How to Leave No Trace

Start your LNT efforts before you leave for Black Rock City:

  • Prepare a Leave No Trace plan AND a cleanup plan for your camp; LNT as you go and have less to clean up and restore before you leave.
  • Remove all excess packaging from everything (food, supplies, tools) before you pack it.
  • Don’t bring glass containers of any kind — they can shatter. Metal bottles and plates work well.
  • Don’t bring disposable plastic bottles, bring 5-gallon collapsible or other large water containers and refillable water bottles — less to bring home!
  • Smokers: use a portable ashtray (a mint tin works well) to collect cigarette butts and ashes (yes, ash is MOOP!). NEVER drop butts on the playa or in public areas like the Café or porta-potties.
  • Bring tarps to put under MOOP-heavy areas like your kitchen, construction areas and workspaces. Avoid MOOPy carpets and Astroturf. Old billboard vinyl works great.
  • Bring rope or tie-downs to secure everything in your camp, and to securely strap down your load on top of your vehicle.
  • Bring cardboard, a tarp, or pan to place under your vehicle to collect oil drippings. Also bring extra containers or raised tarps for any fuel handling or containment areas.
  • Pack work gloves to help you pick up the sharp bits, and a magnet rake to pick up metal.
  • BYOC: bring an easy-to-carry cup to use at the Café and out in BRC. Note: If you bring your own bottled or canned beverages to the Café, take drink containers back to your camp or to Recycle Camp where you can recycle your aluminum cans.
  • Don’t bring loose glitter, feather boas, Astroturf, styrofoam coolers, plastic bags, paper, string, disposable drink cups, hay bales, straw, gravel — or anything else that can blow away in the wind or turn into a MOOPy mess.
  • Don’t bring public swimming pools or showers. Water can create a huge mess and poses public health issues.
  • Make an evaporation device (see www.evapotrons.info for some great ideas) to properly dispose of your gray water. Bring a bucket or pan to collect any drips from RV gray and black water tanks. Do not dump gray water onto the playa. See the Burning Man website for collection, treatment, and disposal alternatives, and see Pack it out! for places to take your gray water after the event.

Preventing MOOP

  • Never let it hit the ground! MOOP attracts more MOOP. If you see trash on the ground in BRC, pick it up and take it — the dust quickly makes it hard to spot.
  • Put a weight on or tie down anything that can blow away.
  • If it wasn’t in your body, don’t put it in the potty! No tampons, trash, cigarette butts, etc. One ply toilet paper ONLY.
  • If you have an RV, bring a five-gallon bucket to catch any gray or black water leaks from your plumbing.
  • Waste water dumping is illegal! You may receive a citation for dumping gray water or black water.
  • Sort trash and recycling for easy drop off at collection centers on your way home. See Pack it out!
  • Make a MOOP collection bucket. Cut a 3″ hole in the top of a plastic water jug, leaving the handle intact. Sweep dust containing glass, wood chips, bark or anything too small to pick up, into a dustpan and deposit in bucket for disposal at home.
  • Always carry a small bag to collect any MOOP you find.
  • If you plan to use a burn barrel, bring a shovel and metal containers to scoop up and remove ashes. All burn barrels must be elevated 10″ off the playa surface to prevent burn scars.
  • WOOD IS MOOP! Wood is the #1 MOOP issue in Black Rock City. That’s right! Wood from sawdust, splinters, wood debris and firewood bark poses a major MOOP problem. Help keep the playa beautiful by laying down a tarp or rug under your wood cutting stations and firewood storage areas. If you see wood on the ground, pick it up!

Before You Leave

  • Line-sweep your camp. Walk shoulder-to-shoulder with your campmates and clean your campsite in a grid pattern. Pick up EVERYTHING. Use a magnet bar or rake to go over your entire camp and conduct a final sweep.
  • Community Clean-Up. As a citizen of BRC, you are asked to join your neighbors on Sunday and Monday after the Burn for two hours of MOOPing in addition to your own camp clean-up — pick a well-traveled area. The Earth Guardians in Center Camp can direct you to a specific clean-up project.
  • Secure and cover your load! Pack carefully and make sure your trash and other items do not litter our highways.

On Your Way Home

  • Leave No Trace does not end when you hit the pavement. Do not dump your trash in neighboring communities (yes, this has actually happened). See Pack it out! for waste and recycling locations.
  • Stop periodically and check to make sure your vehicle’s load is secure!

The Environment

Burning Man believes strongly in protecting the environment and making the event more sustainable — but we need YOU to help make that happen. The Leaving No Trace section of the Burning Man website is a treasure trove of helpful tips for creating a plan for your time on playa with tips on how to practice the 6 ‘R’s: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Respect & Restore! Visit Greening Your Burn and the Earth Guardians website to learn more.