No trash logoDid you know that the most important part of LNT (Leave No Trace) starts before you arrive at unSCruz?

This year in–keeping with the Principle of Leave no Trace–we are treating trash more like Burning Man and other Regional events: there will be no trash receptacles. That’s right! NO TRASH CANS.

This means it’ll be more important than ever to “pre-cycle”–get rid of unnecessary packaging, condense items into smaller containers, and Marie Kondo-ize your packing. If an item doesn’t “spark joy” (or at least if it doesn’t serve a clear purpose), consider leaving it at home.

Not only will this make it easier to bring all your stuff on the shuttles from the parking lot, but you’ll have less garbage to haul back again. And nobody likes to head home after an amazing weekend with a bunch of trash in their car!

We will still be offering recycling stations, and this year the MOOP Fairies and the Trash Pandas will be on-site traveling brigades of MOOP and LNT education. Camp Trash Panda will be the overlords of recycling bins–glass, plastic, and aluminum–which will be located near their camp.

Here’s a video by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics on ways to reduce food packaging.

And here are some ideas for ways for reduce your trash at unSCruz:

  • Plan resources with your campmates. Assign campers to bring certain items–drinks, breakfast food, water, firepit and supplies–so you don’t end up with sixteen gallons of water and no firewood.
  • Take food and other items–utensils, lighting, tools–out of its packaging and combine similar items in reusable clear bins or bags.
  • Bring mesh bags for food waste. Leave this out in the sun (if there is any) at your camp and it will naturally dehydrate and condense the waste. Easily compost it at home!
  • Make sure all items you’re bringing work and have new batteries if needed.
  • If you pack any disposable items, choose biodegradable and recycled. Even better, choose items that are reusable and bring a water-saving washing station to clean dishes and utensils (try a spray bottle of soapy water, a spray bottle of clean water, clean towels, and a large shallow bowl or bin to wash dishes in).
  • Bring trash bags to haul back any waste that’s not recyclable.
  • Put away and store anything you bring that can fly away in the wind.
  • After the event, walk the grid of your camp footprint with your campmates to pick up MOOP. Have everyone walk across the campsite side-by-side in a line so you don’t miss anything.

By reducing packaging, being selective about packing, and keeping track of any trash we do generate, we can leave the fairgrounds cleaner than we found it!