Leaving No Trace
Greening Your Burn, and the World
“We’re in the midst of a global climate crisis… Given the global reach, scale, and unique capacity of the Burning Man community, we could be a change-maker.”~ Burning Man Project’s 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap
In 2019 Burning Man Project released our 10-year Environmental Sustainability Roadmap, which applies an open-source approach to meeting three ambitious goals: sustainably manage waste, be ecologically regenerative, and be carbon negative by 2030.
Two years after we embarked on this journey, we published an update on what we’ve accomplished, and the challenges that lie ahead.
Ideating AND Collaborating with the Community
10,000 people virtually tuned into our 2021 Sustainability Report: Year Two Update to look at where we’ve come as a community and organization two years into the Environmental Sustainability Roadmap.
Later in the year, our Carbon Dioxide Removal Call invited nine leaders to share their experience. And Sustainability Lab in Burning Man Hive brought Burners together to ideate around sustainability initiatives.
REGENERATION AT FLY RANCH
The goal at Fly Ranch is to produce public benefits as an agricultural site with regenerative cycles for food, water, power, shelter, waste, and air. More broadly, the vision is for a permanent home to prototype and scale Burning Man culture and infrastructure, human creativity, and regenerative innovation.
In 2021 we collaborated with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock to lead more than 1,500 people on nature walks. Close to 500 visitors camped at Fly Ranch to participate in work weekends, stewardship campouts, and a 19-day campout for participants in the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) 2020 Fly Ranch Design Challenge.
We’re excited about a new book that showcases 70 submissions to the LAGI Fly Ranch Design Challenge. Land Art of the 21st Century: Land Art Generator Initiative at Fly Ranch devotes 250 pages to the works of functional, regenerative art proposed as infrastructure for Fly Ranch. More than a gorgeous coffee table book, Land Art of the 21st Century is a story of what’s possible.
Composting Food Waste in Gerlach
Composting in Gerlach is just one of the ways we’re working to understand our capacity to support ourselves, the local community, and Black Rock City. Gerlach is 200 miles from Reno and has no recycling or composting program. We seasonally take care of our own recycling.
In summer 2021 a team in Gerlach collected food waste from crews working in Gerlach and at Fly Ranch. Using the bokashi method, they fermented and then buried 4,000 lbs. of organic material. The goal: return moisture, minerals, microbes, and nutrients to the desert, and produce usable soil.
“We’re trying to create the aspects of a model where events can help support the local ecology. Composting is another good example of something we can actually do: convert that waste into a resource and integrate it with the local ecosystem to help regenerate the land.”
– Stephen ‘Ladies and Gentle Man’ Chun, Sustainability Project Manager
Green Theme Camp Community
Since the Green Theme Camp Summit in 2020, the Green Theme Camp Community (GTCC) has been testing ideas and designing the future role of theme camps in making Burning Man sustainable and regenerative.
- Six infrastructure teams are focusing on food, power, shelter, transportation, waste, and water.
- The Thrival Guide will be a directory of solution-based ideas and green infrastructure projects.
- The BLAST Radius Sustainability Tracker is a green theme camp certification program.