Decommodification and all this stuff - some where for it to go after?

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Decommodification and all this stuff - some where for it to go after?

Post by fromaquasar » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:44 am

Hello burners!

I am a virgin this year, and mid prep to make sure we can radically self sustain. One thing that strikes me is that, while BM is all about decommodification there is a LOT of stuff to buy, acquire, get before-hand. I'm sure this has been talked about a lot, in a place where we come to not consume, we sort of pre-load the consumption - and is there a way to net-zero impact your BM experience?

I guess for a lot of burners that go regularly stuff is saved for next year. I'd love to hear what people do with their "Burning man things" that maybe don't have a place in their default lives? And I wondered if there is a charity/place/program that some of the more practical things we're acquiring but won't need afterwards can go to a good home?

Jess x

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Re: Decommodification and all this stuff - some where for it to go after?

Post by Meat Hunter » Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:01 am

I have been known to gift many items that I no longer need to other Burners who are just getting started and also to seasoned Burners who are restructuring their camp.

Some items that I have no further need for have be sold locally.

And, some items have actually made it into my day-to-day activities and other projects.
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Re: Decommodification and all this stuff - some where for it to go after?

Post by Eric » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:14 pm

First: clarification on what "decommodification" actually means. All it means is that no products are bought & sold at the event, and that no advertising (of a corporate nature) is allowed. It doesn't mean your not going to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to get there - lord knows most of us do.

There is honestly almost no way to "net-zero" your Burn unless you go for a long time. My sleeping bag only gets used on the playa, but it gets used until it's dead - last year I finally had to buy a new one, the previous one I'd have since before my BMan days. This should last me at least 5 years, longer, I hope, so it's a net zero to me. It will pay for itself. That's the same for most of my regular supplies, though food, booze, and upgrades still end up costing me around $500 an event.

Now, if you're only planning on this as a one-time event, you're going to have a lot more cost going into it, and get a lot less back. I would suggest getting things that can be donated to a local homeless shelter/ shelter for abused women. When you get back, just wash the sleeping bags, blankets, etc, and donate them. If you want you can get a receipt and write it off. Tents tend to be permanently playa-tized, you might want to think about donating that to another Burner (we have a Sharing section here on ePlaya where you can pass it on), while there are lots of places from Gerlach to I-80 that will take your bikes off your hands for you.

Little things like bins/ dishes/ clothes/ etc can all be reused. Anything you buy as a "costume" can get set aside for your dress-up needs (Halloween, kids school play, you feel like being silly...)

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Re: Decommodification and all this stuff - some where for it to go after?

Post by Popeye » Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:26 pm

Eric's right about it not being a zero sum game. Look at it like a vacation, and all the extras you would buy for that. If you where going to your sisters wedding you might buy a suit/dress that you would never wear again. What would you do with it?
Last year there was a camp at about 7 & I that wanted anything that could be reused, not trash. I think there where others too.
There are several Salvation Army type stores in Reno. I know the one past the bus station from the Sands will take stuff that is not to playafied. (Is that on N. Arlington?)
For those taking the bus, BE will will accept a limited amount of recyclables.
Just don't leave it on the Playa.
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Re: Decommodification and all this stuff - some where for it to go after?

Post by highwayman » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:40 pm

I think that this topic is not considered enough! When I think about the amount of foreign tourists who fly to the US simply to attend BM & the amount of the collective landfill items that our event causes. i understand that the logistics of finding needed items & extravagant burner items i hard & competitive. Flying into Reno or elsewhere with little to no time allocated, makes it hard to find all of the items needed from alternative resources. It is so easy to head into the 24 hour behemoth headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. Scouring online ads & coordinating second hand sales require time & effort & maybe a vehicle. Many will travel with a crew who are all seeking those perfect & personal items for their burn.

There are some options to donate the items to help stimulate the indigenous populations who will turn around & resell the items to the next year of Burners. But there are many 40' dumpsters that are spread out around the towns that cater to exodus crowds. How many coolers, tents, bikes, camp stoves, air mattresses, pot & pans, clothing & cookware are discarded simply because they were used for one week in the dust. Ye sthey are dusty but still hold real world & Burner world value. With the growing of regional events the need for these basic items is constant.

I myself have been guilty of throwing away items. I do have a policy to try to obtain the majority of my items second hand . I try to acquire stuff in trade or cheap on craigslist. Some things are just not built for use on the playa. I learned that with one of those electric coolers that runs of ac/dc electricity. A regular cooler with dry ice works so much better & i more practical & affordable. My Burner bike has driven cross country twice in 4 years, is stored outside in New England weather & is preparing to make its 3rd burn. M tent is the same way in which I have used it twice before & only use it to camp at BRC. It still has dust on it all though I did have to clean it some to slow down the effects of playa dust. Many of my playa wear were simply regular items that I made work out at BM.

I think that the best way to reduce the amount of all this stuff & to rescue it from your local free sections online, yard sale leftovers & then use them with pride on the Playa. The fact that my gear is returning yet again has a sort of anti consumerist pride about not wasting money on items that will eventually go in the landfill. Once many leave the playa the 10 principles go out the window & right into the piles of discarded junk. Who has seen horns beeping, potential fist fights at gas pumps & attitudes at fast food lines post burn? It's like once we are all out the gate & past the trash fence, we all somehow revert back to the Trashy version of ourselves. I hope that more people can reduce, recycle & reuse all of the stuff the we acquire for BM more. I am no saint but I am trying to do my part. My decommodification is year round. I am collecting free tents, tarps, playaware, bikes, bike parts, flashlights & camping gear all year round. Some of it is to upgrade my worn out gear or pimp my style but also to distribute to other local Burners for free.
No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun."

Suicide note of Raoul Duke aka Hunter S. Thompson.

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