Leave No Trace (LNT)

Leave No Trace (LNT), –noun

One of the most highly publicized aspects of the culture is Leave No Trace, often abbreviated as LNT. This principle is followed by even the smallest group wishing to be associated with the Burn. While regional events other than That Thing In The Desert may adopt their own alternative versions of the Burner Principles, this one is still universally practiced. It is not just good for the environment in an abstract way, but is also one of the main reasons that Burners are allowed to return again and again to the same public or private sites to hold their festivals and parties.

Many hours, days or even weeks of volunteer time are spent cleaning sites of trash and debris to return them to as pristine a condition as possible. This is done first by participants and members of theme camps, who may be penalized if their site is left in bad enough condition. Then, at Burning Man, the Department of Public Works takes over. These hard-working volunteers have even developed new techniques to face issues unique to playa cleanup, such as busting open the dunes that may form around discarded tents.

Of course, an event with as many generators, shade structures, outfits, and swag as the average Burn is going to produce waste and leave its mark on the environment, even before considering the supplies the community must bring in for basic survival. This principle is a goal to strive for and is meant to (and does) provoke debate about the best, least damaging way of doing our events.

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From Kit O’Connell’s amazing Burner Lexicon! http://kitoconnell.com/writing/lexicon

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