Saturday, August 18, 2007

Can an Event Like Burning Man Go Green?

Ok, so I've been bad lately, leaving my readers hanging and not writing. But I have a good excuse: I'm working too hard in preparation for going to Burning Man!
I hope you all have heard about it by now, since I seem to be the last BM virgin on the planet here in the Bay Area. Now why would a sensible woman like me go to a crazy pagan orgy with tons of people, drugs and art in the desert, you ask? It's not just the party that intices me, you can be sure of that!
I've written in the past about the new urban revolution going on, with folks who believe we can revitalise our cities, making them walkable communities with less impact on the environment. It seems the cities of history benefited from the lack of planning and architects, growing slowly over time and organically, making them better places to live.
It may sound crazy, but this is my reason for being interested in Burning Man and Black Rock City, the ultimate temporary city. I'm curious as to how a place can be built in a week with little planning and permitting, a place that is filled with 40k people, yet still walkable, with a central meeting place and organized events. It sounds like a blast, and what better way to test the limits of new urbanism?
So I'm headed east in 10 days, with plenty of water and costumes. I've borrowed all I can in an attempt to curb my consumption, and I'll be decorating my bike with crepe paper instead of fake fur. I'll recycle everything I can, of course, and offset the carbon from my trip through TerraPass. I've made arrangements with a photographer friend of mine, and the two of us are going to document the event. More to come on that later....
In the meantime, for all you Burners out there, check out the official BM Environmental Blog, with tips on how to make your experience more eco-friendly.
If you're going, I will be camping with a group at 6:30 and B, with a big shiny Airstream trailer in the corner of our site. My name is June Bug on the Playa, so come look me up, and we can talk ecology.