Leave A Better Trace

Dedicated to improving our Glade and our world

Leave No Trace is one of the core principles of Burning Nest, Nowhere, Burning Man, and every Burn event. Essentially, Burners take responsibility for their environmental impact. 

Leave a Better Trace is a step beyond, and started life at London Decompression 2019We believe that the burner community has the power to make a positive impact not only on the individuals who are part of it, but also on society at large. We want to honour the basic burner principle of leaving the environment as we found it, but why stop there when our community has such potential to leave a positive trace? Examples of LBT include planting trees in a place that has been desertified; creating art or facilities that can be used by the local inhabitants after you leave; awakening people to take further actions to protect and improve the environment or become activists.

This means our mission has expanded to include:

  • Reducing our environmental impact.
  • Educating the community on environment related issues.
  • Empowering the community to adopt more environmentally-friendly behaviour, both at burns and in daily life.

Rather than leaving a sea of beer cans, cigarette butts, half-eaten food, discarded packaging, grubby clothes, wellies, sleeping bags and abandoned tents, Burners leave only footprints. It is up to each of us to ensure the long-term survival of our event and its immediate (and larger) environment. We do this by carefully considering what to bring, how to get there, and how we behave on site.

Before the Burn

Travel sustainably

Complete directions have been sent to all ticket holders. Check your inbox!

Use the Nest 2024 Rideshare Board to coordinate with other Burners.

  • Use public transport to get to the nearby town of Newton Abbot. Take a local bus to the side of the motorway near Gate or arrange the final step with other Burners using the Rideshare Board.
  • Ride-share with other Burners driving from your area. 
  • Cycle to and from the site. This also creates great opportunities to meet other Nestlings en route! Coordinate using the Rideshare Board.

Reuse, upcycle, share, borrow… Avoid buying new

Consumption and consumerism have a large environmental impact and are against Burner Principles.

  • Avoid buying new items to bring to Nest, including clothes, equipment, gifts, etc.
  • Instead, find environmentally friendly sources where possible.
  • Share outfits and accessories with campmates and other Burners. Visit Camp Costume Camp to borrow items for the Burn (and please return them).
  • Visit Free Use Kitchen Camp and use their cooking facilities.

Avoid packaging

  • Remove all excess packaging from everything you buy (food, supplies, tools) before you pack it. Not bringing packaging is one of the best ways to avoid creating rubbish at Nest. 
  • Compostable containers are better; reusable containers are best. 
  • Avoid single-use plastic. Use refillable, hard-plastic, reusable water containers and fill them up with tap water. 
  • Buy local food that does not come in plastic packaging and has a lower carbon footprint. Riverford Farms, in Totnes (Riverford Organic Farmers) is a great local supplier of fresh produce. Use sites like https://www.approvedfood.co.uk/ to prevent food waste with dry and canned goods.
  • Bring your own bags and boxes to the supermarket. 

Join the Burner Bulk Food Order

For all the great reasons, the bulk food order is back for Nest 2024!
Nest 2023 ran a pilot with 12+ camps and spent over £7k on bulk food orders centrally coordinated. Key buying stats:
  • 1,100 eggs
  • 966 limes
  • 864 wraps
  • 220kg ice
  • 156L oat milk.
Why should you join in?
  • Get £ to local/ethical wholesalers
  • Reduce CO2
  • Reduce trips off site
  • Reduce waste packaging
  • Eat healthier, using back to basics food with less preservatives.
Register your interest here: https://form.jotform.com/240705287774363

Theme Camps

All theme camps must have an LBT plan. 

A plan should include elements such as:

  • Guidelines for camp members posted in a shared space.
  • A schedule for regular rubbish removal, tidying up, and MOOP sweep.
  • A plan to take your own rubbish and recycling off site during and after the event.
  • A system for washing up at your camp using eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • A Strike plan for your camp and all related areas, including a MOOP sweep before your camp members leave the Glade.
  • Knowing your camp MOOP boundaries which will be clearly shown on the Nest MOOP map and with ground markers. 
  • Each theme camp must have an LNT/LBT liaison person and they must get in touch! 

In general, think about general LBT advice. Everything has a bigger impact when you scale up to a Theme Camp! So remove all unnecessary packaging (tools, food, supplies) before arriving on site; avoid disposable plates, cups, or cutlery; etc.

During the Burn

Matter Out Of Place (MOOP)

Rubbish, lost property, pollution… anything that isn’t clearly supposed to be where it is, is MOOP.

  • Lost property MOOP: Use your judgement and bring it to the most sensible place.
    • Theme Camp Lost Property
    • Lost Property at The Point (during the Event)
    • Lost Property at Gate (after the Event)
  • Rubbish MOOP
    • Carry a rubbish bag in your day bag and pick up rubbish-type MOOP you spot. Be the change you wish to see! Encourage your co-participants to do the same. Don’t be afraid to let someone know they’ve dropped rubbish or used the wrong bin – we are all here to help each other.
    • Do a daily MOOP sweep of your camp area. Don’t let MOOP build up! MOOP attracts more MOOP. 
    • Cigarette butts are the most common MOOP item! Buy or make a portable ashtray (a mint tin, for instance) to collect your cigarette butts and ashes. Never, ever drop butts.
  • Don’t be MOOPy
    • Do not bring: loose glitter, feather boas, or anything that can fall off your costume. These items are impossible to recover and contaminate the local environment. Even biodegradable glitter will last a few months on the ground (and still contains some percentage of microplastics), and we want the site to look like we were never there. 
    • If you’re an experienced Burner, set an example for newer members and express your beautiful selves using paint, costumes, or your words and actions.

Manage your waste streams

There is no skip available to participants. It is for DPW use only. This year, all participants are expected to truly Leave No Trace!

  • Gray water: filter out organic matter (and compost it), then pour the water into the woods.
  • Compost: dump it in the Compost Pit by the Troll Bar (not in the Troll Bar)
  • Aluminium: Bring to the WAR Zone to be returned by the LNT team for ££ to offset organizing costs.
  • Cardboard: burn it in campfires, stuff the temple or break it down and recycle offsite.
  • Recycleable plastic: squish it down and recycle offsite
  • Glass: Avoid bringing to site if possible. Recycle offsite
  • MOOP: Bring it to Lost and Found at the Point during the event and Gate after the Burn.
  • Everything else: compress it as much as possible (consider making ecobricks) and dispose responsibly offsite

Bring bin bags and suitable containers for each of these waste streams!

Protect the land

The Glade is full of fields, hills, and protected grasslands. We need to take good care of the land, and leave it better than we found it.

  • Be mindful of when driving on grass to not damage it — especially when it is wet.
  • Consult DPW if you intend to dig up turf. It must be tended during the week, and replaced exactly as it was.
  • Be careful not to scatter anything on the grass (sawdust, chemicals, graywater) or damage the trees and greenery, etc.
  • All fire pits and BBQs must be raised off the ground.

Protect the water and ecosystem

  • Prevent foreign chemicals and substances from entering the water and environment.
  • Toiletries you use and that end up on the ground, need to be made of natural ingredients and fully biodegradable. If you are not sure that your soap/shampoo/toothpaste is biodegradable, do not use it.
  • Bathing – please do not put soap or shampoo directly in the lake. This creates a biofilm that suffocates animal and plant life. Set up your shower away from the lake, and discourage camp members from rinsing off in there.

Bring a cup!

Disposable cups, plates and cutlery are one of the biggest sources of trash at festivals.

  • Bring your own reusable cup! Make it unique with your own mix of Burner stickers! Be responsible for your cup and keep it clean.
  • Hook it to yourself with a carabiner so that you won’t lose it.
  • Bring reusable plates, bowls and cutlery as well.

After the Burn

Collexodus: Food Collection during “Exodus” (departure)

  • Donate your leftover unopened food (and booze!) at Gate. It will support Nestlings helping with Strike and local food banks.
  • Be sure to separate food that has been opened. It is still useful but must be treated differently. 

MOOP Sweep

  • As you are leaving, do a comprehensive sweep of your camp area. If something wasn’t there before you arrived, it must not be there when you leave.
  • Theme camps are allotted an area on the MOOP map that is under their direct responsibility to return to its original state. In the free camping area, we are all jointly responsible to MOOP sweep it clean. And if your neighbours aren’t doing this, please use this as an opportunity for teaching rather than for conflict.
  • For larger groups and Theme Camps, arrange yourselves in a line and sweep the entire camp area. No piece of MOOP is too small. Pick it all up!

Take your waste home!

  • Take your recycling and waste with you off site. Separate it properly. 
  • There are recycling banks nearby in Newton Abbot (B&Q Car Park, Sainsburys Car Park, Wolborough Way Car park) and nearby (see online for details). Or use your local recycling at home.
  • It is your responsibility to dispose of waste correctly. Do NOT fly tip it en route home.  

Consider you environmental footprint

  • Use a carbon calculator to work out how much carbon you used at the Burn
  • Offset your carbon footprint by paying for tree planting. London Decompression started a grove in a rewilding forest in Scotland, which you can support here

Do you have any other suggestions and recommendations for Burners at Nest? Send your suggestions to LBT@burningnest.co.uk.

Let’s leave a better trace!