The Six R's
RESPECT - RETHINK - REDUCE - REUSE - RECYCLE and RESTORE
Respect – In order to understand what it means to be a part of the solution, you have to begin with respect. Respect for all things: people, animals, bugs, birds, fish, snakes, rivers, lakes, oceans, trees, mountains, valleys and…you get the picture. And when venturing to Burning Man, have respect for the Playa, for the Art, for all the other Participants & for all of Black Rock City.
Rethink — Everything on Earth is connected, and every decision you make has an impact. So rethink the things you bring with you and how you plan. THINK before you buy: "Where was this grown/made/manufactured? How far did it travel to get to the store? Under what conditions did the laborers work? Will its disposal be environmentally friendly? Is it sustainably created?"
Most of all, ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" before you buy anything. Check out where things are made and how they got to the store youíre in. Read the labels, know what youíre really buying. Look for similar items that are locally produced and that use minimal packaging.
Reduce — Reduce the amount of junk you send to the landfill. Are you a good consumer or a good conservationist? Do you really need all the stuff you think you need? Combine trips to reduce driving emissions and save money too. Replace disposable items (cups, plates, etc.) with more permanent solutions. Make a game of it: see what you can do to use fewer resources to get the same effect or outcome.
Reuse — Before you throw anything away or into a recycle bin, ask yourself "Can I use this again? For something else perhaps?" Those plastic tubs with lids that so many products are sold in work great for storing leftovers, or for arts and crafts projects. Use them for paints, glue, glitter, beads -- anything, really. Some of us believe that everything that we could ever possibly need for the rest of our lives is already here on the planet right now. Itís up to us to find it. Tell everyone you know that "Obtanium" is the new "used".
Recycle — IIf you simply canít find a new use, recycle everything possible. While in Black Rock City, take your aluminum cans to Recycle Camp, and all the wood that you have left after the event to one the Burners without Borders Wood Reclamation Areas. In 2007, all other recyclables may be taken to one of the many recycling dropoff points on your way home - check the Survival Guide for info on commercial centers (closed on Labor Day), or come by Recycle Camp for directions to the Reno Drive Through Recycling Project (free, 24 hour recycling drop-off!) for burners the week after the event. Learn about curbside and hazardous waste recycling programs in your own home community. If they donít exist in your area, go to a town meeting and ask why. Get hip to the chic new way to upgrade your life by organizing a Recycle Your Life event at your workplace and see what turns up. Or go one better and Up Cycle. Thatís right, recycle one product into a totally new product with virtually no processing. Create art & fashion from trash (we call it "trashion"!).
Restore — Always "pay it forward" and do your part. Try to make every place you visit a little bit nicer when you leave than when you got there. Volunteer for restoration projects at Burning Man, year round in the Black Rock Desert and in your own home Community. Be the change you want to see. Be the solution.
For more information, and to take part in this ongoing effort and discussion, join our Green Working Group's announce list by emailing greeningman-announce-subscribe (at) burningman (dot) com, and join the discussion on the ePlaya. If you have any questions, please email environment (at) burningman (dot) com. We look forward to realizing the full force of our community's potential in taking on this serious problem that threatens us all . Understand that our email load is high and we will respond as quickly as possible.