The Green House

Play our introductory video:

In 2004, a group of like-minded sustainability advocates decided to begin teaching classes on simple ways to live more lightly on the Earth. Having limited resources we decided to use our Pauoa Valley home as a meeting place and opened it to the community as a space to gather and share ideas through workshops, dinners and movies. Throughout the years, many amazing educators, staff and volunteers have contributed to this inspiring grassroots organization. Mahalo nui loa everyone who has given their aloha to The Green House! Your support has allowed thousands to share, grow and spread the message throughout our island home!

The Green House is fiscally sponsored by Oahu Resource Conservation & Development Council (Oahu RC&D). Oahu RC&D works to improve the quality of life of the people of Oahu by encouraging activities that conserve and sustain our natural, human, cultural and economic resources.


​In August of 2007, The Green House was presented with the “Educational Resource” Award at the “Who's Keeping Hawai'i Green” Awards Ceremony. We were selected by an advisory panel that included architects, businesses and industry groups. The advisors carefully reviewed 15 criteria, including sustainability (both track record and future potential impact), innovation, extent of environmental and economic impact, and viability.

​In February of 2012, a newly established “People’s Choice Award” was given for the first time to The Green House for their project seeking to convert schools into zero-waste sites. The award is a peer-selected honor voted on by more than 200 nonprofits that applied for grants over the past two years through the Island Innovation Fund.

​In December of 2013 The Green House won the Keeping It Green Hawai'i Award. This program, co-sponsored by Recycle Hawai'i and Earth-Friendly Schools Hawai'i, highlights projects and activities of organizations, businesses, schools and government agencies that promote recycling, resource awareness, and sustainable practices in Hawai'i. The objective of the program is to recognize positive “green projects” that are being implemented in communities throughout Hawai'i.

Past Accomplishments

​Through a collaboration with Palolo Valley Homes in 2012, TGH developed and facilitated site design for gardens and green systems, delivered an after-school and summer educational program, and fostered community building through sustainability initiatives. This program connected eco-literacy with STEM curriculum and integrated elementary and middle school students in place-based, outdoor learning.

​The Green House worked with the Kokua Hawaii Foundation from 2006 - 2010 to implement the garden-based learning component of ‘AINA IS. AINA IS: Actively Integrating Nutrition & Agriculture In Schools - A program of the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, ’AINA In Schools is a farm-to-school program dedicated to connecting children to their land, waters and food in order to grow a healthier future for Hawai’i.

​From 2005, until the program ended in 2012 The Green House was one of the City and County of Honolulu's Recycling Teaching Partners (RTP), a group of professional or non-profit environmental educators, and environmental organizations that were available to come to your school to assist you in implementing a recycling activity/project. Under an RTP grant, The Green House assisted schools and teachers in coordinating and implementing school-wide greening projects, and helped in diverting schools' waste, either green, food or paper, into resources.


​Betty Gearen

Executive Director and Founder of The Green House (TGH), has a BFA in fine art and 30 years of teaching experience and curriculum development. She has taught art in both high school and elementary school levels at Punahou, Maryknoll and LaPietra. She was Garden Coordinator for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation’s ‘AINA In Schools program, has taught environmental education classes in 15 after-school programs across Honolulu, coordinated and wrote the curriculum for the adult Garden Basics Training program at IHS homeless shelter, and helped develop the gardening program for Windward Community College’s CNA nursing program.

​Karla Meek

TGH Program Director, has a B.A. in Health Science & Kinesiology and has worked with TGH since its inception in 2005 teaching keiki workshops and day camps, developing programs and curriculum. Karla worked with Voyager Charter School for six years as Wellness Coordinator, Academic Support Teacher, and one-on-one aide in the special education program. She started and coordinated Voyager’s recycling program and taught environmental education lessons and is certified to teach yoga to keiki from the Yoga Ed. Program. Before coming to Hawaii, Karla worked with Project CREATE of The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland, CA. where she developed a love for creative reuse.