glass, and plastic containers. We offer these environmental services and ask your support of our Planet Earth by washing out recyclable material BEFORE placing them in the appropriate containers.


All our extra office paper is shredded and put into a vermiculture system where it is fed to worms, which convert it into extremely rich worm castings, perfect for fertilizing the gardens.

Permaculture Gardens

What is permaculture?

“Permaculture integrates people into Nature’s design. A permaculture design provides us with shelter, food, water, income, community and aesthetic and spiritual fulfillment within a balanced and healthy biological community.”

“Permaculture is a holistic approach to landscape design and human culture. It is an attempt to integrate several disciplines, including biology, ecology, geography, agriculture, architecture, appropriate technology, gardening and community building.”

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We have a bee hive with one queen bee and about 10,000 worker bees.  The females are all the worker bees.  The main purpose of the male drones is to mate with the queen.  The bees pollinate all the fruit trees on the property.  They are not dangerous, and enhance fruit production for our pleasure.  Their honey is pure and organic, and is collected twice a year.


Chickens are a staple of permaculture. Whether urban or rural, these helpful animals provide a variety of services. In our case, they produce wholesome, organic, hormone-free eggs that we harvest. They also help till the land in preparation for planting. The jungle is dense here in Maui, and our chickens are adept at weeding! As one area becomes ready for planting, we move their large fenced area to another location where they have fresh land to roam and thus continue the process of soil building and compost production.

Lulu (the duck)

Lulu came to us on Christmas day and holds a special place in our hearts. We don’t know where she came from or why, but she has blessed each and everyone of us with humor and joy. Whether waddling around the property showing off to our guests or letting the water roll off her back in our lotus pond, Lulu is full of entertainment. Occasionally disappearing to warm her nest and nurture her eggs, her return is always welcome. Feel free to greet her with tiny offerings of grains and breads.

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