TIPS & TRICKS for
GREENING YOUR BURN
We all love these little get-togethers, especially our beloved Modifyre, which exploded onto the scene with such success last year.
But isn’t there a global warning about global warming? Concerns about consumption and waste? Desecration of natural environments?
This is where your friendly Earth Guardians come into the picture.
Who are the Earth Guardians? 3
Leave No Trace 4
Planning for the event 8
Waste management 14
Pack down 15
Next time 16
The Modifyre Earth Guardians are a group of participants who volunteer their time to inspire, inform and encourage our fellow burners to consider the environmental impact of our activities. We stimulate the Modifyre community to appreciate our surroundings, and to embrace Leave No Trace principles and green practices in new and creative ways.
By focusing the community’s tremendous artistic and technical energy, we can go beyond leaving “no trace” and leave instead positive traces, both on the land and on society. This is the first of three pamphlets on how we can make this happen. All ideas apply equally well to theme camps, art pieces or performances and individual campers.
At the event
We run an information stand, undertake daily MOOP patrols, guide nature walks and host educational talks. We work to make our little shindig as sustainable as possible and prevent damage to the beautiful environment that we have secured to celebrate this vibrant and creative community.
We also run an orphanage for out-of-town burners who are unable to bring much of their own gear. This includes a communal kitchen, shared living space, and some basic camping gear. Get in touch with us for more info.
If you would like to join us, or help out with any of these activities, please join our Facebook page:
“Leave No Trace” (LNT) refers to a set of ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors. Its origins lie in the response of various North American National Parks, Forestry, and Land Management services to the surge in outdoor recreation activities from the 1960s and 1970s onwards, and it has come to encompass national education programmes in various countries, and an organization dedicated to teaching people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. It is also one of the key tenets of Burning Man and its regional network.
Leave No Trace is built on seven principles:
These seven principles have been adapted to different activities, ecosystems and environments. In the context of Modifyre, which is hosted on agricultural land adjacent to National Park, and in close proximity to ecologically sensitive areas, these principles may be interpreted as follows:
Plan ahead and prepare: poorly prepared people, when presented with unexpected situations, often resort to high-impact solutions that degrade the outdoors or put themselves at risk. Make only the purchases you really need to make, and whatever you do purchase, do it conscientiously. Proper planning for all conditions leads to less impact.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces: damage to land occurs when surface vegetation or communities of organisms are trampled beyond repair. Please ensure you drive, park, walk, and camp only in areas designated by site crew when you arrive.
Dispose of waste properly:
a) Use only the toilets provided and don’t dispose of ANYTHING in the toilets except human waste and toilet paper. That mean no baby wipes, no tampons, no food scraps, nothing. Bring lots of spare ziplock bags! And educate your fellow burners about this.
b) Pack in EVERYTHING you pack out. There will be no rubbish collection service to tidy up after you. Remove unnecessary packaging before coming to site, remember to bring bin bags, and don’t dump your waste in the first (or second, or third) town on your way out – it will overwhelm their services and undermine our relationship with the local community.
c) Waste water must not be dumped on the ground or in or near streams. There is a pristine creek flowing through the site. Any waste water containing synthetic material such as detergents will do irreparable damage to the creek ecosystem. Clean / rinse water should be scattered, at least 50m from the nearest stream.
Leave what you find: minimize site alterations, such as digging tent trenches, hammering nails into trees, permanently clearing an area of rocks or twigs, and removing items. Aside from being an area of great natural beauty, this is a working farm and our hosts’ home. Please afford the same respect here as you would wish from others in your home.
Minimize campfire impacts: a fixed number of burn barrels will be provided throughout the campsite. These will be administered by our fire safety team, with the help of theme camps who nominate themselves to take control of a barrel. If you are interested in having a burn barrel in your camp, please let us know in your Theme Camp Registration.
We have been specifically requested not to generate any new ground fire pits on the site. This is a requirement of our land-use contract, as well as a mark of respect.
Respect wildlife: minimize your impact on wildlife and ecosystems. Don’t approach or feed animals, don’t throw your food scraps on the ground (bin them & pack them out!),
Be considerate of other visitors: think about your impacts on your neighbours. Talk with them, get to know them, share resources, offer a hand, suggest ways they can green their burn, and take suggestions from them – in other words help one another have the best burn possible.
Leave No Trace is by no means the be-all and end-all of environmentalism. It is simply a set of simple guidelines for minimizing our impact on the places we go. If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to explore the topic for yourself. Here’s an interesting place to start:
MOOP is short for Material Out Of Place. The concept extends beyond that of conventional “litter” to include anything that simply doesn’t belong where it is, or that may alter the ecology of a place in unpredictable ways – like fuel canisters in the sun, food scraps in the grass, or those teeny tiny pieces of glitter.
In fact, MOOP can include anything and everything that we carry into the festival site. What we carry in, we carry out.
We are collectively and individually responsible for minimizing the MOOP we produce throughout the event. That means if you see something that looks like MOOP, you don’t just walk past – you take whatever action is required to make sure it stops being MOOP. Similarly, if you see someone creating MOOP, don’t just look on and then deal with it for them after – approach them, have a friendly chat, and teach them a little bit about our shared commitment to keep our surroundings MOOP-free.
Each day the Earth Guardians send out a MOOP Troop to merrily dance through the streets sweeping the communal areas of the festival site for MOOP and educating fellow participants. Just watch out... if you look unoccupied, we may just enlist you!
Think about when are you planning to seek your Green Tag. It is provided by Earth Guardians after physically doing an Earth Audit on your patch when you are all packed up and ready to leave. No one leaves without one so it is important.
Plan ahead!! When presented with unexpected situations, poor preparation often leads to high-impact solutions that degrade the outdoors or put people at risk.
There are loads of ways you can design and plan your theme camps, artworks, and transport to minimise impact and maximise creativity. These are just some...
Keep it simple:
This has been shown to be the largest contribution to emissions at Burning Man in the US and it is the area where we can do the most to make our own event carbon light.
- Offer seats to people flying in to Gold Coast & Brisbane airports
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
There are loads of ways you can reduce our overall consumption and be less wasteful:
When burning art:
Think about sharing camp kitchens with neighbours to reduce the amount of water and fuel used
Packing up and leaving is often the most critical time, when everyone is tired, hungry & in a hurry to get home. Make sure you have identified your dedicated pack down crew before getting to site so that when everyone leaves they don’t leave the cleanup and removal of waste to everyone else.
The Earth Guardians will be issuing Green Tags to campers, theme camps and artists right before they leave site. This will be granted only upon a satisfactory Earth Audit by a member of the Earth Guardian team of the area you occupied. This year no one will be released from the warm embrace of our burner community without a Green Tag so make sure you have cleaned up and found an Earth Guardian to do your audit before heading to Gate. It is you mission to find our Head Quarters before that time. Hint we wear wings and LNT is at the heart of our events.
Remember this can only be our home next year if we leave it pristine
In our next pamphlet, we will: