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Plastic-Free Burning Man — The List, Part 2

Posted By Beth Terry On August 28, 2013 @ 6:43 pm In bulk foods | 12 Comments

Yesterday I detailed the outside of my Burning Man setup. Today I’ll tell you about the inside.


image [1]

I’m using the vintage wood, canvas, and steel camping cot [2] I blogged about after my night at the aquarium last year..

I didn’t figure out a plastic-free sleeping bag, and the truth is, the purple polyester (or maybe it’s nylon… not sure at this point) bag I bought back in the early 90′s still works great. Why replace it?

Floor Covering

image [3]

Since the bottom of my tent is vinyl (ick), I wanted to cover it with natural fiber rugs. Second-hand would have been best, but this was kind of last minute, and I needed enough to cover a10x10 space, so instead of rugs, I opted for a felted rug pad made from recycled carpets and other recycled fabrics. It’s very, very soft, but probably a mix of synthetic and natural fibers. It was very affordable too. Purchased from Dick’s Carpet [4] in Berkeley. It’s really trippy looking up close.


image [5]

Mostly, I got food in bulk in my own containers from Berkeley Bowl and Whole Foods. I concentrated on things that wouldn’t need refrigeration: black bean soup mix, hummus mix, corn chowder mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, baby oatmeal, trail mix, peanut butter, and crunchy baby pretzels.  And I got lots of pickled things in glass jars, like pickled cucumbers, carrots, green beans, olives, etc.  Vinegar is essential on the playa for countering the extremely alkaline dust.

I have become very popular for bringing a particular pickled item I hadn’t heard of before last year: okra. (Yes, I’d heard of and eaten okra of course, but not okra pickles.)

image [6]

Even people who think they won’t like these because they either don’t like okra or don’t like pickles LOVE these things. I brought many jars of both the mild and the spicy kind and have been making friends right and left. It must be because of the pickles.

I’m also making my coffee in a mason jar [7] that I wrote about a few days ago.  And I have several different beverages in glass bottles in my cooler (all non-alcoholic.)

A note about glass on the playa: It is discouraged by the organizers because of the possibility of breakage which can not only hurt people but leave a mess on the playa, which is forbidden. So I am only consuming foods and beverages in glass in places where there are soft carpets. For traversing the playa, I bring stainless steel.

And oh yes! I’m finding that bread doesn’t dry out on the playa when stored in paper in an airtight stainless steel container from Life Without Plastic. (More on this in a future post and probably a give-away.)

image [8]

Um… that’s all I can think of right now regarding food.

Care Personal

Sunscreen in glass jars [9].

Lotion and lip balm in compostable cardboard [10].

Toothy tabs [11] and bamboo toothbrush [12].

Homemade wet wipes

image [13]

Wet wipes are great on the playa for hand and general body washing, but they are pretty wasteful and come in plastic packaging.  Using pinking shears, I cut some ripped pairs of flannel pajamas and cotton pants into squares and soaked them in an airtight stainless container in a solution of white vinegar, water, and essential oils of orange, lavender, and rosemary because those were what I had available.  I got the idea from this post about making homemade household cleaning wipes [14] and modified it so I wouldn’t have to buy anything new.

Note: Both Leslie of Crunchy Betty [15] and my friend Tracey of Anarres Natural Health [16] caution that you should refrigerate any homemade products that  contain water without a preservative of some kind because as Leslie says, water is “the great giver of life,” and as such, it can breed the kind of life you don’t want in your concoctions. Vinegar is a preservative, but not indefinitely. So I’m keeping them in my cooler — which is very refreshing, actually — and will dispose of any leftover solution when I get home.

Goggles and Bandana

These are essential on the playa for surviving dust storms. 

The bandana is one that a Burner made and gave me last year, and I have a couple more regular ones.

The goggles…

image [17]

Totally steam punk, right? They are German motorcycle goggles made from real rubber, glass, and metal. I got them from Historical Emporium [18]. And they were the only real glass goggles I could find that would also fit over my eyeglasses.  I don’t think the vintage ones I found on eBay would have worked with my glasses.

However, these goggles are not as completely plastic-free as I thought when I ordered them. There is a thin plastic sheet covering the inside of the lens. I assume this is a safety measure to keep you from being blinded if the glass breaks.

That’s it from me for today. See you tomorrow if I feel like blogging again. I can’t believe I’ve blogged more in the last week… using only my mobile phone! … than I have in the last few months.

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URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2013/08/plastic-free-burning-man-the-list-part-2/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://myplasticfreelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wpid-20130827_190149.jpg

[2] vintage wood, canvas, and steel camping cot: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2012/09/night-at-the-aquarium-on-a-plastic-free-camping-cot/

[3] Image: http://myplasticfreelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wpid-20130817_141510.jpg

[4] Dick’s Carpet: http://www.dickscarpetoneberkeley.com

[5] Image: http://myplasticfreelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wpid-20130827_190307.jpg

[6] Image: http://myplasticfreelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wpid-20130817_163626.jpg

[7] coffee in a mason jar: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2013/08/coffee-in-a-mason-jar/

[8] Image: http://myplasticfreelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wpid-2013-08-29-14.46.26.png

[9] Sunscreen in glass jars: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2012/09/plastic-free-sunscreen-that-passes-the-burning-man-test/

[10] Lotion and lip balm in compostable cardboard: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/12/plastic-free-organic-essence-lip-balm-body-cream-give-away/

[11] Toothy tabs: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2011/08/searching-for-the-perfect-all-natural-plastic-free-toothpaste-or-powder-or-soap-or/

[12] bamboo toothbrush: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2013/08/brush-with-bamboo-is-my-new-favorite-toothbrush/

[13] Image: http://myplasticfreelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wpid-2013-08-29-14.40.46-1.png

[14] homemade household cleaning wipes: http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-wipes/

[15] Crunchy Betty: http://www.crunchybetty.com/diy-101-working-with-water

[16] Anarres Natural Health: http://www.anarreshealth.ca

[17] Image: http://myplasticfreelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wpid-20130828_182345.jpg

[18] Historical Emporium: http://www.gentlemansemporium.com/store/003866.php

[19] Image: https://plus.google.com/+BethTerry

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