Pondering “Leave No Trace”

“Leave No Trace” is one of the 10 Principles of Burning Man. It seems pretty simple. But the LNT mentality can be a significant jump in consciousness for people ingrained with a consumer mindset.

During this week’s HugNation broadcast, I discussed “Leave No Trace” in the wake of my wonderful experience at Lightning In a Bottle.

Let me clarify that I am not intending to be critical of the DoLab or festival attendees. I mean to point out that as our community grows quickly, we need to remember a few things:
1) Have compassion for people in all stages of their conscious evolution.
2) Role model good behavior.
3) Help people understand that a Principle is much more than something we “should* do…. it is something that can elevate your joy and change your life.

(This is more of a “Philosophical” tip. For more on the “How” of Leaving No Trace, consult BurningMan.com & The Survival Guide.)

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a 17-year Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **

About the author: John "Halcyon" Styn


Halcyon is a 21-year Burning Man participant and co-founder of Pink Heart camp. He is author of "Love more. Fear less." and producer of the Burning Man short film, "The Pink Path." He's won Webby awards for his over-the-top personal site & his "Love On Demand" video podcast HugNation.com. Halcyon co-founded the San Diego based "1st Saturdays" homeless outreach program based on Burning Man Principles and coaches people how to be radically self expressed in the default world. You can find his full Playa Tips & Tricks series at www.PlayaPrinciples.com

2 Comments on “Pondering “Leave No Trace”

  • "bull" brian maddox says:

    dear Halcyon, i truly love your heartfelt insights (and inciting!). i enjoy watching your musings sitting on a couch at Venice beach. i too am a member of the moop army and always carry some sort of moop bag. Out on the playa if i see new burners leaving their
    empty water bottles at the base of a lamp post i eagerly pick them up and explain (in the spirit of your gentle suggestions) the great karmic benefit one gains, like in a video game where you pick up caches of health and knowledge (or money and weapons depending on the game, of course, let’s be real). There are no trashcans and there is no trash, what an interesting reality we can create!
    And by the way, your style is pure joy. If i were from outer space (and i am) and saw you
    with the horns and pink ankle-fur i would take you back with me!

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  • Ric Crawford says:

    I’m worried. Yesterday I was driving a country road to the city to shop. Ahead of me was a pickup truck that had had (note, past tense) a couple dozen paper water drinking cups in the bed. They are now on the Ramona Expressway between Hansen Avenue and Lake Perris. I’m worried that I almost ran the bastards down and made them pick the cups up, but somehow instinctively knew I’d have been beaten up by the three construction workers in the truck. When will they make it OK and legal to gun people like this down? Too intense? I do wish people would look at what they’re doing to our countryside. I know, wish in one hand……….. Thanks for the rambling.

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