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MidWeek Staff

Pearl City Student Helps Reduce Balloons At Grad Ceremonies

Recent Pearl City High School graduate Layla Fidel was the winner of the grade 9-12 division in Hawaiian Electric Company’s 2013 Sustainable Gift Contest, which challenged students to create graduation gifts from natural, compostable, locally sourced or reused materials.

Fidel created her entry, a necklace she calls “Bloom,” by using materials that might have otherwise ended up in the trash can. She molded used plastic spoons into the shape of a flower mounted on an old necklace chain.

She said that her piece symbolizes the blooming of a high school graduate into an adult.

The idea behind the contest was for students to design gifts that could be given to this year’s grads instead of balloons that often get tangled in electric lines and cause power outages.

About 175 public schools were invited to participate.

Fidel and other winners each received $100 for their classroom, an iPad mini and an eco-friendly goodie bag. All finalists from the contest also will have a koa tree seedling planted in their honor to support the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods’ sustainable forestry project on Mauna Kea.

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