top of page

Burning Man Principle # 8 Leave No Trace:


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.

Public enemy #1 for all citizens of Black Rock City is …MOOP!

Which Is a four letter acronym for Matter Out Of Place. Think candy wrappers, used gum, cigarette butts, toothpicks, rubber bands, nails, legos, twisty ties, sequins, feathers, bottle caps, you know … little bits of stuff that are not naturally occurring on the Playa.  


All good burners avoid MOOP by following one simple mantra "don't let it hit the ground". This includes that  snot-filled tissue that you just blew your nose into. Put it in your pocket

Veterans keep a 1 quart Freezer Zip lock bag in their "camel" bag to gather and store MOOP they find. You should too!

You brought it IN with you, that means you take it OUT with you!

Unbelievably, some Virgin burners will say stupid shit like "I don't have room for it in my car" … or "it smells!”

Think about that for a second … we're talking about LESS MASS AND WEIGHT that you brought IN with you.


You can minimize this effect by following the “THREE R” rules.



Get rid of excess packaging BEFORE you come to the PLAYA. If you're bringing a box of Captain Crunch cereal, loose the box and just bring the bag. Dole fruit cups? Toss the box and just bring the cups. NO single use bottles of water! You should be refilling your canteen or thermos from your stash of 1 or 2.5 gallon water jugs. Beer in GLASS bottles? not only NO, but HELL NO. Bottles break, broken glass cuts thru trash bags and then you have MOOP! Beer in aluminum cans is OK, as long as you CRUSH those cans FLAT! The same goes for soup cans, spaghetti O's cans, tuna cans, etc. Be sure to let them air dry first, unless you like the smell of rotting food.


Paper plates, paper cups, and plastic disposable utensils? Maybe, maybe and NO! Come on.... really? Yeah, I know you can burn the paper plates and cups, BUT you can’t burn the plastic utensils because they will give off TOXIC fumes.


You’ll be lugging that shit back off Playa when you leave. So, here’s the deal: be nice to the planet for a week. Bring ONE reusable plate/cup/spork and clean it when you’re done with it. (Check the Kitchen area below for tips on how to clean dishes on Playa and save that precious, precious, H2O). Hit up Amazon and look for camping “mess kits” and you’ll be set. 

Remember all those aluminum cans you SMASHED FLAT? Black Rock City has a Recycling Camp, that will take bags of aluminum off the PLAYA at the end of the event.  (PROTIP: Take your dried aluminum cans to Recycle Camp and crush the fuk outta em in the crush-o-matic! Ahhhh, therapy).



Ok, so you aren’t feelin’ the camp mess kit and you’ve got a bag full nasty, single use, planet killing, PAPER trash. Well … maybe it can be used as “fuel” for a city burn barrel. We don’t have a burn barrel in camp so you’ll need to find one in the city and take your burnables there you fukin pyro.

Cooking up a greasy batch of bacon (mmm...bacon….)?

Give a can a second life as a grease can for your bacon drippings (PROTIP: cook that bacon at home and bring it ready to eat. Saves cooler space and saves hauling bacon dripping back to default world in your trash).


You know you need them and you know they can be used for a multitude of purposes, so don’t be a cheap fucker! Buy the BEST.

- EXTRA tough so you don’t have to worry about bag splitting and blowouts.

- Drawstring closure stays shut, and makes it easy to attach to tent poles, car headrests or chairs.

- The smaller 13 gallon capacity means you won’t overfill the bag to a point that you can’t pick it up.

The XUZA camp features an equipped community kitchens.


When you use the community kitchen and its resources, YOU are expected to help keep it CLEAN.


Fry some bacon for breakfast? Drain the grease into your grease can, and wipe down the grill with a paper towel.
Heat up some "Spaghetti O's" and it boiled over onto the burner? Well wipe that shit up and scrape off the burned mess.


NEVER leave a stove unattended! Burning down the kitchen shelter is not considered ART.



Water is a precious resource on the PLAYA, and we strive to conserve it.
Doing the dishes like you do in the DEFAULT world is NOT going to work. It generates way too much GRAY water and poses a health hazard.


In Black Rock City, the tried and true system for washing dishes goes like this.



Scrape your leftover food scraps into mesh bags to dry out. (dump this into the trash bags later)



Use the spray bottle marked "soap" (it's bio degradable) lightly spray your plates, pans, and utensils. Wipe with a paper towel.



Use the spray bottle marked "disinfectant" and lightly spray your plates, pans, and utensils. DO NOT wipe them off! Place them in the "dish rack" and let them AIR dry.


VOILA! clean dishes with NO gray water.

Or you can use the water that you bring to wash your dishes. 

  • We will have a makeshift sink that drains into a 50 gallon grey water barrel and also filters out the solids.

  • Dispose of the solids

  • wipe down the “sink”

Without a doubt the largest generator of GRAY water in any camp are the showers. This year we will be pumping the grey water into 50 gallon barrels and having them emptied by the RV service trucks.  

• ONLY use biodegradable soaps and shampoos;

• Do NOT be shy! Nobody cares, and we’ve seen it all before! We are all beautiful on the inside. Seriously, just do your thing in the shower and stress less!

• For every shower you plan on taking,
you will want to figure in bringing one
2.5 gallon water jug. 



Cheap coolers are the worst thing you can do to your health.


I’m talking about those white disposable Styrofoam ones you get for a few bucks, at the gas station or supermarket. They break apart easily and scatter MOOP all over the place. Camp XUZA does NOT allow this type of cooler in our camp.


• Keep your coolers in your tent or under shade, NOT in your car or trunk!


• Keep the cooler OFF the ground using a foam pad or sheets of cardboard


• DO NOT put your coolers in the community kitchen

One of the Camp Shifts you can sign up for is the Daily Ice run. Every morning we send a small group out to take orders from everyone, 


When loading food into your cooler, I STRONGLY recommend that you repackage the foods into FREEZER quality zip lock bags or re-sealable Tupperware containers.


Every burn, I see burners with coolers filled with disgusting bacteria laden water that resembles a school science project.
If you want your ICE to last longer, get into the habit of draining your cooler once a day.

Gee, what do I do with the water?

Well, if it’s clean (no food debris) use the water to fill up your “solar shower”

If it is clean, could I just dump the water into the Grey Water  Barrels?

 - No,  a much better idea would be to get the garden watering can from the kitchen tent and then drain the water from the cooler into the can or If your cooler is on wheels, open the drain spout and Get into “Farmer John” mode and “water” the road in front of the camp to help cut down on dust.

bottom of page