Last year was my first trip to Black Rock City and the annual Burning Man festival of art, fire, and radical creativity, as well as dust storms, cracked feet, and dry, bloody boogers. I can’t wait to go back. This year, I’ll be part of the Earth Guardians’ Plastic Footprint project — combining art and education about plastic-free living. Today, I’ll tell you about the art and associated workshops we have planned. Tomorrow, I’ll share all the new plastic-free solutions I’ve discovered for Burning Man this year. I’ve been researching my head off. Really, my brain hurts right now.
Plastic Footprint Project — At Burning Man and Incline Village
SCROLL DOWN the page for the list of our Plastic-Free Workshops and events next week. But first, the art…
Annie Clark, an artist and art teacher in Nevada’s Washoe County School District, contacted me this past spring after being inspired by my book and asked if I had ever been to Burning Man and if I would consider coming this year and being a part of a giant plastic-related art/education project. My response: Oh my god! Have I been to Burning Man? YES! Would I go again? In a freaking heartbeat!
So Annie tells me that she wants to get her local community involved in creating a giant sculpture made from plastic trash. She was thinking of something pretty like a tree. Last year, the Earth Guardians had a pretty tree sculpture in front of their camp.
But I thought the plastic trash sculpture should be something scary to send the message that plastic trash is not pretty. A few days later, she contacted me with the most brilliant idea ever: A giant plastic foot stepping on the planet with the question, “What is your plastic footprint?”
Perfect. So she and the kids have been working on this thing all summer, and with Burning Man only a week away, they are still working on it. We don’t know if it will be done by the time it travels to the playa, but if not, maybe other Burners can help add to it. I can’t wait to see it. And you can see it too, even if you are not coming to Burning Man. The sculpture will be on display at the Incline Village High School, and I’ll be coming to Incline Village the last weekend of September to give some talks. So, if you’re in the area, please check my calendar or the Plastic Footprint Project Facebook page for details.
Here are a few pix of the process. You can see full size images and follow their progress on the Plastic Footprint Facebook Page.
Plastic-Free Workshops at Burning Man
I’ll be camping with the Earth Guardians and am available to show my tent and plastic-free setup at specified times during the festival. I don’t yet know when those times will be, but I do know when our events will take place. Here are the plastic-related ones. Click here for the full Earth Guardians schedule.
Wednesday – August 28, 2013, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Plastic-Free Burning Man Workshop – What is your plastic footprint? Take a walk through your house (or Burning Man camp). From plastic-packaged food in the kitchen to toothbrushes and shampoo in the bathroom, our world is full of plastic. And at Burning Man, we sleep in plastic sleeping bags in plastic tents and wear plastic goggles. And how much of our food and water is packaged in plastic? Although some plastics make our lives better, much of it is a problem — polluting our oceans and beaches and harming our health with toxic chemicals. But what can one person do to be part of the solution? Join us for inspiring stories and practical tips to reduce plastic in your home and on the Playa. Author Beth Terry will share her journey from self-confessed plastic addict to empowered plastic-free activist and explain why we can’t just recycle our way out of this mess. You may even get to peek at her (nearly) plastic-free campsite.
Thursday – August 29, 2013, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – More than just one word on Plastics – Plastics: we love them and hate them. Rebecca Braslau, organic chemistry professor will help us examine the history of plastics, what they are made of, health, environmental and societal issues, and future green possibilities.
Saturday - August 31 , 2013, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Plastic-Free Burning Man Workshop - If you missed the workshop on Wednesday, or if you have friends who missed it that you want to bring back, you have one more chance!
Every Night: The Earth Guardians will be showing environmental movies on the playa. I’m hoping that some of them will be related to plastic. Check the schedule when you arrive for details.