Earth Guardians

LNT Trainings, Bandana Screenings, MOOP Bag Sewing Bees and Evapotron Workshops

We lead our full LNT annual training weekend at a new site in Davenport, CA in 2012 for many participants including staff, theme camp LNT leads and volunteers. This year we had two combined bandana and MOOP bag silkscreening events with Grey-B-Gone Evapatron workshops in the Bay Area and added an additional evapatron workshop in Santa Cruz. We included new DIY MOOP bag sessions at Prepare for the Playa and at BMHQ, and additional volunteer making events in Vallejo and Nevada City. These events allow us to produce many MOOP bags, bandanas and cigarette butt holders to provide to participants collecting MOOP during the event. Our grey water guru pre-bought all of the supplies and led the participants though the steps they needed to make their own Gray-B-Gone, and also continued his train the trainer efforts at regional events to train others to lead workshops. The increased supply of MOOP bags provided an excellent example of reuse (as well as a clean-up tool) since all of our bags were made from old pants and neckties which we collected throughout the year, cut and sewed and screened into bags.  We are already collecting pants and ties for 2013 and may have found a new source of ties to last us for years.

Internet Outreach

Earth Guardians continued web and email outreach on LNT practices. The site which collects and presents techniques for dealing with graywater expanded and our site was updated.  Our Facebook page continued to grow with postings on ways to incorporating LNT and green practices in our friends’ daily lives and photos of many of our events. We also provided some edits to the Environment Resources pages regarding grey water to bring the advice on the page up to current recommendations.

Outreach In Black Rock CiTY

Earth Guardian Pavilion Activities

Activities this year included geology and LNT, sustainability and Black Rock NCA talks, kids activities, yoga classes and ongoing games of Man-opoly. All of the activities were fun and offered the opportunity for visitors to check out our displays on Black Rock and LNT/green practices.  Our Man-opoly was a Burner version of Monopoly featuring a circular board version of Black Rock City with bacon and ice as currency and with many camps as properties.  For those participants not meeting BRC challenges, the medical tent was our version of Monopoly jail since that is often where you end up when making critical Burner errors like not drinking enough water, etc. Our well-stocked (thanks to donations) water bar continues to be a draw and refuge for camp members, volunteers, and casual visitors.

Nature Walks

Earth Guardians have been leading groups of participants on nature walks out on the wilderness areas outside of the playa during the event for many years.  This year our vehicle was nonfunctional so we had to cancel all of our nature walks and improvised and did a number of on the spot additional talks on the NCA and area history, biology and geology for folks who would have gone on the trips. We’d like to bring back the nature walks in 2013, they are a great introduction to the area for participants and help to instill a strong appreciation for the area. By instilling a greater understanding and appreciation of our natural surrounding, we are walking the first steps to transforming participants into environmental stewards.

Camp of the Day Contest / Theme Camp Outreach

This Earth Guardian Camp of the Day contest recognizes the best examples of Leave No Trace and Green Camping practices throughout the city. Overall, there continues to be strong support for LNT and sustainable practices for our core green theme camps. Winning camps earn two tickets to Burning Man 2013 and special recognition in the Earth Guardian web pages. The 2012 Camp of the Day winners are…

Pandora’s, Nose Fish, Snow Koan Solar, Cartoon Commune and HeeBeeGeeBee Healers!


With additional volunteers, Earth Guardians expanded our efforts to deMoop the trash fence daily and continue to enjoy the effort and connections we make with other Burners doing their part.  The kinds of MOOP we continue to collect were mostly things that are blowable and easy to lose, like plastic bags, sheets of paper, string, and plastic drink cups.  We can continue to address this issue by reviewing the Survival Guide so the LNT messages don’t get lost in the avalanche of other advice and rules.

 Hot Spring Patrols

We did not experience any problems with violators at the hot springs in 2012. The language in the WWW and Survival Guide, combined with continued emphasis to staff by Gate personnel about hot springs restrictions continues to minimize violations. This year we had great synergy working with the Black Rock Rangers on hot spring patrols with the drivers organizing their shifts, leading the onsite driver training and installing shade structures at each hot spring after our initial pre-event coordination.  We provided trained and prepared volunteers for each of the morning, afternoon and overnight shifts. This cooperative team has developed as we have also been transitioning to spreading the driving among a larger team of Rangers who have been trained to drive the trip safely in a variety of day and night conditions. We will also continue to work with drivers over the year on radio training and certification. We continue to be very grateful for their help since we rely on drivers specially trained to drive the complicated route on playa, coordinate with Gate and Perimeter staff and must be able to commutate and educate the hot springs volunteers on their duties as they are transported to their shifts.

Submitted by,
Karina O’Connor