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[GreenYes] [Fwd: BManUpdate:V10:#30: ENVIRONMENT]


This email contains a great deal of information about how to LEAVE NO TRACE when camping.  The techniques were gathered from years of experience in camping in one of the most challenging environments:  an empty, windy, dusty northern Nevada desert.  The email was sent to folks in anticipation of the annual Burning Man Festival, which creates a city of 40,000 people in the desert for one week per year and then disappears completely.  There are no facilities at this camping event other than medical support, porta-potties and trucks that water down the roads.  I encourage you to share these techniques and incorporate them into your own camping experiences. 


P.S.  Just ignore information that is specific to the event.  For more information on this experience in radical self-reliance see

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: BManUpdate:V10:#30: ENVIRONMENT
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 21:31:20 -0700
From: Andie Grace <jackrabbitspeaks@no.address>
Organization: Burning Man
To: bman-announce@no.address

Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 10, Issue 30
August 21, 2006

This one's quite possibly the most important JRS you'll read this year, 
and we hope you will read it carefully, and think about it as you're 
planning and packing this week. Veterans and new folks alike will 
benefit from this information.

This issue's dedicated to information about the environment at Burning 
Man. You're about to embark on a trip to one of the most beautiful and 
remote locations you'll ever visit, and as you prepare, these are 
important things to think about. The choices you make about how to live 
in Black Rock City for a week have a very big impact, in how we leave 
the desert, the future of Burning Man, how you deal with your trash on 
the way home...AND how we must live with the decisions we make regarding 
fuel, wood, recycling, and our portion of the global footprint after the 
event. This JRS brings you important reminders about those topics, just 
in time to pack the car. Regular issue up later this week...the event 
starts in less than seven days.



Once you've passed the Gate and the Greeters, you are already a 
participant and a contributor to a very large artwork: the wonderful 
disappearing city.  Leaving no trace of Black Rock City is enormously 
significant - that's what gets us the OK to return to the playa every 
year - and it's also a matter of simple details, one step at a time.  If 
you put some Leave No Trace planning into your camp, your week on the 
playa will likely be easier, cleaner, and healthier.

The Earth Guardians have been collecting and recording LNT tips for
playa living.  Visit their website at:

Here are our top ten LNT reminders


2) If it doesn't come out of your body it doesn't go into the Potty.




6) CONSIDER whether your gift is more likely to become MOOP than a 
keepsake. Give smart.



9) Prepare for the Hungry Wind - Secure your load, especially your trash




It takes thousands of people to create a disappearing city, and the 
how-to lore keeps growing. The Earth Guardians collect good ideas from 
camps and citizens, mix in Leave No Trace principles, and pass them 
along. Not only will you reduce the Matter Out Of Place ("MOOP"), you'll 
make your camp life easier and more pleasant.

Leave No Trace Principles - We have embraced these seven LNT principles 
as the largest LNT event in the world.  The Leave No Trace Organization 
has more information on their website: .

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Minimize Campfire Impacts
5. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
6. Leave What You Find
7. Respect Wildlife


LNT Principle 1 -Plan Ahead and Prepare

Plan Ahead with a LNT plan, like

Pick a Leave No Trace leader for your camp, a "MOOP czar". This person 
will work LNT into your planning and preparing, help set up the camp so 
that it doesn't blow away, help to plan your camp's cleanup and 
break-down ahead of time, handle the question of stinky trash, gray 
water disposal,  and what NOT to burn .

Plan to Reduce Kitchen Waste: Plan simple, easy-cooking, low-dishwashing 
meals. Bring two-thirds the food you think you'll need. Prepare and 
freeze meals in ziploc bags. Repackage and prepare food in advance. 
Bring water in big reusable plastic container and bring reusable cups, 
utensils, bowls or plates, not Styrofoam that will blow all over the 
playa. Ask visitors to your camp to BYOM (bring your own mug) and  take 
your own mug to the Center Camp Cafe. A carabiner or shower hook easily 
secures it for transport around the City. Many fashionable bars also 
appreciate BYOMers!

Here's food wisdom from a decade on the playa:

Plan to Recycle- Buy only aluminum cans and plan to take aluminum cans 
to Recycle Camp.  There are many good beers in cans! Check out  to 
find some.

Separate and sort kitchen trash. Collect food waste in a mesh bag. The 
food will dry up, becoming light and nearly odorless. Easy! Plan on 
burning paper and wood in a community burn platform.

Plan your camp to minimize clean-up efforts.  Don't wait until the end 
of the week to pick stuff up . Clean as you go. This will help you from 
getting overwhelmed by the mess and help keep trash from blowing out of 
reach.  Plan to seal the small amount of trash you have left in big 
plastic bags, or in five-gallon buckets with lids, to take home, or, if 
you must, drop off some trash in local landfills.


LNT Principle 2 -Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Winter rains help erase our tracks on the playa, but dust from driving 
affects people right away.   Keep auto speeds under 5 mph in Black Rock 
City, and drive only on obvious, marked roads. Avoid the Hot Springs 
during the event. These delicate ecosystems cannot handle the volume of 
visitors that use during the event would create.

Camp Structures and Shelters.  Plan your structure to be able to 
withstand the extreme conditions on the playa and be reusable. Stake 
your tents and structures so they will stay secure in the heavy wind, 
rain, and dust storms that are sudden and usual on the playa.

Recycle Your Structure: Plan your camp around reusing your structure 
each year. If you reuse and repurpose the basic framework for your 
camp's structure, you can still reconfigure it to give your camp a new 
look and feel each year and save money!

Do not dig holes in the playa. Small postholes (6 inches or less in 
diameter) used for structural support are the sole exception and must be 
properly tamped and tilled when you are finished with them. Larger holes 
easily erode within a year's time even when carefully backfilled. They 
leave a visible mark and create a serious safety hazard.

Keep your vehicle from dripping oil or other fluids on to the playa. 
BLM did a study on this a few years ago and asked burners to use pans or 
other barriers under their cars, especially older cars, to prevent drips.

Always use a potty for your body waste - not the playa.


LNT Principle 3 -Dispose of Waste Properly

If it doesn't come out of your body it doesn't go into the Potty.  Only 
single-ply toilet paper and human waste can go in the potties. Anything 
else can cause a clog when the toilet vendor empties the tank through a 
two-inch hose, otherwise we have unserviced potties, and that means 

How will you dispose of your grey water from your kitchen and shower? 
Our permit from BLM does NOT allow us to dump grey water directly on the 
- Camps can collect grey water and take it to one of the RV dump 
stations along Interstate 80 after the event.
- If you want to construct an evaporation pond, check out the web site:

Or if you're in a very small camp, with minimal dish and body-washing 
water, you might choose to treat  your grey water: pour it through a 
filter (like a paint sieve), disinfect it with bleach then, since it is 
treated, sprinkle it on your street to keep down dust.


LNT Principle 4 - Minimize Campfire Impacts -  How do we burn 
responsibly and clean?

Burn Responsibly: Don't Burn on the Unprotected Playa. Burning directly 
on the alkaline playa BAKES the surface into a dark, hard brick-like 
material. Use community burn barrels or a burn platform.

Don't Overload the Burn Platforms! Be sure the wood you place in the 
burn platform is well contained. When the platforms are overloaded, 
burning wood can hit the playa and cause a burn scar. Have tools on hand 
to break down and cut up larger pieces.

Burn Clean: Be careful to burn only clean (no paint) wood or paper! You 
can burn on one of the community burn platforms along the Esplanade, 
just don't burn anything that is toxic! Carpets, cushioned furniture, 
PVC and other plastics release dioxins, formaldehyde, and other nasty 
stuff. The community burn barrels and burn platforms are low to the 
ground, and produce smoke that is easily inhaled. The low temperature, 
incomplete combustion emits toxic gases and particulates. Please check out
for more information on the hazards associated with toxic fumes.

Reduce and Reuse: Fires are for celebration and spiritual connection, 
not places to dump garbage. Low temperature burning produces toxic 
emissions, so minimize what you burn. Recycle or reuse materials where 
you can.  Bring reusable wood to Camp Katrina for donation instead of 
burning it!

Participate - Each of us can play a part in protecting the health of our 
community and the incredible beauty of the playa. Join the toxic 
avengers!  If you want to volunteer to help educate our citizens about 
responsible ways to burn, email toxicavengers@no.address, and please 
come by the Earth Guardians Pavilion at during the event and sign up for 
our daily crusades or weekend citizen patrols.  We'll be having a 
meeting on Friday at 11:30 to train new volunteers.


Leave No Trace Principle 5 - Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Promote LNT neighborhoods. Be proud of your neighborhood: work together 
with your neighbors to keep your part of the city clean. Every year some 
camps get overwhelmed and need help. The LNT principle, "Be considerate 
of Other Visitors," in our city, includes helping neighbors to leave no 
trace.  Carry a MOOP bag and water as you walk around your part of the city.

"You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you 
give of yourself that you truly give." - Kahlil Gibran

Gifting in a LNT Community: We all enjoy the generosity and gifts of our 
theme camps, artists, and fellow citizens. Instead of just bringing 
cheap trinkets for gifts that become MOOP, consider the gift of oneself. 
  Look around and pitch in to help keep things clean: offer a tool, an 
extra hand, a gesture of thanks. Try giving a smile, a helping hand or a 
joke. Help a neighbor set up camp. You are the best gift.

-Devote Two Hours to General Cleanup in Black Rock City. This means the 
streets, public spaces, and open playa where stuff may have been left 
behind. Consider staying an extra day to help clean-up and avoid the 
Sunday and Monday traffic!

- Prepare for the Hungry Wind - Secure your load, especially your trash. 
Don't let your trash fly off your vehicle, and do not dump it on the 
side of the road or at a rest stop on the way home!  Use an approved 
dumping facility or take or home with you.  Plan ahead before you even 
pack for the playa so you leave with a minimal amount of trash. When 
starting home, take a rest stop early; at the entrance gate, at a wide 
pullout, or maybe at the Empire store. Check your load. It is most 
likely to fail early in the trip.

- Come back to the Black Rock Desert after the event and participate in 
restoration activities.  The Earth Guardians participate in restoration 
activities year-round.  For more information, check out our calendar at:


Leave No Trace Principle 6  - Leave What You Find

On first reaching the playa, we encounter one of the profoundly barren 
and empty corners of the world.  That is exactly what we want to leave.

-Clean As You Go and Grid Your Camp at the End! Don't wait until the end 
of the week to pick stuff up, NEVER LET IT HIT THE GROUND and CLEAN AS 
YOU GO. This will help you from getting overwhelmed by the mess and help 
keep trash from blowing out of reach. Before leaving do a line sweep 
across your camp. Give everyone a ziploc bag, line them up along one 
edge of camp, look down and slowly walk to the other side. Cover your 
entire area looking for those last bits of trash- every twist tie, 
cigarette butt, food scrap, carpet fiber, match, nut shell, scrap of 
plastic, everything.

-You can't hide a stuck stake by burying it. Instead, its hazard is 
magnified. Even when pounded below the surface, a stake will slowly, 
inevitably, emerge from the playa. Vise-grips will almost always remove 
a stuck stake. First, clamp on the vise-grips and rotate the stake back 
and forth, to break the playa's grip. Then continue rotating and also 
pull upwards. Still stuck? Ask a neighbor for help. Next year, remember 
that smooth stakes pull out much easier than ridged rebar.

-Consider joining the DPW post-event clean-up crews. Help us get it out 
of here, so that we can all return again.


Leave No Trace Principle 7  - Respect Wildlife

At first glance, this principle may not seem as applicable to Burning 
Man. However, as users of the Black Rock Desert, we share the Black Rock 
Desert NCA with many native species.  As home to Burning Man, the Black 
Rock High Rock NCA has a profound impact on the Burning Man community. 
In return, Earth Guardians have partnered with BLM and other user groups 
to restore sensitive areas around the Black Rock Desert and have also 
taken on our own restoration projects.

Promote more sustainable practices at Burning Man with Respect, Rethink, 
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Restore, resulting in more awareness of 
conservation, ecological footprints, carbon equivalent offsets, and 
alternative energy sources, protecting our global habitat.  Interested 
in helping, come to the Earth Guardians pavilion on Wednesday at 6:00 to 
learn more.

Also, don't forget, The Desert is no place for dogs or other pets. 
Burning Man is a no dog event. For questions, contact dogs at





Greening the Burn is a grass roots movement that started a number of 
years ago when in 1995 two BRC citizens and Burning Man participants 
asked the question, "Why is there no recycling in Black Rock City?" Two 
years later a camp was started, dedicated to collecting & recycling 
aluminum cans, and a movement was born. After 1997's event, the Earth 
Guardians were formed and the Burning Man Project adopted the Leave No 
Trace outdoor ethics. Six years later the first Biodiesel generator was 
running one of the Burning Man infrastructure camps, the Greeters 
Station. Also in 2004, biodegradable and compostable alternatives for 
paper and plastic products were introduced at the Cafe and Staff 
Commissary and participants were allowed by the Nevada Department of 
Health to bring their own cups to the Cafe.

In February 2006, a meeting was held at Burning Man Headquarters in San 
Francisco and it was clear that there was significant interest in 
continuing to explore ways to "Green the burn". The Burning Man Project 
listened and offered staff support, including a discussion list for 
collaboration. Thus, greeningman-list@no.address came online.

Over the past five months, the members of this grassroots movement have 
been collaborating and connecting and communicating their wishes and 
dreams for a cleaner and greener Black Rock City and Burning Man 
Project. We are ready to bring it to all of you this year in BRC and put 
all of us to the test to see if we can make BRC not just the best place 
to visit once a year, but a living breathing model for progressive and 
conscious awareness.

We all know that when Burning Man started the focus wasn't being an 
eco-activist-utopian city. We also know that in the world that we live 
in, the communities that we call home the rest of the year, the places 
that we hope the spirit of Burning Man will infiltrate and take 
hold...these places can learn from our good example, and so can we learn 
by continuing these efforts. Black Rock City is a place where lives are 
changed forever, where connections are made that last a lifetime, where 
we get to be and see the best in each of us. We think it is high time 
that we step it up a notch and be the future we hope to see.

And now, on with the show.......




This has been an on going project for a number of years, Plans are in 
the works to bring together the many environmental topics on and off our 
website, update and add content regularly, and connect it all through a 
brand new Environmental Section on the Burning Man web site. This 
project has been given the green light and the web and green teams are 
now running with it.



* Recycles as many aluminum cans as possible in a week
* Discourages glass & plastic bottles on the playa
* Practices & Promotes 'Leave No Trace' Principles
* Teaches the seething masses our 6 Tenets of proper Waste Management & 
Recycling Responsibility:
1. Prepare! Leave sorry-ass packaging at home!
2. Pack it in, pack it out! Leave No Trace!
3. Never let it hit the ground!
4. Separate! Sort your trash before you discard it!
5. Create! Supposed "garbage" can be transformed into noble works of art!
6. Respect, Rethink Reduce Re-use Recycle Restore!!!

  Come by our camp everyday of the event from 10am to 5pm to bring us 
your aluminum cans and help crush 'em and bag 'em and we'll deliver them 
to the Gerlach School to be recycled. The School gets the money and we 
all get to know we did the right thing with our cans. Last year, about 
$800 went to the Gerlach High School Student Council. See you out there!



**Educational workshops**

We'll be posting all our events in the WhatWhereWhen and also posting 
events on a large white board in front of our camp. We will also be 
listing events on LNTV and doing PSAs on BMIR.

**Volunteers for the burn platforms & dumpsters outside of the event**

EG's have been doing this (with assistance from Rangers, fire and DPW) 
for the last couple of years. Volunteer - Each of us can play a part in 
protecting the health of our community and the incredible beauty of the 
playa. We can educate other participants and our neighbors about safe 
ways to burn at Burning Man. And if we see someone trying to burn 
something that's toxic or way too big, we should try to stop them. Join 
the toxic avengers!  If you want to volunteer to help educate our 
citizens about responsible ways to burn, email 
toxicavengers@no.address, and please come by the Earth Guardians 
Pavilion at during the event and sign up for our daily crusades or 
weekend citizen patrols.  We'll be having a meeting on Friday at 11:30 
to train new volunteers.

**LNT Tour of the City**

Leave No Trace is really a way to camp smarter, not harder, on the 
playa. So check out the LNT Tour model camps. And if you already got 
LNT, nominate your camp for the coveted Camp of the Day award. 2006 will 
mark the 5th year for the Earth Guardians LNT Tour of Black Rock City. 
All tour camps fill out applications with their LNT plans and we talk 
with them, collect their camp plans and work with them so that we have 
educational material on their efforts to share, before adding them to 
the 'Tour'.  During the event, a group of Earth Guardians visit every 
camp that has been nominated into the Camp of the Day Contest to 
evaluate their LNT efforts and pick the top 5 camps of the week as winners.


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