Sustainability

Brews for a Better World-Now that’s something to drink to!

When the Kona Brewers Festival tapped its first kegs 24 years ago recycling services in Hawaii were just a dream, but a distinct goal to protect our unique environment was born. The original Trash Fashion Show trashionistas were strutting recycle couture over two decades ago and the event’s first beneficiary was Recycle Hawaii. Even in that inaugural year of celebrating craft beer on the Big Island, environmental education was the focus.

Twenty four years later – festival discards become compost for school gardens! We host thousands of craft beer and gourmet food aficionados at Kona Village’s party of the year and still make it Kona’s greenest event!

Our vision is Zero Waste. In America’s reality today, actual no waste isn’t possible with a festival our size. To fill the gap of possibility, industry standards define Zero Waste as 85% waste diversion.

Cardboard and glass recycling services came to Kona in 2008. That year, volunteer beneficiaries from Innovations Public Charter School successfully created and implemented the festival’s first Zero Waste system. By 2014, we finally exceeded Zero Waste standards diverting over 90% of festival waste from landfill. Every year since then, our team gets closer to the ultimate Zero Waste future we hope to become.

In 2017, Kona Brewers Festival was awarded the prestigious designation of Green Event Certification by Hawaii’s Green Business Program, making Kona Brewers Festival the only Green Certified festival in the state! It feels even better to party knowing we are making soil in the process!

At Kona Brew Fest you will find:

Zero-Waste Tables – Volunteers guide festival-goers to deposit food and food service waste into bins at various locations on grounds. Community volunteers also provide information to festival-goers and haul compost as containers fill.

All food and food service discards are collected during the festival. After the festival, volunteers transport compost bags to a big truck. The truck delivers discards to a school garden program just 3 miles away from festival grounds. School gardeners incorporate compost into studies and benefit from nutrient rich soil.

Reusable Beer Mugs – Glass beer mugs are provided to festival goers. Reusable glass cups eliminate thousands of disposable cups and make groovy collectables.

Reusable Sporks – Reusable, bamboo sporks are provided to festival-goers and eliminate over 12,000 disposable forks. Your spork is sourced from a student group on Maui whose teacher learned about sporks from our festival! #sporkitup to support student efforts striving towards Zero Waste.

Reusable Scrips – Wooden scrips can be used again every year!

Biodegradable, single use items – Restaurant food service ware is compostable paper and made from renewable, plant-based materials that have a break-down expectancy of 80-120 days. Festival garbage bags are also biodegradable.

Compostable food-service ware is provided by; Sustainable Island Products striving to provide the biggest selection, quality products, and best prices on earth-minded alternatives to plastic, Styrofoam and bleach paper for every Island dining need.

Upcycling bins – For shipping safety, items that come to the brew fest are palletized and shrink wrapped. Shrink wrap is collected by volunteers and delivered for use as art packaging by local collaborating artists.

Recycling Centers – Participating breweries and restaurants are expected to recycle all cardboard, office paper, #’s 1, 2, and 5 plastic, mixed aluminum, and HI 5 aluminum and plastic in receptacles located at the festival. Community volunteers help collect and sort recyclables.

‘Aina Akamai Award – Festival committee members select the most innovative and environmentally friendly food tasting station based on the materials used in the food presentation/delivery of guest portions. The award is highly coveted by local restaurants. You may find your favorite island delicacy served on a banana leaf plate.

Water Monster Stations – Water is provided to festival-goers via reusable, chilled, 150-gallon bulk dispensaries.

Trash Fashion Show – Our signature dumpster couture show brings together fun music and enthusiastic volunteers while demonstrating revolutionary uses for everyday dump stuff. One person’s garbage could be a trashion red carpet masterpiece.

Information Booths – Several community groups share information on sustainable practices: People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaii (PATH) promotes transportation alternatives; Adaptations makes the connection between healthy Island grown food and a healthy Island economy, Wild Hawaii teaches us how non-recycled plastic is piling up on Hawaii’s shorelines and the home brewers share the joy of low impact refreshments.

Reusable beer bins, pallets, retail, and ice containers eliminate hundreds of bags of ice and other forms of packaging from even entering festival grounds. The same bins are stored and used every year to transport and contain items we employ annually like beer, ice, and retail goods.

We’re not quite at ZERO, but we’re getting close! Our major sponsors support environmental education initiatives with their own contributions to the sustainability of our island community. Read through this site to learn about what sponsors do to help our world when they’re not supporting the Kona Brewers Festival!