Written by MoopDaddy
So you think you know your MOOP, huh? Well, after last year’s sweeps of the Burning Seed site, we have some news for you.
Just because those mandarin peels and fire ash are biodegradable doesn’t mean you can throw them on the ground. And yep, plants need water, but that doesn’t mean you can tip out any liquid you like. And while your shit don’t stink, that doesn’t mean you can take a dump in the woods.
We asked Steve at NSW State Forestry to provide us with best-practice guidelines on all of these issues and this is what he told us.
The habitat at Matong State Forest is a semi-arid, low-nutrient type. This means the local plants have adapted to thrive in this half-barren environment. When extra nutrients are added to the soil, weeds take over and choke out the indigenous plant life. This in turn affects the indigenous insects, birds, lizards and other animals.
So whether you bury it or not, any food waste or compostable material is MOOP — and so is fire ash. The high concentration of potassium in wood ash is perfect fertiliser for flowering weeds. They love the stuff. So if you bring it or burn it at Burning Seed, you must take it with you when you leave.
Grey water can also create the same problems as food waste. If you tip out washing water that has detergent in it, the phosphate in most commercial soaps feeds the hungry weeds.
Steve advises that we can allow 10 litres per person per day run off, as long as the soap we use is phosphate-free.
Phosphate-free soap includes any castille soap or “camping soap” from an outdoor store, which you can use to wash pots, pans, pants and people. Just ensure the water doesn’t run off where people are walking or driving to avoid a mucky mess.
But it’s no go with the poop. Poop is MOOP! You’re not doing the local plants any favours by burying your excrement in the woods.
The weeds will be the ones loving your brown stuff. And so will the flies who will find it, breed and be there to greet us again next year at the same time, rubbing their front legs together gleefully. So use the porta potties — that’s what they are there for, and take the rest of the MOOP with you when you go!