I have a story about a god-forsaken event in southern California called Coachella. Coachella is a music festival in Idio, CA. If you go for the "music," you're in the minority. If you go to take pictures of yourself in feather-clad ultra-hipster clothes next to a few contrived art pieces questionably placed atop puke-soaked, trash-littered grass... you're in the majority. If you want to spend your night dodging tripped out 16-year-olds who can't find their parents ONLY TO FIND that all that awaits you beyond them is an unconquerable army of more of the same, you might like Coachella. Just a short intro.
A friend of mine went to this convention called Coachella a few years ago. The scene at the end? If you dare to walk barefoot amongst serrated aluminum and remnants of transdermally absorbed drugs, you might find on the damp ground a plethora of abandoned gear--everything from tents to stoves to backpacks to air mattresses to canteens to sleeping bags (in fact, the tent my partner and I have used for Burning Man the last two years was from this dreaded event--abandoned and not even taken out of the package). Why? Because people who attend Coachella have never, and will never, go "camping" again. And if they do, they'll just buy more stuff. Every year is the same story, nobody picks up their shit (aren't there people for that?) and nobody respects the land.
This year, I saw so much MOOP at Burning Man that I felt genuinely upset. In years past, It has been safe for me to assume that people just dropped their stuff on accident, or it fell out of their pocket, or off of their clothes. Fine, fine. I'm sure I have dropped a couple of things over the years on accident as well. I pick up MOOP when I see it.
Never have I, as a burner, been so overwhelmed by MOOP in front of me that I have been unable to tackle even 10% of the shit on the ground. Nor could I have unless I brought a few yard-waste sized trash bags and a vehicle.
The scene was sunrise after the man burned, at the site of the burn. Returning to camp after a drunken romp, I stumbled across the scene with a friend. We picked up all the feathers, LEDs, beer bottles and sequins we could hold in our pockets and left with our heads hung.
People, there is a tangible worst-case-scenario, it IS Coachella. I love Burning Man and my heart will break if it deteriorates. I know the people on this forum aren't part of the problem, I just want to know if anybody has an input as to how we can make this better. How can we make sure first-timers get the memo about feathers, sequins, MOOP in general? I'm not sure that the LNT theme really reaches a lot of people.
Any ideas, any similar experiences?