(…new for 2022!)
We’ve put mechanisms in place to support Burners who make sustainability a priority. As part of the camp placement process, we are reviewing camps’ commitment to sustainability projects, such as minimizing power draw, managing waste, sharing resources, and implementing renewable technology. We’re allocating a subset of tickets to support work in important areas of environmental sustainability as well as community diversification (including R.I.D.E., under-represented art forms, international inclusion, etc.). This is an important way to bolster our commitment to these initiatives and inspire the community to adopt them as priorities.
This year, you’ll notice more solar technology powering art and infrastructure around Black Rock City. We are excited to be rolling out a brand new solar program! In fact, this year and moving forward, The Man will be solar powered!
The Solar Program is yet another one of BRC’s new sustainability initiatives, and it starts with examining and understanding our energy usage. Everyone in Black Rock City can be involved by understanding your own energy needs. There are numerous tools available to help estimate your usage, which will allow you to make educated decisions on the most efficient solutions for your camp.
Join the Green Theme Camp Community
The Green Theme Camp Community (GTCC) is a group of Theme Camp Organizers, and subject matter experts creating a community for sustainability-minded participants who want to progress towards the sustainability roadmap goals. This group has six collaborative workgroups for Power, Waste, Water, Shelter, Transportation, and Food. Together, they are hosting the B.L.A.S.T. (Burner Leadership Achieving Sustainable Theme Camps) program. This is an accreditation program to help camps become more sustainable. Is your camp interested in applying for B.L.A.S.T.? Learn more with this interest form and check out the GTCC website, greentheme.camp to find out how you can participate.
Reduce Fossil Fuel Use & Lessen Environmental Impact
Burning Man Project has a goal to reduce fuel consumption by 10% in 2022. This is a goal we can only accomplish through Communal Effort. Burners have shown tremendous ingenuity with alternative energy sources for lighting their camps, eliminating generators and reducing vehicle emissions getting to and from the playa.
Here are some ways you can reduce your fuel consumption and environmental impact in Black Rock City:
Lighting — Incorporate energy-efficient light sources such as LEDs or EL wire instead of glow sticks (they are single-use and contain harmful chemicals). Use rechargeable batteries. Wherever possible, switch to solar-powered lights.
Power — Reduce the number of RVs in your camp to reduce power demand. If possible, use swamp coolers instead of air conditioners and insulate your shelter for efficient cooling. Work towards removing the use of petrol generators altogether, or use alternatives such as hybrid battery-generator systems, which are becoming more affordable and accessible. Often the first step towards transitioning to renewable energy is to measure how much energy your camp consumes; you can do this with an electrical load analysis. Begin by powering sectors of your camp or interactivity with solar, wind, or humans! Transitioning to renewable energy is no small task, but you can find great resources on how to run your camp with solar power on Burning Man Hive, such as Solar Power 101, Solar Skill Sharpening and the Renewable Energy Community. Burners have employed numerous power alternatives using human, solar, wind, and biodiesel power. The Alternative Energy Zone has been generator-free on the playa for many years!
Waste — Have a plan to handle your waste with receptacles with clear signage for easy sorting. Make sure you and your campmates are clear on which materials go in which bin. Consider separating food waste, and donating the materials to a compost facility, farm, or composting it on your own. Keep an eye out for compostable toilet options for your camp. Upcycle, recycle, and divert waste from the landfill at every opportunity as you plan and pack up for the playa.
Transportation — Get your vehicle tuned up before heading to the playa — a well-maintained car produces lower emissions and has a much greater likelihood to make it to BRC (and back). Vehicle emissions represent the majority (~91%!) of emissions related to Black Rock City, and are one of our greatest obstacles to the Be Carbon Negative goal in the 2030 Roadmap. Camps and participants are stepping up to help meet the goal. Some camps host bike storage programs to reuse bikes each year. More options include carpooling, using the Burning Man rideshare page, taking Burner Express Bus, and utilizing our expanding container program to store camp supplies, Mutant Vehicles, and Art in Gerlach, thus minimizing the transportation of playa-centric infrastructure and decor.
Offset Emissions — Whether you drive or fly into Black Rock City, Burning Man Project’s Sustainability team recommends offsetting your carbon impact and supporting organizations that employ legitimate carbon dioxide removal technologies — Project Vesta and Climeworks are two such organizations that have been vetted and are doing it right.