Leave No Trace and MOOP

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1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

You’re off to a good start already by reading this page! Also check out the other pages in the Environment section and the Survival Guide. For each item that you’re bringing to the playa, think through how you’re going to dispose of it. Have your camp tear-down well planned and practiced. Plan to send trash off the playa with campmates who are leaving earlier.

2. Reduce Your Packaging

Bringing less in means having less to bring out. Leave unnecessary packaging at home. Food items are a likely target with their many layers of plastic and cardboard, but also consider the toys and camping gear that you’re bringing. Unpacking them before you get home will spare you the hassle of bringing back styrofoam packingand shrinkwrap. Choose cans over bottles, and reusable containers over both. Read more in our Garbage, Precycle/Reduce, Reuse, Recycle section.

3. Rethink Your Food Portions

Prepare food in sensible quantities that your group can finish at a single sitting -- leftovers will quickly become a liability. Coordinate with your campmates as far as what you’re bringing so that you minimize your group’s waste. If you’ve found yourself with a giant pot of chili and not enough campmates, invite the neighbors over rather than creating a wet, heavy bag that has to be packed into someone’s trunk.

4. Don’t Rush Your Pack-Up

Don't stress to hurry home on Sunday. Recognize that long-term exposure to the playa will fatigue your body and impair decision powers. Also, when under pressure, we are all likely to make rushed decisions, miss details and leave things behind. If half of your campmates will have left already by Sunday, the folks left behind are going to have a lot more work to do. If someone has to catch a plane, make sure to start packing up even earlier than you think you have to, so that you aren’t tempted to leave before fully clearing your site. See more hints from Recycle camp.

5. Moop Sweeps

As you’re packing out your camp, have campmates walk repeatedly around your site picking up anything and everything that’s not part of the playa. Doing this periodically, through the week, will make it easier.

6. Do Not Use the Playa as Your Toilet

It’s unacceptable, unsanitary, and just plain gross the morning after.

7. Take Your Bikes Home

Do not leave behind your old bikes behind for us. We still have to dispose of them if you don't, and that's an expensive and time-consuming effort.

8. Be Aware of Very Small Items

No Trace really does mean no trace. Be conscious of spare nails or smaller trash particles that may be dismissed as too small for trash including: hair, matches, cigarette butts, feathers, plastic tie wraps. Remember that food waste such as peanut shells, orange peels and egg shells are also trash. While you're walking around the playa, make an effort to pocket all trash, including cigarette butts, and then empty your pockets into a trash bag later. After you pick up your trash to carry home, do a last-minute check of your site for cigarette butts, gum wrappers, etc. because many of those will be hidden under tarps, tents and vehicles.

9. Do Not Pour Leftover Gas on the Playa

This is toxic! You wouldn't do this in your backyard, so don't do it in ours.

10. Minimize Fire Impacts

Deserts like Black Rock are susceptible to “burn scars” which last a long time and are not easily cleared. Avoid creating a burn scar by not burning directly on the ground. Use a raised fire pit, or use fire shields to protect playa surface. Keep in mind that most non-natural materials (rugs, polyester, plastic, treated wood) are toxic when burned.

11. Minimize Playa Scars

Never ditch or build trenches around your tent because they can start soil erosion and create lasting scars. Make an effort to restore holes that were dug for tent stakes and anchors.

12. Do Not Claim Potential Artifacts

Artifacts should be turned into the Lost and Found in Center Camp with an EXACT location of where it was discovered. Many historical and archeological sites are found throughout Bureau of Land Management areas. Federal law prohibits disturbing historical and archeological sites or removing any objects from them.

13. Respect Wildlife

Do not harass or shoot any wildlife. Remember, the Burning Man event is not a place for dogs or other pets. If you do bring a pet to the playa outside of the Burning Man event, make certain to remove their waste just as you would your own.