Brews for a Better World-Now that’s something to drink to!
When the Kona Brewers Festival tapped its first kegs 21 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 strutted trashion made from reused rubbish 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.

Now festival rubbish transforms into compost for school gardens!  We host thousands of craft beer and gourmet food aficionados convening for Kona Village’s party of the year and make every effort to be the change we wish to see in the world.  Our goal is Zero Waste.  We dream of a world where parties don’t pollute and festivals help make soil. Industry standards define Zero Waste as 85% waste diversion. Since 2008, volunteers and organizers have made every effort to trash trash.

In 2014, we finally exceeded by diverting over 90% of festival waste from landfill. We were thrilled to contain 76 bags of food and food-service ware for compost, recycle three large truck loads, and eliminate over 30,000 disposables by employing reusable sporks and strategizing with restuarants to use less disposables. Only 11 bags went to our landfill, and provides incentive to eliminate more! KBF sustainability initiatives are aimed to enrich our Island, start seeing waste as resource, and model smart choices anyone can make.

At Kona Brew Fest you will find:

  • Biodegradable Disposable Items – Restaurant food service ware is 100% compostable.
  • Biodegradable products are made from renewable, plant-based materials and have a break-down expectancy of 80-120 days.
  • Festival garbage bags are also biodegradable.
  • Compostable food-service ware is donated by Sustainable Island Products; a Kona-side restaurant supply company striving to provide the biggest selection, quality products, and best prices on sustainably-minded alternatives to plastic, Styrofoam and bleached paper products for every dining need.

‘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.

Zero-Waste Centers – Festival-goers participate in containing food and food service waste by depositing rubbish into special marked containers.  Community volunteers help by providing information to festival-goers and hauling compostable waste.
All food and food service waste is collected and transported to local school garden composting systems.  School gardeners incorporate compost into studies and benefit from nutrient rich soil.

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

Reusable Sporks – Reusable, bamboo sporks are provided to festival-goers and eliminate the use of disposable food service ware. Over 12,000 single use forks never came to the festival!

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

Water Monster Stations – Water is provided to festival-goers via reusable, chilled, 150-gallon 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, Recycle Hawaii teaches us how to reduce and reuse before we recycle and the home brewers share the joy of low impact refreshments.

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!
Sustainability Goals:

The Kona Brewers Festival makes every effort to have a positive impact on Island communities and ecosystems.  Festival sustainability goals unite organizer and volunteer efforts to minimize waste while educating and engaging festival participants. We define “Zero-Waste” as containing and preventing 85% of the festival’s waste from entering Puuanahulu Landfill.  We strive to achieve Zero-Waste standards and improve it over time.

We strive to reduce the Festival’s carbon footprint and conserve energy.
We strive to reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot.
We strive to promote local businesses and economies focused on improving the health of our Island community and ecosystems.