Zero Waste Humboldt: Zero Waste Crew Needs YOU to Help Reduce Waste at the North Country Fair!

August, 2015


On Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, 2015, the annual North Country Fair will once again take place on the Arcata Plaza.  We invite you to join the Zero Waste team and be a part of the fair’s waste reduction crew!  Last year, the Fair’s board, the Same Old People, Inc., became the first festival in Humboldt County to adopt a zero waste policy.  This policy is the first essential step for a long-term commitment to work
toward zero waste.  

In addition to vendor commitment, it takes a huge team of trained volunteers to successfully reduce and recycle the waste.  Working with Zero Waste Humboldt, the Fair will have trained volunteers taking shifts at each of the 6 stations on the Plaza during the 2-days to help the public to deposit materials for “Compost,” “Recycling,” or “Landfill.”  There will also be a 7th station where trained volunteers will weigh and sort recyclables.

The North Country Fair and Zero Waste Humboldt are pleased that its large crew of volunteers have ranged from age 14 to 75, and included people from many backgrounds. The Fair’s zero waste crew includes family members, housemates, co-workers, HSU classes, Arcata High School Green Club, and sports teams. Volunteers have enjoyed scheduling shifts with family and friends.  The one-hour zero waste training is required for volunteers and will be offered on Sunday, Sept. 13th at 10 a.m. on the plaza or Wednesday, Sept. 16th at 5:30 p.m.  
This year, we are excited to add Cub Scout pack 95 of Arcata to our volunteer crew. With adult supervision, these cub scouts will be learning about Zero Waste and will be the first youth group to participate in the All Species Parade as Zero Waste Zebras.

Last year, the North Country Fair banned the sale of single use plastic water bottles during the event and provided three water coolers for fairgoers to fill their own refillable bottles.  “We plan to have even more convenient water coolers this year.  Please bring a refillable water container,” Stevens said.

One of the other key elements in the North Country Fair zero waste program has been attention to the details of measurement and monitoring.  “It takes more work, but the outcome is that we really know how much and what type of waste the Fair generates and how much we are actually reducing each year,” states Zero Waste coordinator Nancy Stevens.
Fairgoers have really taken notice and have responded very positively to the Zero Waste Humboldt volunteers.  It’s been a fun way to enjoy the music, food and crafts, AND work for a good cause at the same time!  We encourage you, your family, and your co-workers to join the zero waste crew by contacting

















Humboldt Stores Want Bag Information

This May, Jud Ellinwood of Zero Waste Humboldt and Humboldt State School of Business Intern Tim Combley reported to the Board of Supervisors on a survey they conducted of store owners and operators in the unincorporated areas of Humboldt County covered by the California’s Single-use Plastic Carry-out Bag Law (SB270).  Even though 138 local governments in California have already adopted a ban on single-use plastic carryout bags, implementation of SB270 has been suspended until the outcome of a state November 2016 ballot measure. 

The study included 28 interviews of local store owners and managers of all the types of stores covered by SB270 to assess their familiarity with the law and what they need to know to prepare for compliance.  100% of the store owners and managers surveyed expressed a need for information from the County.  Survey results provide clear evidence that in order for local stores to voluntarily stop providing single-use plastic carryout bags, or to comply with SB270, or to comply with a County ordinance should the Board of Supervisors pass it, they need information.

To read the report and its conclusions, go to

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