WEST MAUI - Two major man-made structures can be seen from outer space: the Great Wall of China and the Staten Island Fresh Kills Landfill.
The average American generates four-and-a-half pounds of garbage daily; that's 56 tons a year.
Most of it is carted off to a landfill, where it is smashed into cells, buried and transformed into a toxic land mass.
"Reduce, reuse and recycle" is the campaign slogan of the warriors against waste.
Practicing the three Rs, however, can be challenging for West Siders, but there are citizens, businesses and agencies out there who want to help protect our delicate island ecosystem.
In a series, the Lahaina News will introduce some of these West Maui crusaders, beginning with Dan Brown, the ecologically-sensitive proprietor of Dan Brown's Condo Care Inc. (DBCC).
"Dan Brown's Condo Care has been around in different forms since 1982," he told the Lahaina News, "but we incorporated in 2005.
"We decided to open this store in 2009; and, in 2010, we got the lease" at Kahana Gateway Shopping Center.
DBCC is a mom and pop operation. The "we" is Brown and his partner in life and in business, Juenlee Brown.
At their base of operations in Kahana, they offer the "whole spectrum of cleaners from the mildest to the most heavy duty," but their focus is on the green line of products they sell, such as Orange Guard nontoxic insecticides, all-natural deodorizers made out of plant enzymes, a commercial grade disinfectant made out of oil of thyme called Tymol, a large selection of the biodegradable Method cleaning supplies and a complete line of doTerra essential healing and cleaning oils.
Brown has a green-minded attitude: "There is no away on an island. People, when they throw something away on Maui, it is still here; it's with us forever."
The Browns have a mutual goal: "to have minimal environmental impact," and they have established several business practices to support this philosophy
Their retail establishment at Kahana Gateway offers several recycling opportunities for the community, including empty domestic cleaning product containers and household dry cell batteries.
In recycling cleaning products that are partially full and non-hazardous, they are creatively community-oriented.
"We have an agreement with a nonprofit which gives them to people who are transitioning from homeless shelters to apartments. They need cleaners, but they don't have money to buy them; so we repackage them," he said.
Brown is working with the county to organize a community day for area residents to recycle hazardous waste, appliances and batteries.
"They bring a big truck, and they accept all of that," he remarked.
Additionally, DBCC encourages its employees living on the other side to either carpool or take the bus "by providing them rides from the bus stop to here and putting up with their scheduling difficulties," he explained.
"When we had four employees that lived on the other side, we gave them a company van to drive to the other side and back instead of four different cars coming every day."
The Florida transplant graduated from high school in 1975 and moved to Maui in 1982.
The father of four is community-oriented.
He has worked with the Lindseys to Malama Honokowai and various groups to help eradicate invasive plant species.
He is an AYSO soccer coach and has volunteered his service at the Sacred Hearts School Bazaar and the S-Turns annual surfing tournament.
He offers free stone and leather cleaning classes for residents and colleagues in the condo and carpet cleaning industry as well as a hands-on stain removal workshop.
Kathy Dilts of Kathy's Got it Maid has known Brown for years.
She speaks highly of his character.
"He would give you the shirt off his back even if it was the last one he had," she commented.
"Dan is one of the most honest and sincere people I know," Dilts added.
Family friend Angela Amenta echoed the same thoughts.
"He is a giver and definitely on the holistic path," she said.
Brown is dedicated to the green way.
"I believe every business has a moral responsibility to do what they can, because there are certain things individuals cannot do on their own. They need support from business to do it. If all the businesses and individuals work together, we can make Maui better," Brown said.
The Lahaina News would like to be part of the solution.
Please let us know how you benefit the community when practicing the three Rs; e-mail the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.