🌱 No Burn on a dead planet. How can we make Kiez Burn more sustainable?

K Kaliope Public Seen by 47

Let’s have this discussion at the very early planning stage to create awareness for this topic – and perhaps to think and develop a few things differently right from the start! Feel invited to get involved here.

As humans, we need to acknowledge that we produce carbon emissions, especially by attending an event like this – we produce trash that needs to be disposed of and is often burned, use fuel to fly or drive to the location, consume products that are trashed after single use or come from very far away, transform fuel into energy for our lighting and sound camps, and so on. The Kiez Burn family is mostly white, relatively wealthy, lives in the northern hemisphere and on the one hand can simply afford a consumption-oriented lifestyle – on the other hand we contribute immensely more to global warming than other beings on this planet. That's the other side of the coin.

What this discussion is not supposed to be:

This is not about blaming someone, banning the event or taking all the fun out of it. It's more about reflecting and thinking about how we as a community can reduce the costs to the environment which are threatening a good life in the future. We have our eleven principles and community values, so there’s an immense potential to become a changemaker and have a positive impact – not only as an event, but as a cultural movement. Humans are sometimes a bit slow and lazy, but can also learn incredibly much from each other and adapt to challenging situations. There is no Burn on a dead planet, so we must become Burners for Future.

There are already so many positive developments: Composting toilets! Ridesharing! Upcycling! Let's improve LNT even more:)

Let’s exchange experiences and perhaps develop some guidelines for our next event:

  • What strategies can you think of, and what has your experience been so far with implementation (e.g. LNT)?

  • How can we reduce our carbon footprint and use resources more consciously?

  • Can we deal with electricity in a better way?

  • Are there ways and means by which we can compensate for the damage we cause (e.g. by supporting sustainable projects)?

  • Can we organize travel and transportation in a more environmentally friendly way?

  • Is it possible to buy the food we eat regionally (centralization)?

  • Do you know how other local or international Burns deal with these issues – is there anything we can learn?

  • ...

Useful resources:

Past discussions on Talk or somewhere else:


Alex Kaos Tue 19 Oct 2021 9:21AM

As I understand this post, this is the asking around. I can speak from my own experience that many core members of the community have been very receptive and supportive to the idea of making a more sustainable and 'green' burn.

There has been a post before and some research done on renting/installing solar/wind setup instead of large generators. And we as a camp (Prometheans) have discussed and considered trying to get off the KB Grid.


Paul aka Khromo Tue 19 Oct 2021 12:55PM

It's based on a lot of assumption and it's a loaded question. It's also asking around HOW we should do something and not SHOULD we do something.

Not wishing to be counter productive, but this idea of assuming that every burner is or should fall into a set opinion-frame is one of the biggest problems when it comes to creating diversity.

If we were really that eco-friendly, we wouldn't be having the burn in the first place. Or at least centralising camps communal requirements, so that not every camp has, for example, it's own cooking facilities (which is wasteful) and having one central canteen serving at set times.


Alex Kaos Tue 19 Oct 2021 1:43PM

You don't have to engage in this discussion if it doesn't agree with your values. If you're not interested in sustainability then that's your jam. But if I may state my own thoughts as well, I think the point you are starting with is exactly counter-productive.

Sustainability specifically isn't written into our Principles, but if we're to do a poll on 'how many active kiez burners would like to have a more sustainable event' before starting this conversation then be my guest. Would you like to place bets on the outcome? I'm all in.... 😎

Kate has already addressed your point about not having the burn in the description.

Your last point seems like an interesting suggestion. Although serving at set times seems a little un-self-reliant. But these are exactly the complications that this thread is meant to extrapolate and better understand. How do you have self-reliance with a centrally run kitchen?


Paul aka Khromo Wed 20 Oct 2021 4:55AM

For me that's one of the clashes of principls: radical self reliability v civic responsibility.

They did it that way at Northern Lights earlier ahis year. Seemed efficient. The burn is only about 300-400 people though, and I'm not sure if the number could be upscaled.


Jörg Bühmann Tue 21 Dec 2021 12:19AM

Kiezburn could also be a place to experiment with using less resources than during everyday life.


Ancka Fri 8 Apr 2022 10:10AM

Thanks, Kate, for opening this discussion in Talk!

Thanks everyone for participating!

Do you want to find out how is possible to keep the beers cold without electricity? :) I hope I made you a little bit curious.

I would like to share with you the ideas I have put together regarding this topic.

Please read --->

Sustainability- Burners for future: A call to action on sustainability at Kiez Burn!!!

or on Google Docs

and your constructive feedback is going to be appreciated!

The question of how we want to live and play together at Kiezburn

is an important question and the answer is a communal effort of our burners community. This aims to raise awareness, inform and inspire you to have a more responsible way of consuming and potentially guide you towards a lower carbon footprint.

Motto: Reduce (carbon footprint), recycle, reuse.

Please kindly read the resume and check the links at the bottom of the page for practical, out of the box examples of how to burn in a responsible way: includes tips about how to prepare for the event (food), transportation options, how to communicate in a responsible way, what to bring, how to cook and store food, how to reuse, how to keep clean, how to do more with less.

Photo Terracooler, natural food cooling with terracotta and water


Jörg Bühmann Tue 21 Dec 2021 12:18AM

  • Can we organize travel and transportation in a more environmentally friendly way?

Bus coaches from Berlin or other large cities could help.

Shuttle service from the next train station makes the train more attractive.

Boom Festival in Portugal reserves some of the best camping space for people arriving by bicycle.


Randy Pence Thu 4 Nov 2021 1:25PM

how much less sustainable is a burn compared to the environmental impact of typical living?

How infinitely small is the gesture compared to everything else going? Don't get me wrong, I try to minimize my personal impact given that I eat meat and am responsible for another human on this planet, but just the energy costs to get a bunch of people not living in Spain to Nowhere probably offset everything we could do short of not organizing the gathering.


RMD Tue 19 Oct 2021 12:28PM

There's a lot of useful insights already here:

The main contributions I see would be:

  • Connecting to the local energy grid (no more dirty generators and no complex temporary pseudo off grid solar/wind constructions)

  • No flying in (zero tolerance), no arriving just for the weekend party (gates actually closing?). Less consumerist attitude, better people, less harm, etc

Consuming everything (food, drinks) locally would also be nice - but I don't really see a feasible way of achieving that - set up a market kiez?

Less temporary building would be another big win, if there's a location where this is feasible.

But overall, it doesn't matter that much really (: It would probably be a bigger impact if KB became a lot more political.


Veroca R. Sala Tue 19 Oct 2021 9:55AM

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