lindsay m hawley san diego lmh promotions givebackpackers live more happy necker island richard branson conservation species endangered

My third time on Necker Island has been more special than any other visit. I was here twice before with different groups of entrepreneurs to learn from each other, from Richard Branson and his team and to “relax” with every water sport, themed party and hilarious adventure imaginable.

It’s true, Richard is quite the prankster, myself falling for his tricks, sending me in the completely wrong direction during a hike, challenging me to climb straight up a cliff, daring me to jump in the jacuzzi with my clothes on or pretending to be a masseuse and whispering sweet nothings in my friend Steve’s ear. He has a sense of humor to match his big business sense and getting the personal time with him is always exciting, eye opening and inspiring.

Most people know of his business accomplishments, his funny antics and cheeky personality but few know that his main passion in life right now is saving endangered species.

necker island nature richard branson lindsay m hawley san diego lmh promotions givebackpackers live more happy


My last visit I had several meetings with him about our shared passion for nature, conservation and species preservation. In the two years since my first visit in Necker in June of 2012, I had put together a nature education project for the island to inspire and educate guests about the passion and hard work Richard personally does to rescue and revive species that are rapidly disappearing. Richard loved my ideas and gave me his support to pursue my passion.

The last week was so special to me because I had the opportunity to experience the island and all its magic through the eyes of 5 incredible children who had never been to Necker and were in awe of the unique and exciting experiences available, especially the animals. I had planned activities for them that included a walk around the island, observing plants and animals and exploring parts of the island that have been left untouched and still look like what the island looked like when Richard first purchased the land. We discussed what plants and animals are native to the Caribbean and what were brought in from places losing habitat, like Madagascar.


Nature hiking and bird watching!


nature necker richard branson  lindsay m hawley san diego lmh promotions givebackpackers live more happy

Lindsay and Alex, age 4 observing the Scarlet Ibis on Necker Island.

nature necker island richard branson

We even had a scavenger hunt for animals around the island!


The lemurs and the giant tortoises are always the favorite. We got to feed the lemurs everyday and interact with these hilarious primates with soft little hands, furry bodies and the funniest personalities.

A few species of lemurs on Necker are endangered and are having more success on Necker with breeding than anywhere else in the world. 

lindsay m hawley san diego lmh promotions givebackpackers live more happy  necker island artlife clothing richard branson lemur ring tailes

The tortoises are so big and ancient looking it is no surprise they have been around as long as dinosaurs.

lindsay m hawley san diego lmh promotions givebackpackers live more happy   necker island nature conservation richard branson

Richard loved the Nature Explorer Journal we made for him. Each page was a different animal that one of the children drew with some fun facts we learned together about the different species. It was the high light of my week seeing the kids work so hard to present such a thoughtful gift to our host and friend, Richard.

lindsay m hawley san diego lmh promotions givebackpackers live more happy  richard branson necker island nature conservation

Since my visit and consultations with Richard and Necker management in April they have produced several new videos and blog posts about the Nature on Necker as well as began using hashtags #NeckerAnimals and #NatureOnNecker for sharing their photos and progress. Here is the most recent video with Richard and the nature director, Vaman.

Be sure to follow @NatureOnNecker on Instagram!


Animals of Necker Island



By now, I am sure you have heard all about the drought in California, thanks to the internet sensation, the Ice Bucket Challenge. This viral awareness campaign is a kind of “tag, you’re it” game of nominating someone to dump a bucket of ice water over their head and hopefully, donate to ALSA to help find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Not only has the Ice Bucket Challenge  raised 41 million from 739,000 new donors, meaning raising awareness of the deadly disease, but it has brought a lot of attention to the drought here in California as people have been criticizing the wastefulness of water during the challenge.Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 2.07.50 PM

Imagine if we put this much effort into raising awareness and action towards the drought? A popular hashtag on social media now is #droughtshaming, used to call out people with wasteful irrigation, car washing and other water wasting, but so far, the Ice Bucket Challenge has created more conversation around the drought than anything else we have seen.

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 2.02.13 PM


Looks like the Ice Bucket Challenge is doing MORE to raise awareness about the drought than it is contributing to it. Lets take a look at some of the biggest water wasting habits of our culture and how we can cut down our water use.

1. Switch household appliances like shower heads, toilets, washers over to water saving appliances. It will save you money in water as well as cut back a lot of unnecessary waste.

2. “If its yellow, let it mellow.” I think we all know the rest of that one… The average toilet flushes 1.6 gal / 6 liters per flush. That means one person can consume as much as 10 gal / 39 liters* per day, or 3,760 gal /14,234 liters per year. You could easily save 5 gallons of water a DAY by alternating flushes! Lets see more yellow in the toilet and not on our map!Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 2.15.16 PM

3. Choose climate-appropriate, drought-tolerant, and native/adapted plant species. The typical suburban lawn consumes 10,000 gallons of water above and beyond rainwater each year. Using native plants and landscape designs that optimize local conditions can reduce irrigation water use, as well as reduce soil erosion, lower maintenance costs, and preserve natural resources. Besides, they are really pretty and colorful vs. difficult, plain lawn. Shot 2014-08-22 at 12.45.45 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-22 at 12.45.19 PM

4. Use Be Green Packaging! LMH Promotions client, Be Green, recycles almost all of its water  from production  so there is really only a very small fraction lost in evaporation. Because Be Green Packaging is made from plant fibers, not trees, it takes a lot less water to turn them into pulp and they are sustainable so we are protecting forests as well while providing you with a quality, durable, all natural compostable product.You might recognize them from Whole Foods. molded-pulp-packaging

To learn more about the Ice Bucket Challenge, and what ALS is and what it’s like to live with it, read this article: