Leave No Trace Plan

Burning Man 2014

The people of Urban Decay Café originated from the Village of Avalon (Astropups, Fairyland, Camp Stella, Vietnamese Iced Coffee Camp, Uncharted Territories, etc.) which existed at Burning Man for a number of years. We were the Uncharted Territories folk – the organizers and planners of Avalon. When Avalon disbanded, Uncharted Territories became The Mudskipper Café, serving root beer floats daily to the starving masses. This year, the Mudskippers launch the Urban Decay Café, and will bring back the much-sought-after and appreciated root beer float.

Estimated Population: 65-75

Nature and scale of our activities:

We will be serving fruit smoothies for 5 hours a day, most of the week (schedule to be determined). Guests are welcome to chill out in our shade structure…as long as they are mindful of the wild monkeys, snakes and other jungle critters inhabiting our sunken city café.

As a camp we will:

Plan Ahead

  • Practice the 5 R’s: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Restore, and Respect
  • Keep our camp clean before, during and after the event
  • Adopt the seven principles and practices of Leave No Trace at Burning Man
  • Do what is necessary to protect and restore the Black Rock Desert
  • Identify potential problems and issues that may arise
  • Create a strategy or plan for Leaving No TraceWe will educate all camp members about minimizing our impact on the playa

Our LNT leadership and structure: Kelly Kidd, a 14-year veteran of Burning Man will act as the camp’s LNT Ambassador, as well as other veterans of Burning Man and the LNT commitment,John M., John Kisha

LNT Ambassador: We hereby designate Kelly Kidd as our Ambassador to the Black Rock Desert and leader of our Leave No Trace Team

LNT Team: Kelly Kid

Duties: The team will help plan our purchases, what we bring to the playa, and encourage us to reuse,recycle, reduce and restore our materials. They will think about how we and all of our stuff will get there and make it home again. The team will keep our camp clean and fun before, during and after the event and delegate and enlist help when it is needed.

They will be responsible for cleanup and trash management in our camp, including activities and parties we host. They will make sure that our gray water does not impact the playa. They will see that all camp members understand and agree with the policies and practices of Leave No Trace at Burning Man.

They will oversee daily tasks and will have a plan in place when we get ready to leave.When it’s time to break down and sweep our camp for every last trace. The Ambassador will make sure EVERYTHING left goes with us.

The Ambassador will encourage our participation in community line sweeps and restoration with our neighbors and DPW.

Kelly Kidd will oversee our camp breakdown and cleanup.

To minimize our impact on the Playa, we will follow these rules:
Before the event:
  • We pledge to Leave No Trace in and around our campsite, including our own and others’ waste.
  • We will read the survival guide and LNT tips.
  • We will complete this camp’s Leave No Trace Plan and share it with the entire camp.
  • We will plan the assembly and take down of our structures and decorations and tape the edges of our carpets.
  • We will inventory vehicle space so we can pack out everything.
  • We will take the packaging off of just about everything and stock up on reusable products and containers.
  • We will shop for simple finger foods and prepare meals in advance to reduce waste
  • We will bring no glass, cheap trinkets, small feathers, and anything that might get left on the playa.
During the event:
  • We will check our camp daily.
  • We will clean as we go, realizing that any trash or MOOP (matter out of place) can blow away or be buried at any moment.
  • We will keep our recyclables, burnables, and non-burnables clearly separated for easy disposal,We will recycle our aluminum, either on-site or back home
  • We will have special cleanup crews for any high traffic activities we host and take care of any trash left by guests, invited or otherwise.
  • We won’t leave trash in or around the port-o-potties
  • We won’t light fires on bare ground or dig pits, leaving scars. If we must burn, we’ll use a public burn barrel or burn platform.
  • We will burn only clean untreated wood or paper (nothing synthetic) and follow the safety guidelines for fires and burn scar prevention.
  • We won’t dig large holes or trenches.
  • We will keep all items tied or weighted down, and leave papers at home.
  • We will not dump any gray or black water on the playa.
  • We will encourage members of our camp to carry a personal trash (MOOP)container and a cigarette butt container when they are outside camp
After the event:
  • We will put aside time and have designated volunteers for the final cleanup.
  • We will take all trash in sealed containers to a landfill and recyclables to are cycle center on the way home.
  • After cleaning our camp, everyone in our camp will devote at least two hours to the general city cleanup (e.g. trash fence, local port-o-potties, café, etc).
  • We will leave extra space in every vehicle on the way to the desert, knowing that repacking will inevitably take up more space and ensure that no items can detach during the ride home.
  • We will pack out everything, including any un-evaporated gray water and scum.
  • We won’t put trash in or around the port-o-potties.
  • We will help out our neighbors and fellow citizens.
We will be Good Neighbors:
  • We will encourage our guests to bring their own beverage containers.
  • We will help out our neighbors.
  • We will adopt the space around our camp, making sure that it stays traceless.
  • We will help careless or forgetful campers

Design our camp in a way that is easy to keep clean:
We have a designated kitchen area where recycling and trash bags will be displayed for camp-wide use. Tarps are laid down in our public chill space. A bike/walking path cuts through the camp to encourage a main route that is easy to de-moop.

Select materials and decorations for our camp that lessen waste and are recyclable or reusable:
We re-use decorations from year-to-year and donate any leftover, usable wood to Burners Without Borders.

Create a detailed plan for the breakdown/cleanup of our camp, accounting for every board,stake, and scrap, and pack necessary tools and supplies:
We always bring adequate materials/tools for the removal of stakes and several of our campers stay at the event until Monday and perform a final sweep of the area to ensure nothing is left behind.

Plan for extra cleanup and trash generated by activities and parties at our camp:
We will have a sub-team responsible for trash and recycling receptacles.

Have a plan for proper evaporation or disposal of our gray water, including containers to haul out what’s left:
Our kitchen crew brings containers for the collection of used cooking oil and grease. Our shower builder this year is constructing an evaporation pool with cheese cloth for faster evaporation. Any water that has not evaporated is hauled out in used water containers that are saved during the event strictly for this purpose.

Plan enough space and storage in our vehicles for trash hauling:
Every vehicle is required to haul out at least 2 bags of garbage or recycling materials. We also will have 2 U-Haul type trucks with plenty of room for garbage bags on the way out.

Explain the ground rules to all camp members and post our LNT plan on our website:
We have numerous teleconferences with camp members before the event as well as an at-event orientation to explain the camp rules and the Burning Man philosophy. Our LNT plan will be posted on our website.

Plan a secured trash separation station with signage and tags and plenty of heavy duty garbage bags:
Our kitchen crew is responsible for providing labeled garbage bags for the separation of trash, glass and recyclables. Glass is brought to Recycle Camp.

  • Separate, sealed containers for recyclables, burnables, and non-burnables, a found bin and signage and tags.
  • Reusable dinnerware and utensils, including a portable beverage container and coffee cup for the Café
  • A large water container for camp water supplies (no small containers)
  • 5-gallon bucket and painter’s mesh for wet kitchen scraps.
  • Containers for gray water disposal
  • Containers for smokers’ butts
  • Tarps or other floor covering to ‘catch’ any items that drop
  • Big whisk broom and push brooms
  • Flat blade shovel for burn scars or dune MOOP
  • Large landscape rake and smaller rakes for sweeping through dust piles
  • Stiff long handled broom for breaking up dunes
  • Rope and string for tying loose stuff down.
  • Small spare bags for collecting trash as we wander.
  • Lots on industrial strength trash bags: more than we think we’ll need.
  • Cheap work gloves for everybody.
  • Long-handled sledgehammer for compacting 5-gallon buckets and driving stakes.
  • Vise grips for removing stakes and rebar.
  • Directions and hours of landfills and RV water dump stations.
  • Magnets or magnet sweepers to remove every last nails, staples, scrap of metal.
  • Vehicles and/or trailers to haul everything out.
  • We will take away everything we brought with us plus a few things we didn’t know we’d have.
  • Our restoration team will use cones on the outside of our camp’s border to define our boundaries, break up any dunes that formed around vehicles or structures, then divide up our area and begin line sweeps.
  • If we don’t have enough folks on our team to form one line across the site, we will break our space up into smaller areas and have each restoration volunteer de-Moop their area.
  • We will pick up all wood chips, broken glass, plastic debris, metal debris, fire works and plant material.
  • We complete restoration of any hot spots (micro-MOOP collections), or burn scars.
  • We will try to give a helping hand to our neighbors
  • We will each contribute at least 2 hours of community clean-up.
  • We will pitch in with our fellow citizens and community service teams to restore the natural characteristics of the playa in our neighborhood, removing all burn scars, dunes, leftover debris, or other physical traces of our presence.
  • We will participate in DPW line sweeps and local restoration efforts.
  • We will volunteer for and support ecological protection and restoration of the Black Rock Desert