One of the principles of Burning Man is “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 …
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". Got a nasty piece of snot-filled tissue, that you just blew your nose into? Put it in your pocket.
Gee … Why can't I just toss it on the ground? Won't it decay?
It's a dry lake bed and there is less bacteria and moisture to speed the decomposition process.
How about a half eaten power bar that tastes like a piece of damp dryer lint? Won't some animal come and eat it during the night?
Wrap it up and put it in your pocket. It's a desert you dumbass, look around, do you see any small animals scurrying about? (Sparkle ponies don't count!)
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 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 know that water you brought with you? The sun sucked it out of you or you pissed it down the potties!
The food? You burned it baby! Or you shat it out down the potties!
None of that is mysteriously gained mass (unless you're having Dr. WHO flashbacks). Nope, what you’re experiencing is the miracle of modern day retail packaging!
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.
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.
Did you use paper plates, paper towels, napkins, or chopsticks? Well … they can be used as “fuel” for the burn barrels, so be sure to place them in the “BURNABLES BOX”. That empty can has a 2nd life as a grease can for your bacon drippings.
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, yes YOU are expected to help keep it CLEAN.
Fry some bacon for breakfast? Drain the grease into the 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. Put the paper towel into the box marked "BURNABLE TRASH"
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.
Without a doubt the largest generator of GRAY water in any camp are the showers. We use conventional “evaporation ponds” to mitigate our volume of gray water. Ponds are playa proven and work well as long as you follow a few simple rules.
• NEVER let the water get more than an inch deep in the pond! If it gets any deeper, the suns rays won’t heat the black plastic tarp enough to speed the evaporation process;
• Use the push broom to spread the water around the evaporation pond;
• 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 two gallons of water.
Cheap coolers SUCK. Which for you non-Americans = NOT GOOD.
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
When loading food into your cooler, I STRONGLY recommend that your 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 EVAPORATION pond?
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.