We need to have a heart-to-heart about an important matter. Specifically, Matter Out Of Place. It’s not big, it’s not clever, but it’s happening and some of the nicest people you know have done it.
Yes, we do go on about it endlessly but then, if everyone paid attention and cleaned up after themselves, we shouldn’t have had a steaming pile of scheize minelli. A steaming pile of shit. Nasty, right? Not exactly what you’d expect over your morning cuppa. Not what you’d expect from a ‘Burner’, right?
Nor, for that matter, what the MOOP Swoop team were expecting to find in the middle of the Binnekring. You know, that area in the middle of Tankwa Town which is expressly for artpieces, and is far from any toilet? But find it they did, with a perky flag of toilet paper flying on top. Lovely. But this isn’t all. How about…people dumping trash in the toilets. Or…people creating Burns and leaving their ash, metal and wire behind. Or, simply driving off and leaving a pile of trash behind. Or. Or! OR!!! – and this is a major problem for the event and for the environment – leaving their trash on the side of the R355. For all the lack of respect, you might as well take a dump on a farmer’s doorstep.
Seriously, people. We’re supposed to be part of the solution. LEAVE NO TRACE means you leave no goddamn trace. At. All. Not even so much as a feather. Not a shell. Not a piece of paper. Not even half a godforsaken peanut skin. Nothing, nada, niks, fokol, sweet blow cherry. And you better believe not so much as one single cigarette butt.
How? By never letting stuff hit the ground in the first place. By keeping an eye on your camp. By idiot-checking your site when you leave. By having a camp member who’s your appointed recycling monitor. And remembering that – even if it is biodegradable – if it didn’t come from the Tankwa Karoo, it does not belong there.
Now, if you think the tone of this is a little shrill, well perhaps you need to join the big MOOP Swoop on Sunday this year, and see for yourself the kind of stuff that people do to Tankwa Town. It’s not pretty. It’s not big, it’s not clever, but it is happening. The sad thing is that some of the nicest people you know are guilty as sin. Of driving off and leaving trash behind. For ‘someone else’ to sort out. There is no ‘someone else’ in Tankwa Town. There is only you, and you are responsible for leaving no trace.
So please, if you see something chucked away – or better yet, someone chucking it – get involved and do something! Tune them blind! Make a noise! It’s your AfrikaBurn – don’t let anyone trash it! Thank you!