The Where The Sheep Sleep Guide to Leaving No Trace
Leave No Trace is one of the core principles of Where the Sheep Sleep, Burning Man and every Burn event. Essentially, Burners take responsibility for their environmental impact. Rather than leaving a sea of beer cans, cigarette butts, half-eaten food, discarded packaging, grubby clothes, wellies, sleeping bags and abandoned tents, Burners leave only footprints – dust to dust. It is up to each of us to ensure the long-term survival of our event – and environment – by practicing LNT. These top tips will help show you how, through proper preparation and knowing the drill throughout the festival.
- Avoid packaging: remove all excess packaging from everything you buy (food, supplies, tools) before you pack it. Not bringing packaging is one of the best ways to avoid creating rubbish at WtSS. Compostable containers are better; re-usable containers are best.
- Glass: do not bring glass containers of any kind – they can shatter. Metal bottles and plates are better, or even Tupperware 😉
- Smokers: buy or make a portable ashtray (a mint tin, for instance) to collect your cigarette butts and ashes
- Bring your own cup and bowl: disposable cups, plates and cutlery are one of the biggest sources of trash at festivals. Burners make sure they always have an easy-to-carry cup with them to use anywhere, anytime. Be responsible for your cup and keep it clean.
- Do not bring: anything that can come loose and loose glitter and feather boas. Items such are impossible to recover and contaminate fragile ecosystems. We repeat: do not bring glitter or feathers. Please!
- Do bring: bin bags. Ensure you pack bin bags for trash and recycling.
- Recycle. Make different bins or bags for different kinds of waste. The Dutch system is: paper, glass, plastic&cans, organic waste, grey waste (= the rest). It makes things easier for you to dispose your waste in designated places and the environment will thank you for it 🙂
- Leave space for trash in your car/luggage. You will be responsible for taking it to the allocated sites or your home. There are NO public wastebins on site
- If taking the train or car share riding, ensure you have a way of taking your refuse with you, or that you have organized with your Theme camp to assist you in taking it to an allocated site
- Never let MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) hit the ground. Clean as you go. MOOP attracts more MOOP. When you see trash on the ground, pick it up and take it with you – you won’t see it later as layers of dust – or grass- accumulate.
- Never, ever drop butts. Help keep cigarette butts from being one of the top MOOP items.
- If in doubt, ask your LNT lead(s)
- Do a sweep of your tent area, and again after you packed it
- Do a line sweep of your camp with your camp mates, making sure you cover the whole area, and picking up every single piece of MOOP. Nothing is too small. If it wasn’t there before you arrived, it must not be there when you leave
- Leaving No Trace does not end when you hit the pavement. Do not dump your trash anywhere in neighbouring communities that are not a designated trash or recycling site.
- For RV’s on site: use an (oil) collection bin for under your RV-motor (Dutch environmental laws obligate you to ensure no leakage in this nature reserve)
- Stop periodically and check to make sure your vehicle’s load is secured and hasn’t loosened in the wind.
Burning Man is not a festival. It’s a catalyst for creative culture in the world.