Festival goal: music, food, less trash Aug. 4-6

Volunteer for the Zero Waste Crew and get a free one-day pass

Volunteers who work a four-hour shift as part of the Zero Waste Crew at Salmonfest 2017 will get free admission to the festival for that day, plus a green tie-dye t-shirt to keep. Photo courtesy of Salmonfest

Festival goers eyes will be on all four stages Aug. 4-6, as Salmonfest 2017 gets underway at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Soldotna, but behind the scenes there will be an equal focus on zero waste.

Cook Inletkeeper, ReGroup and the Kachemak Bay Conservation Society are teaming up this year with a goal of decreasing the impact of all things trash at the three day gathering that attracts several thousand people to the fairgrounds annually.

The spotlight will be on well-known musical acts, including Jewel, Railroad Earth, Rusted Root, Rising Appalachia, California Honeydrops, Great American Taxi and more, including some top Alaska bands, including Ray Troll and the Ratfish Wranglers.

Also on tap will be special brews, a variety of food and arts and crafts booths.

To festival organizers, keeping waste at a minimum is of equal importance.

“From the start, we’ve taken a lot of steps to reduce waste at the festival,” said Jim Stearns, Salmonfest producer. “The reusable cups in the beer gardens are not only collectable, but they help reduce the need for thousands and thousands of single-use cups during the event.”


This year Salmonfest plans to take trash reduction to a new level.

In place of trashcans, there will be Zero Waste Stations, pairing recycling and compost bins with every trashcan. Each one will be staffed by one of the all-volunteer Zero Waste Crew to help festivalgoers know where to toss compostable food scraps, paper plates, recyclable water bottles and aluminum cans.

“There’s always been some recycling available at the festival, but this year we want to make it really obvious and easy,” said Carly Wier, director for Cook Inletkeeper,

“and since so much of our waste stream is made up of biodegradable, compostable material, we think we can reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill by more than 50 percent this year.”

Plastics and aluminum will be recycled through the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s existing recycling program. Compostable materials will go into soil amendment at Matti’s Farm in Kenai.

Volunteers who work a four-hour shift get free admission to the festival for that day and a green tie-dye Zero Waste Crew t-shirt to keep.

To volunteer on the Zero Waste Crew, contact Natalia at [email protected], or call 1-907-235-4068 ext. 20.

Salmonfest benefits The Kachemak Bay Conservation Society, a Homer-based non-profit whose goal is to educate the public and protect and promote Alaska’s fisheries habitat. Cook Inletkeeper is also an active supporter of the event.

Get tickets now, plus the line-up of musicians on all four stages, at Salmonfestalaska.org or via Salmonfest on Facebook.