'Recycling Cheerleaders' Rally for Forest Fair Rubbish
The teens belong to a program that helps youth get involved with environmental issues through community action projects and education campaigns.
Thousands of Alaskans took part in the annual Girdwood Forest Fair that took place over the weekend near the Alyeska Ski Resort.
This is the 36th season for the three-day fair, which focuses on handmade Alaskan products as well as local food from around the community. More than 150 vendors were in attendance this year.
Among the crowd was a group of teens that were on a mission to get people to recycle—they call themselves the “recycling cheerleaders.”
The group is part of the Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA), a teen program that helps youth get involved with environmental issues through community action projects and education campaigns.
The cheerleaders returned for a second year after receiving positive feedback back in 2010 when they made their first appearance.
“We ended up cheering for people that did it right and booing for ones that did it wrong. It turned into this big thing,” said Sarah Wilson, a volunteer for AYEA.
The dozen volunteers say it’s tough to get Alaskans to care about recycling because it takes extra effort to take your items to a recycling center and sort them out.
“You throw things away all the time, so we don’t really think about it…it’s just an instinct,” said Wilson.
Terri Adkins, spokesperson for the Girdwood State Fair said they’ve always encouraged recycling throughout the years but only recently have they partnered with local groups to help get the message out.
“It saves our resources, saves landfill space, it saves money… it’s pretty much good all around” said Rachel Irons, a fair volunteer.