Combining Sustainability and Agrotourism on the Big Island

While Hawaii is known for its tropical landscape and unforgettable island views, Big Island residents also experience alternating periods of rain and drought each year. Restrictions on irrigation and water use are common. Local company, LightManufacturing, brings a one-of-a-kind technology to water tank manufacturing on the Big Island. Silent, smokeless, odorless, and sustainable, this manufacturing plant makes water tanks with the heat of the sun.

Located on Hawaii’s lush Big Island, the Ohana Retreat is an intimate vacation property that offers a home away from home for visitors from around the world. One of its most enticing features is acres of botanical gardens and orchards that surround the home. Resort owner Bruce Bergey, a retired NFL player, understands the importance of protecting Hawaii’s natural wonders and is committed to agrotourism. In fact, guests are encouraged to stroll the gardens, relax in a hammock, and select from more than 100 tropical fruits growing nearby for their daily meals. From mango to papaya and pineapple to lilikoi, Ohana Retreat offers its guests a hands-on immersion into the local flora and fauna.

LightManufacturing water tank on resort grounds

While Hawaii is known for its tropical landscape and unforgettable island views, Big Island residents also experience alternating periods of rain and drought each year. Restrictions on irrigation and water use are common. Integrating sustainable water practices into the management of its orchards, botanical gardens, and bird sanctuary was key for Ohana Retreat. The cornerstone of their sustainability plan was adding ten 290-gallon water tanks from LightManufacturing. The tanks are used to collect and store water during the rainy season. The water tanks both supply off-the-grid water during dry periods and provide a visual reminder to its guests of the importance of water conservation and sustainable tourism practices. The resort is also powered by 100% solar.

“With the recent water shortages, it’s been a challenge to keep all of our citrus trees alive,” said Bruce Bergey, retired Kansas City Chief player and owner of Ohana Retreat. “We put the tanks in to support the orchard and they have worked out perfectly.”

Buying local is another way to reduce the property’s environmental impact. Bergey chose local manufacturer LightManufacturing for its water tanks. The company’s innovative product is made in Kona using a patented Solar Rotational Molding system that derives heat from the sun to safely mold the tanks from 100% renewal resources, without burning fossil fuels in the process. The unique solar technology makes both sustainable manufacturing and drought-condition watering a reality on the Big Island. LightManufacturing is the only company in the world using this innovative form of solar technology for manufacturing, making the Big Island the only producer in the world of water tanks made by the sun.

The FDA-compliant solar-molded tanks are both easy to install and designed for durability, with UV-resistance a key feature. The sustainable manufacturing process is also used to produce aquaculture tanks, road barriers, septic tanks and kayaks, all items that previously had to be imported to Hawaii. Removing shipping fees helps LightManufacturing keep prices low for its environmentally conscious customers.

Ken Cleveland, Ohana Retreat’s Sales and Marketing Director, first researched water tanks at several big-box stores but found them to be “eyesores,” requiring exorbitant shipping prices and costing up to three times more than the tanks they purchased from LightManufacturing. “We kept looking and found LightManufacturing tanks and liked the look of them as well as the location. It only took three days from the time we found them to final installation. We thought we’d hit a home run.”

With help from LightManufacturing’s innovative sun-made water tanks, Ohana Retreat offers visitors a sustainable, agrotourism experience that’s unforgettable. From discovering how local artisans turn cacao into dark chocolate to enjoying locally produced Kona Coffee and picking native fruits straight from the two-acre garden, the impact of buying and consuming local products, combined with a dedication to water conservation and commitment to solar power, is a lesson visitors won’t soon forget.

About LightManufacturing

A revolution in sustainable manufacturing, LightManufacturing builds and operates self-contained solar rotational molding systems which make large plastic products without burning fossil fuels. LightManufacturing produces high-capacity water and holding tanks as well as road barriers, septic tanks and more. For more information, please visit

Media Contact
Company Name: LightManufacturing
Contact Person: Press Team
Phone: 808-825-4738
Address: Kailua-Kona, HI
City : Hilo
Country: United States


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