Environmental Sustainability


“By the end of the next decade, we aim for it to be better for the ecology of Earth for Burning Man to exist than to not exist.”

– Burning Man Project: 2030EnvironmentalSustainability Roadmap

The 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap

While Black Rock City is the world’s largest “Leave No Trace” event, there is nonetheless a considerable amount of creative work and innovation ahead to ensure our desert city is ecologically sustainable, regenerative, and carbon negative.

2020 gave us the bandwidth to push forward with greater speed on our 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap, an open-source plan that sets a 10-year timeline and targets for Black Rock City.

Our roadmap lays out objectives and concrete steps to attain each of our three goals:

  • Become carbon negative
  • Sustainably manage waste
  • Be ecologically regenerative

Throughout 2020, Burning Man Project staff and Burners worldwide established working groups and drafted a roadmap for each of the goals. We hosted events that advanced these goals, and laid a foundation for the important work that is to come over the next nine years.

We Couldn’t Do It Without You

Our work toward a sustainable Black Rock City is fueled by Communal Effort and Participation by YOU, the global Burning Man community.

The 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap:

Where We’re At in 2020

Sustainable Infrastructure at Fly Ranch

Fly Ranch, our 3,800-acre ranch in northern Nevada, is home to Fly Geyser, hot springs, three reservoirs, wetlands, hundreds of species of birds, dozens of mammals, and more than 100 types of plants. In 2016 Burning Man Project purchased this remarkable land with contributions from generous donors gifted expressly for this purpose.

As stewards of this land, we’ve maintained Fly Ranch as a space for healing, growth, connection, and regeneration. We’re grateful to our Geyser Guardians — a cadre of volunteers who take care of the land and watch over Fly Geyser.

Due to the pandemic, we hosted fewer people at Fly in 2020. We still shared the land through small work weekends, solar trailer deployments, research projects, and distanced nature walks led by Friends of Black Rock High Rock.

A Laboratory for Infrastructure and Community

The Land Art Generator Initiative Design Challenge

It was a natural fit:  Burning Man is a community that co-creates large scale art installations. The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) hosts design challenges to create  beautiful sustainable infrastructure.

In 2020 Burning Man Project partnered with LAGI to launch the LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch Design Challenge — a multi-disciplinary design competition to select and build the foundational infrastructure of Fly Ranch. Anyone with an idea was encouraged to submit their creative sustainable design to provide power, water, shelter, food, or regeneration (with the goal of reducing waste streams to zero) in the Black Rock Desert.

The LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch Design Challenge sparked a huge amount of interest from the community. Approximately 200 technical advisors reviewed close to 200 submissions and left 2,000 comments as part of the review process. Thirty-two judges will vote to select the dozen or so prototypes we will build at Fly Ranch.

We’re excited to discover the final selections, and to share their beauty and purpose as they come to life on the land.