Burning Man Resources
A good camp starts at home. Everyone has to be thinking about making a mess and cleanup before the pack for the playa. Everything physical you will bring to the playa has to go back home or pass though your body.
Costumes - Ah, the perpetual feather boa blowing across the playa- or worse yet, it may do it a single feather at a time. A sequin gown is great out there but will likely loose sequins. Folks, we're probably all bringing some costumes out there, so please make sure that your costumes do not molt, shed, flake, or otherwise fall apart. Pack clothing that will not pollute.
Art - Art? Art is a critical part of Burning Man. No doubt, people will be bringing art. Please check your project and make sure that it has no friable parts- nothing to crumble or flake off, nothing to blow away. If you are going to fill out surveys, make sure you have a binder. Loose paper is a no-no. Better yet- don't contribute to the unnecessary death of trees. GO paperless!!! Check your paint and surfaces. Does the paint stick? Can it be scratched off with a fingernail or rubbed off on your hands? If it can, it will. Do something else or "go bare" on your project.
Games - Toys, and Props - We all like games, toys and props. Silly String sounds like fun, but where will it end up? Please consider this when you pack your games and props. Do not bring small parts to get lost, anything that blows away, or anything that by common logic will end up lying around on the ground.
Structure - We are all bringing something to live on, in or under. This may be a tent, a truck, or a homemade structure. You are going to need to anchor your structure. This means REBAR and CABLE, not tent-stakes and string. If you are decorating or painting your structure, make sure that the decorations and paint, like on your art, can not become playa-litter.
Food and Drink - Pack it in, pack it out again. Fruits and veggies are great, but some kinds produce a lot of waste that can not be burned and is a soggy rotten mess to store and haul. Think carefully about what you want. Aluminum crushes down small and can go to recycle camp.
Gifts - If you will be passing out trinkets or candy, please consider what the people might be doing with it, including wrappers. We are all responsible, but others may not be. Please don't put too much 'garbage' in their hands that will be blown across the playa.
Good practices are full time. Keeping the camp from being a nightmare to clean up means keeping it clean all of the time. Of course, there will be times when there is a mess, like structure building, but that should be the exception, not the rule. Please don't leave things lying about. Keep trash 100% contained, secured, and out of sight. If pedestrians and visitors see a trash bag, they'll add to it. You will eventually wonder how to get all of their stuff home with you too!
Visitors - If you bring people into the camp, you are responsible for them. You are responsible for their trash.
More Hot Tips from the Earth Guardians - Don't bring cheap trinkets for gifts or barter. Thousands of these 'gifts' end up as trash. And feather boas, or ANYTHING that sheds, is a no-no; the trash fence tells us so. Try giving a smile, a helping hand or a joke. Help a neighbor set up camp. You are the best gift.
Don't dig holes in the playa. Small postholes (6 inches or less in diameter) used for structural support are the sole exception. For such a hole, use an auger or a posthole digger. (A shovel won't work.) Save the soil, then when you refill the hole, water lightly and tamp a few inches at a time. Larger holes used in past years to sound-insulate generators, or for pools, soon slump or erode even when carefully backfilled.
Don't Burn on the Unprotected Playa- Burning Man is all about burning; we've become the experts at LNT Burning. Burning directly on the alkaline playa BAKES the surface into a dark, hard brick-like material.
You can create your own burn on one of the community burn platforms along the Esplanade. After your burn, remove your fair share of cooled ashes and unburned residue, and haul it away when you leave. Don't burn anything that is toxic- you (or your children) will regret it later! Carpets, cushioned furniture, PVC and other plastics release dioxins, formaldehyde, and other nasty stuff. Glass does not burn, it shatters.
Please discourage anybody with a glass bottle from throwing it into a fire.
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. One principle of LNT is "be considerate of others," which in our city includes helping neighbors to leave no trace. You enjoyed many of the activities at your neighbors' camps, so consider giving back to them, look around and pitch in to help them stay clean. Carry a MOOP bag and water as you walk around your part of the city."