Here’s the list of what we did this year..

Word’s come back that folks don’t feel like there’s anyplace to list all the things that happened regarding the Green Man theme this year, so here’s a partial list–please email environment at burning man dot com with omissions, and we’ll add em in!

Pre-Event Staff Operations/Education:

Staff field trip to Solar Living Institute
Our first ever field trip, we took 25 staff to learn about solar power, permaculture, composting, etc.

Brown bag lunch lecture series
A total of five conversations held at the office, on a variety of environmental topics. The goal was to raise overall awareness while giving staff a common language for understanding some of the issues we’d be dealing with. The last of them, a debate between Jim Mason and Dr. David Shearer over carbon offsets, was attended by 40+ people.

Recycle Your Life Day
Two week long in-office swaps of clothing, furniture etc. Kept items out of the landfill, and sent a lot of material to Goodwill.

Pre-Event Participant Education:

Green Working Group
Established open forum for any participant to suggest changes, initiate projects, meeting every other week at the office. Produced dozens of ideas, large and small, that were acted on/implemented.

Green House
Wonderful event in conjunction with Open House/Volunteer Day. Sparked a lot of energy—almost like people looked around and said “wow, I had no idea there were so many people like me!” Dozens of displays, educational tools, workshops, fashion show, music–you name it, we had it going on.

Environmental Section of Burningman.com
Built extensive Environmental Section of the web site, chock full of great information.

Enviroblog
Ranked as #3 overall most viewed page on Burning Man website. More than 70 posts covering a wide range of topics.

Green BRC Stickers
An inexpensive hack on the familiar black BRC ovals of years past, we gave out more that 5,000—amazing to see them proliferate.

Revised questionnaires
Theme Camp, Art, and DMV questionnaires revised to capture alt energy/environmental planning information.

Event-based education

Green Guide
We created a separate “Green Map and Guide,” an 11×17 two sided map and index of events, installations, and educational happenings.

Green Man Speaks
A week-long series of conversations inspired by the Green Man theme, held at Otter Oasis.

Large Scale Art Camp Networking
We worked with LSSACs to connect them to vendors for access to biodiesel generators, and to network their power grids–reducing cost, reducing pollution, building awareness, and fostering community.

Earth Rise Film Fest
A first-time participant organized a film festival at Entheon Village. Over 200 films were to be screened throughout the event, included DiCaprio’s “11th Hour.”

CIVIKS
Built and installed four three sided kiosks to display civic information throughout the city, with a focus on the theme. They were built outside the ranger outposts, and in the 4:30/7:30 plaza. Lit by solar power, they provided 24-hour info and maps, as well as event listings and MOOP maps (another first).

(more…)

Can ‘Burning Man’ Become a Model for Green Living?

Green Man
Green Man

from Alternet:
Can ‘Burning Man’ Become a Model for Green Living?
By Matthew Taylor, PeacePower Magazine. Posted October 23, 2007.

Can 45,000 people journey vast distances to a lifeless Nevada desert and participate in an environmentally sustainable festival devoted to burning stuff? As strange as it sounds, during the last week of August 2007, the annual hedonistic celebration Burning Man attempted to do just that: go ‘green.’

What has Burning Man done to merit its theme, The Green Man? Is Burning Man making serious efforts to green itself, or is it all a front, a form of greenwashing? How will the Burning Man experience affect burners, and will they bring it home into their lives? What does the Green Man art theme say about the state of civilization and its trajectory? It was in search of answers to these questions and others unimagined that the author trekked to the playa this year.

A certain segment of the Burning Man community has long made respect for the environment a high priority. For years, event organizers have promoted a “leave no trace” ethic and encouraged all participants to scour campsites down to the tiniest scraps.

The under-appreciated Earth Guardians work year-round to keep the playa clean and tidy, and ensure that “burn scars” don’t deface the desert. Burners Without Borders, a group of volunteers vowing to “bring it home,” journeyed to the Hurricane Katrina destruction zone in 2005 to provide an estimated one million dollars worth of free home demolitions to help property owners clear away wreckage from the disaster. Last year, the same group salvaged six semi trucks full of reclaimed wood from the festival and donated it to Habitat for Humanity. (This year, a Burning Man spokesperson says it was even more).

But in the past few years, participants have demanded a much higher level of environmental responsibility. Just keeping the desert free from “MOOP” (matter out of place) was not enough. (more…)

Post Event Recycling at Albertsons–a big hit!

Got some word back on how things went with the recycling program at Albertsons in Reno from Nathan Heller, who helped make this whole deal happen.

Some numbers of total volume of recyclables from all stores:

Aluminum and tin — 600 lbs

Plastics — 48 watermelon bins full

Glass — 14 watermelon bins

Cardboard — 35 pallets (much of which was taken from burners as they were shopping to go to BRC)

Bicycles — two dozen, 8 of which were reusable, rest went for parts…

Paper — 4 pallets

Wow–great start! We’ve heard that at least 6 of the 7 stores that participated will be doing the same again next year, which means ya’ll did a great job of keeping the trash out and the recycling well organized–thank you to everyone who participated!

And we’ve also heard that the sourcing of greener materials @ the stores was a success as well, also welcome news.

So, the news keeps dribbling in, and it continues to be good!