Posts in leave no trace

September 20th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

Introducing the Playa Restoration Awards!

Hello MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! It is my very great pleasure to introduce the first-ever Playa Restoration Awards, aka The Restos.

D.A., Playa Restoration Manager, introduced the game-changing BRC MOOP Map in 2006, and since then we’ve seen a huge shift in consciousness about what it means to Leave No Trace at Burning Man. As the city has grown, it has become impressively green and MOOP-free — so MOOP-free, in fact, that the “red spots” really tend to stand out.

It is easy to look at this year’s MOOP Map and make a judgment about the camps, projects and parties that were scored red. But to do so would be to overlook the unique, unquantifiable and incomparable magic that so many of these groups bring to Black Rock City.

How do you put a score on the experience of watching the sun rise with the people you danced next to all night? How do you count the connections made by bringing friends and strangers together for new, mind-opening experiences? How could you possibly judge a project’s worth solely by what it left behind, without simultaneously celebrating it for what it created?

Sunrise at Robot Heart. Photo by Paretz Partensky.

Sunrise at Robot Heart. Photo by Paretz Partensky.

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September 19th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live, Day 2: The Going Gets Tough

BurningMan_PlayaRestoration2013_JessicaReeder-0775

Greetings MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! I’m here on the drifted shores of the Black Rock Desert, where your Playa Restoration All-Star moopers are hard at work removing every last trace of Burning Man. Our home team is hell-bent for victory — but let me tell you, Day Two was no cakewalk.

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September 18th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live 2013: Day 1!

Greetings MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for all year. The 2013 DPW Playa Restoration All-Star team is proud to present the very first glimpse at this year’s Burning Man MOOP Map.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

The MOOP Map is a graphical representation of what we discover as we comb the Burning Man site for Matter Out Of Place. Find out more about how it works here, or read on to see the first day’s MOOP score!

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September 17th, 2013  |  Filed under Building BRC, Environment

MOOP Map Live 2013

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

Greetings from the remains of Black Rock City, where 120 brave members of the DPW Playa Restoration team are storming the streets and doing what they do best: Making sure Burning Man 2013 upholds its promise to Leave No Trace.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

The stakes are higher than we ever could have imagined. With the Bureau of Land Management’s site inspection looming on October 2, we’ve got just 2 weeks to make sure our city is up to the BLM’s exacting standard. We’ve never failed before, but with so many Black Rock Citizens at Burning Man 2013 (not to mention a larger city grid than ever before), we’re certainly covering a lot of new ground.

Our goal: To scour the city and remove all Matter Out Of Place, in the process creating this year’s MOOP Map.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

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August 26th, 2013  |  Filed under Dematerialize, Environment

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Offers Trash Collection

Photo via USDA NCRS on Wikipedia.

Photo via USDA NCRS on Wikimedia.

We’ve talked a lot about trash: how to reduce it, ways to manage it, and where to take it after Burning Man is over. The latter is always the biggest challenge, year after year.

New this year: The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s stores on Highway 447 in Nixon and Wadsworth will be accepting Burner refuse for 24 hours a day, starting Saturday of the Burn until Tuesday after the event (more details below).

The program is offered through the Public Utilities Department (PUD) of the Tribe and is designed to target last year’s issue of nasty overflowing dumpsters at both stores.  The PUD will have dumpsters at both stores again, but this year they will man those stores for 24 hours a day, Saturday of the Man Burn thru Tuesday post event. The PUD will charge $5.00 for regular and properly bagged refuse. They will also accept (but charge more for) carpet ($25), sofas, bedding, etc.  Check out both stores on Highway 447 to properly dispose of your trash, support the tribe and grab a snack for the road.  And don’t forget to say “THANK YOU!”

The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (PLPT) has lived here for thousands of years. The land we travel through–and the land we camp on–is considered sacred and has always been theirs. Visit the Paiute Tribe’s website to learn more about their history, Pyramid Lake, their business amenities, and the incredible work they do with endangered and ancient trout.  By providing trash services to Burners, this year the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (PLPT) is raising money for the community while doing you a BIG favor. Don’t forget to say thank you!

Details on trash drop-off:

  • Drop off points are at the PLPT stores  on Hwy 447 in Nixon and Wadsworth (at Interstate 80).
  • Trash is $5 per bag.
  • Carpet and oversized items will be accepted, but will cost more to drop off.
  • All of the money collected will benefit the tribe.

Ways to say “thanks”:

  • Drive slowly through town! You are passing schools and neighborhoods.
  • Stop at Fry Bread stands, have a snack and donate to the local food drive.
  • Visit the Museum and Visitors Center (near the junction of 446 and 447 at the Nixon store) to see great art and learn about Paiute culture and history.
  • Respect the lake: you must obtain a permit to camp there.
  • Saty “Thank you” to everyone you interact with from the tribe – it’s that simple!

A final reminder: Nixon is 60 miles from Gerlach. Your trash needs to be secured well enough to make that 60 mile drive. There is no place to drop trash near the Black Rock Desert. Pack it out!

August 19th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

What’s the deal with dropping off trash on the way home?

Photo by aturkus on Flickr.

Photo by aturkus on Flickr.

It’s almost that time! The excitement, the drama, the sleepless preparations are mounting and our hearts all beat a little faster with each passing day. What are you excited about? The fire, the art, the art on fire? Not me. This time of year, people like me and Nathan Aaron Heller (not pictured) can only think about one thing: trash.

Nathan volunteers his time to organize EXTRA, the network of trash drop-off points stretching from Gerlach to Reno to Cedarville. As one-man shows go, EXTRA is a big job, and it makes a big difference: instead of carting your cans and rinds all the way home, you can now drop them off and help support local businesses.

Who wouldn’t be excited about that? Hot trash! Love it!

So how does it work?

Just sort your recyclables and bag your trash, and take them to one of the drop-off points. It’s probably best to find a place that’s not overcrowded — Highway 447 in particular can be a pretty amazing traffic jam — so, if the road is busy, head for one of the spots in Reno or Sparks. Many of them are even open 24 hours during the height of Exodus.

What can I drop off?

Everything but poop. I’m serious folks (and not sure why I need to tell you this), no excrement.

There are drop-off points for bicycles, plastics (SPI 1-5), glass, all metals, paper, cardboard, plastic bags, household batteries (rechargeable and disposable), and nonperishable food and water. Please have your recyclables as clean as playa possible, sorted and de-bagged before depositing into the appropriate containers. Please deposit your trash separately into the appropriate dumpsters.

Phew! Well, I’m all worn out from the excitement. Talking about trash just makes my day. If you want to know more (and really, who doesn’t?), you’ll find complete information in your survival guide.

This is The Hun, live and trashy, signing out.

Burning Man is a Leave No Trace Event.

There is no garbage collection service at Burning Man. We are the largest Leave No Trace event in the world. This means that every participant is responsible for making the greatest possible effort to leave the Black Rock Desert in the same condition (or better!) than it was in when you arrived. That includes picking up Matter Out Of Place, packing out all your own trash, not polluting the playa and avoiding burn scars and oil drips.

Leave No Trace is one of the Ten Principles guiding our community. Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

August 17th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World

An Eco-Burner Homecoming: AfrikaBurns to Black Rock City by Bike

Which way to Black Rock City? Choices, choices.  (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Which way to Black Rock City? Choices, choices. (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Next week thousands of people will be boarding planes and squeezing into cars crowded with camping gear bound for one location: Black Rock City. This attraction to one of the most inhospitable, creative and challenging places on earth baffles some and inspires others. Why spend so much time and energy on one week in the desert?

Kayden Kleinhans invested that and more in his preparation for Burning Man. Bicycling for 49 weeks, through 15 countries, Kayden’s journey started last year at AfrikaBurn, where he collected songs, remembrances and dreams from members of that community at their Temple in a leather-bound journal. His mission: deliver this precious cargo from their Temple in Tankwa Karoo, South Africa to our Temple in Black Rock City on a humble bicycle.

Yes, he is on a bicycle (its name is Little Ms. Sunshine).

Yes, there’s an ocean separating both Burns (a plane helped springboard him over the Atlantic Ocean to Buenos Aires, Argentina).

And yes, he is alive to share his story.

Special delivery from the Temple at AfrikaBurns with a stop in Furnace Creek, Death Valley (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Special delivery for the Temple of Whollyness with a stop in Furnace Creek, Death Valley (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

As he peddled into Death Valley, California three weeks ago, he sent this update, “With less than 1000 km left to go, wild horses couldn’t stop the journal and its magical contents from making it to the playa.”

Given his dedication to cycling up the Americas solo with his gear, fighting heat, cold, injuries and loneliness to complete his mission, it’s difficult to believe that Kayden has never set foot in Black Rock City. 2013 will be Kayden’s first year at Burning Man.

AfrikaBurns 2012 in Tankwa Town, where it all began. (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

AfrikaBurn 2012 in Tankwa Town, where this all began. (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

The call of home, that commitment to principles of radical self-reliance to leaving no trace resonate whether or not he felt chalky playa dust between his fingers. As the Founder of the Global Wheeling Initiative, a South African-registered NGO highlighting climate change, he hopes to draw attention to these concerns through his journey, one of several he’s made bicycling across continents. His onboard computer and carbon calculator calculates the amount of CO2, which would have been emitted, if he was traveling in an average-sized America 2008 model car.

Kayden calls his journey, “a double edged project that was not only carrying the prized cargo but also drawing a comparison between the motor vehicle and the bicycle as a means of transport.”

49 weeks of cycling, 20,000 carbon free kilometers and 3 tons of CO2 saved with Little Ms. Sunshine later, he peddled into Reno a few days ago.

You have the opportunity to join him in this project. He invites Burner bicyclists to participate in the final leg of his journey to Burning Man. His invitation:

Reno to BRC by bicycle, 3 days and 2 nights “SELF SUPPORTED” bike ride covering 125 miles. Guided by Kayden Kleinhans on his final leg of the AfrikaBurns to Burning Man by Bicycle Project.

This will be an exercise in self-reliance and all required food and water for the 3 day expedition will have to be carried by the cyclist. Bring camping/survival equipment, a bike in good working order and a positive “Can Do” attitude.

Your Burn starts when we roll out of Reno on the morning of the 21st! You should have your ticket to Burning Man squared away ahead of time. Due to arrive at BRC on the afternoon of the 23rd. Arrangements for early access will have to be made prior to arrival through the necessary channels. Do not apply if you are not capable of completing the journey on your own accord.

Meeting point is the Anabella’s Zen Art Sanctuary, 12245 Spruce Lane, South Reno.

Contact: Kayden at globalwheeling dot org here: kayden (at) globalwheeling.org
Website: http://www.globalwheeling.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/globalwheeling

Up for the challenge? Write to Kayden and meet him in Reno with your bicycle.

[Editor's Note: Cycling on Route 447 is very difficult and dangerous, and this undertaking should not be taken lightly. There is a 20 mile stretch of 447 where the shoulders were washed away by flash floods this year, and NDOT is doing work to repair them ... in some cases, the shoulders are soft or non-existent, and the road is reduced to a single lane. Please be careful out there!]

Only one week remains until he cycles down Gate Road, finally completes his journey and enters Black Rock City to deliver the journal to the Temple.

Thousands of Burners will follow his bicycle tracks in vehicles of all sizes from all over the world. Where are you traveling from? Tell us how you’re coming home.

Snapshots from the US leg of his journey:

On his way via Cali Route 395 (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

On his way via Cali Route 395 (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

 

Sedona, Arizona (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Sedona, Arizona is a gorgeous place to rest (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

 

Shattered (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Shattered (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

 

August 13th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment, Playa Tips

Poop in a Cooler: A BM Story

Symbolic dramatization. Not to scale.

Symbolic dramatization. Not to scale.

Once upon a time, some 340 days ago, a Reno grocery store employee received a very special Burning Man gift. It was a cooler full of poop. Some thoughtful Burner had left this doo-doo cooler at a trash drop-off point.

“Wow!” said the grocery store employee (I am assuming this is what he or she may have said).

“Wow! This is the most memorable gift a Burner could possibly leave for me. I will remember this gift, and it will help me to understand Burning Man culture so that I can pass this lesson on to my friends.”

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