Leave No Trace
What you bring, you must take home
Leave No Trace (LNT) is one of the ten principles that guide Burning Seed, so every time we say goodbye we aim to leave the site exactly as we found it – or even better. We may call the Matong State Forest home for a few short weeks, but it is the beautiful year-round home of numerous of plants and animals. We aim to keep it that way.
And the place to start? Your home. Plan and prepare ahead; think about how you’re going to deal with the items you bring to Red Earth City. Make the six R’s a personal motto: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Restore and Respect.
Get rid of the excess packaging on your food/water/toys/camping gear/batteries before you leave your house. The less MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) you bring, the less MOOP you create, the less MOOP you will have to take home with you. Make it easy on yourself! Repackage your food, bring water in large reusable containers and store your things in crates, ready to pack in and pack out. Bring plenty of extra tubs or strong garbage bags ready to manage your compost, recycling and waste.
There are no garbage bins at Seed.
You are responsible for your own waste and we’re all responsible for keeping our city free of MOOP. Remember: there is nobody else but you and me. We make our city rock by dreaming it, creating it, maintaining it and returning it to nothing once more — together.
Join our LNT Facebook Page for more information on local tree planting weekends and for more great tips on burning MOOP-free!
Have a question about Leave No Trace? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Meal sizes: Excess food will soon turn into a bio-hazard in the Australian sun, and you don’t want that bag of mystery slop sitting in your car the whole trip home.
- Reusable cups, cutlery and crockery: Heading over to a Theme Camp or your neighbour’s camp for a drink or a meal? Bring your own, reusable stuff. Stay away from single-use plastic, paper or Styrofoam items. Camp mugs with carabiners work well so you can attach them to yourself/bag along with a reusable bottle for water. Bling up your cup for those nights out so you can recognise it easily.
- Plan your camp’s waste management: Have a solid system for managing your compost, rubbish and recycling. Work out ahead of time where you are going to take it all after the event – and who is taking it. Keep in mind that the nearest council refuse station is closed on the NSW Monday public holiday and it’s not cool to dump your waste at any of the local towns or on the side of the road. Plan to take it all the way home.
- Clean as you go: Plan morning MOOP sweeps so small bits of MOOP aren’t trampled into the ground. MOOP attracts more MOOP – keep your camp MOOP free and you will get less MOOP being left around. Be aware of MOOP not just at camp but while you’re wondering around REC too. The moment you notice MOOP anywhere, it becomes your obligation to deal with it.
- Don’t rush your pack-up: Don’t stress to hurry home on Monday morning. Plan your pack-up in advance. All the partying, weather and lack of sleep may impair your decision-making abilities, increasing the chances of missing details and leaving things behind. If people are leaving early, factor this into your camp’s LNT plan. Start the clean-up early. When your camp is packed down, get your campmates together and go around your site doing a careful and thorough MOOP sweep. Tent pegs are MOOP too!
- Be aware of very small items: Leave No Trace really does mean leave NO trace. Nails, cable ties, hair, matches, cigarette butts, feathers, glitter, plastic tie wraps, peanut shells, orange peels and egg shells are not part of the natural environment, and are easily missed.
- Compost: The Matong State Forest is a semi-arid open woodland habitat. The local plants are especially evolved to thrive in a low nutrient soil, which means any compost scraps will promote the overgrowth of invasive weeds which choke the locals out. The fact that it’s biodegradable does NOT mean you can bury it or leave it in a pile under a tree!
- Grey water: The NSW Forestry Service have advised us that no more than 10 litres of grey water per person per day is allowable for run-off over the local land area. Be mindful if washing dishes or having a bush bath to only use small amounts of fully biodegradable phosphate-free soaps made from plant materials.
- The World is not your ashtray nor your toilet: Carry a pocket ashtray for your cigarette butts. There are adequate toilets provided at Burning Seed, respect your fellow Burners and use them. Invasive weeds love wee and poop. Wee and poop is MOOP!
- No bins means no sanitary bin: If you get periods, plan ahead if you think you will get yours while at Seed. Moon cups and washable pads are great as they don’t create MOOP. If you use disposable pads and tampons, you may want to have small sealable bags to put them in to take back to your camp rubbish bin. Whatever your jam, have a plan and do NOT put sanitary items in the toilet.
- Do not pour leftover fuel on the site: We’ll give you the kudos we hope you deserve, and expect there’s no explanation needed here.\
- Minimise fire impacts: If you are planning to burn your art, you must get a permit from The Fire Art Response Team (FART). Open campfires are not allowed at Burning Seed. Modern camping stoves provide fast, clean cooking.\
- Respect wildlife: If you swim in the dam you will kill the local frogs. Seriously, we’ve killed one entire frog habitat already (the back dam in 2015). Do not harass any wildlife — dropbears included. Burning Seed is not a place for dogs or other pets.
- Respect the local towns: Please don’t dump your rubbish on the side of the road when you leave. It’s not fair on the locals who have to deal with it, and it’s just plain rude.
- Respect Theme Camps: don’t leave your trash in the theme camps. They have already created a sensational place for you to play, so respect their efforts and keep their areas clean. They already have their own MOOP to deal with, without having to deal with yours. If you’re bringing your own drinks, toys or costume accessories, even if you’re intoxicated, do everything you can to keep your sh*t together. A backpack with a MOOP bag inside it will do the trick, but if you can come up with more creative solutions, kudos to you!
- Each One Teach One: Spread the word! Now that you have all this knowledge, drop it on your campmates. Talk about it on the trip out to Burning Seed. Share it on your Facebook groups, at your theme camp meetings, and with your neighbour’s babysitter. If we each teach one person about leaving no trace, then surely not a trace will remain this year!