Leave No Trace is one of the core principles of Burning Man and unSCruz not only because our community respects the environment and wants to preserve it in as good or better condition than when we got here. It also helps ensure we are welcomed back to our new venue at the San Benito County Fairgrounds if we want to have future events there.
It’s a relatively straightforward concept: pack it in, pack it out; clean up after yourself; don’t leave any physical evidence that you were present; take all your crap home; etc.
Still, there are some things you can know and do before you leave for unSCruz to make it easier for you and your camp to Leave No Trace.
A good thing to know is there are NO SHOWERS at Bolado Park, home of unSCruz 2023. If you bring a camp shower, you are responsible for collecting your graywater and removing it from the site. Use only non-toxic, biodegradable soap just in case of any minor spillage.
Keep in mind that Tres Pinos Creek runs adjacent to our site, so all runoff flows directly into the creekbed.
There are no garbage cans anywhere throughout the venue. But that shouldn’t be a concern because you are planning to be 100% responsible for your mess and bringing your own trash and recycling receptacles, right?
Indoor restrooms with running water are present at unSCruz. Do not assume the restrooms will be fully stocked with toilet paper throughout the event, so bring your own. Most public restrooms have trash cans but, again, it’s best to be equipped with your own disposal capacity for personal hygiene items.
Other wisdom, tips and advice that might make it easier for you to Leave No Trace and keep our venue clean include:
- Pre-cycle: Unpackage any new items and remove any bulky food packaging before you depart for unSCruz. Cardboard boxes, styrofoam, shrinkwrap, bubble wrap, packing peanuts and other such items can create an unnecessary mess, complicating your cleanup efforts and occupying lots of cargo space.
- Costuming: Don’t wear MOOP-y clothing with feathers, glitter or other items that can easily become detached from your costume. Other things that could be problematic to your LNT goals include sequins, beads, bindis, body gems, GLUED-ON stuff, fake eyelashes, etc. Repurpose old clothes to the maximum possible extent.
- Choose aluminum cans over bottles, and reusable containers over either of those.
- Pack lightly, as though you’re going backpacking into the wilderness. Don’t bring extra stuff.
- Carefully consider your food portions. Prepare food in sensible quantities that your group can finish at a single sitting. Leftovers quickly become a liability. Coordinate with your campmates as far as what you’re bringing to minimize waste. If you’ve found yourself with a giant pot of chili and not enough campmates, invite neighbors over to finish it off. It beats creating a wet, heavy bag of trash that has to be packed into someone’s trunk.
- Bring your own reusable plate, cup and utensils.
- When you leave unSCruz, dispose of your stuff AT HOME. Do not throw your crap away at any public or unauthorized locations along your travels.
The Leave No Trace table will be located near Off Play Info at unSCruz, and staffed from 10am-2pm each day during the event. Stop by and say hi to our LNT lead, Milkmaid, and any of the volunteers who will be offering limited supplies of garbage bags and educating campers on how to easily Leave No Trace.
You’re also encouraged to save and drop off little metal containers with lids (like breath mint containers), that can be used to store cigarette ashes, butts and other MOOP. There will be a collection box at the LNT table at unSCruz, where you can deposit these items. If you need a little metal container, stop by and pick up one that’s been decorated, or decorate one for yourself.
The LNT volunteers will also have a collection of trash grabbers you can borrow to tidy up your campsite or any other space in need of cleaning.
For those who are somehow hurting for cargo space on the way home, our LNT and Restoration crews will be able to collect small amounts of your recycling (crushed cans, plastic bottles, etc.), which you can drop off at the LNT table from 10am-2pm Thursday thru Sunday during unSCruz.