Where will the gathering be?

Where will the 2014 gathering be?
Near Heber, Utah. Click here for directions
Who is invited?
Every person with a belly button. If for some reason, you lost your belly button, you are invited as well.
What you really need to know:
How to Get Into The Gathering Without Getting a Mandatory Court Appearance Ticket.
How to Contact Someone?
If after reading the information on this blog, checking out the links on the right hand side, you still have questions, concerns, or problems, email random gatherers for assistance.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What ever happened to recycling?

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In the good old days when the snickers bars hung from trees, shitters dug themselves and the water tasted like champagne, gathering participants used to recycle.  According to the guru of garbage, Swami M. Om, in 1979, she set up recycling stations, but a lack of understanding about recycling ran rampant.  (Yes kiddies, in the 70s and 80s only hippies and tree huggers were into recycling).  Swami M. Om realized she would need to teach people how to recycle. Following the 1979 gathering, in a meditation she saw the seven catagories of trash and how they aligned with the seven chakras.  She used comedy and song to teach recycling to this wonderful, crazy family using The Seven Garbage Chakras. To read more about Swami M. Om, click here.
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We had a wonderful brother by the name of Dakota who for a number of years focalized recycling by sorting through a gigantic pile of trash left behind by less educated gatherers.

By 2004 or even a few years before, we handled recycling by hauling all the trash to a location in the parking lot and then dedicated volunteers would open every bag of trash and sort through everything, separating out anything we could take to an identified recycling center.  In more recent hipstory, a wonderful brother named Dan D. took on the task of focalizing sorting and places to take the recyclables - but it was basically the same process.  Depending on where we were located that could be plastic, paper, glass and metal or just aluminum cans.  This method left much to be desired. Instead of every gathering participant doing their share of recycling and hauling trash a handful of people did it for everyone (bless you trash sorters - you are the best of this family - right up there with our shitter diggers). 
Tennessee 2012 gathering trash pile with family sorting

Then this year in Montana, most of the trash went straight to dumpsters (unsorted) and off to the dump. While we (the magic hat) paid the dump fee, this family has gone from recycling trendsetters to trash generators. Even burning paper in Montana in 2013 created a bear nuisance as the bears can smell grease on ashes for some time. After we left the gathering, some black bears moved in and dug up our pits.
 So what are we to do?

Don't bring it in the first place. Don't bring cans, bottles, or plastic containers that you are not willing to take with you when you leave the gathering and take at least one hundred miles away from the gathering before you put it in a recycle container.

We are all the clean up crew. Anything you bring to the gathering, you are responsible for taking out of the woods including used tampons, used diapers, dirty clothes, broken tents, cigarette butts, bottles, cans, plastic containers, glow sticks, lighters, rope, tarps, etc. 

So what can you leave behind?  You can leave your and your pets' feces in a shitter, your toilet paper in a shitter, your urine in the woods, food scraps in a compost pit, and buried fire pit ashes.  You can leave grey water (used water for bathing, washing dishes, teeth brushing, etc.) in a grey water pit at least 200 feet from creeks, rivers and ponds. No soap decomposes in water. Dr. Bronners or biodegradable soaps degrade in the soil and we want the micro organisms to neutralize the grey water before it hits the creek and makes wild animals in the area sick. For more info on low impact camping, visit Leave No Trace.

Now that the problem has been revealed, what are we going to do about it?

Some ideas (please add more):
  • Education, education, education both before the gathering and at the gathering.
  • Find out where the recycling centers are in the vicinity of the gathering during seed camp and keep the recyclables flowing to the center every few days.
  • Don't leave everything inside the gathering until July 7 - take your trash and recyclables to your car every few days.
  • Set up recycling stations around the gathering or in the parking lots from the start of seed camp.
Visit some of these websites and learn more about recycling:
Natural Resources Defense Council
I Want To Be Recycled


  1. Don't bring it. Bring magic hat donations. Potatoes don't leave much trash.

  2. i whole heartedly agree with this statement i returned home in 2013 after being away for almost a decade. SO MUCH TRASH and constant talk of drugs drugs drugs, very strange for my 13 year old who hadnt been since she was 4 to be constantly offered drugs. she loved the idea of the gathering but she is not sure she wants to go back. what kind of gathering are we taking part in? trash the woods? party party? this is not what we were about

    1. Yes. While spirit medicine / entheogens / psychedelics / getting high can be a part of what we do, I was dismayed to see almost every WantList at the trade circle topped off with the same 3 things: DMT, acid, nugs.
      As someone in between youth- and elder-age, I would like all of us be willing to teach, and learn, to use these materials to their and our fullest potential. This can mean learning how to discourage abusive/non-sacramental use. I'm not insisting everybody say prayers and make offerings (though it sure don't hurt), but seeing these 3 constantly topping everybody's list seemed like their drug priorities have changed from 'for fun' to 'need'.

  3. Beautiful words, excellent job! Except greywater may be safely disposed of in mulchbasins or compost pits 100 feet from waterways, though 200 feet away is BETTER (100' minimum is Building Code for greywater in CA)
    Thanks, Karin - gives me an idea!
    Anybody out there in Rainbowland want to help me be RecycleBoy at this years' National Gathering? I would like to try to create a number of recycle bins and a regular pickup schedule, and organize their delivery to a recycle center, with the money raised to pay for the operation. All money treated open books (full transparency), horizontal organization (everyone is a leader/no one is), TIMEBANK system where each participant's hour is equivalent to each other person's hour, excess proceeds to be donated directly to CleanupKrew/MagikHat)
    Anybody interested in playing?
    Roy III

  4. Yeah, most FS and BLM regulations specify 200' from waterways for graywater and/or human waste disposal.

  5. Just moved to Las Vegas....is their a family here I could look into connecting with?

  6. That's sad that we are regressing as a family when it comes to recycling--not the Rainbow way :( I remember my first gathering in Vermont in the early 90's--I was so impressed with the recycling efforts. I remember young family handing out colorful newspapers with all things rainbow (I know handing out paper seems counter-intuitive) but for me as a first time gatherer it gave me all the vital info I needed to navigate and be a functioning member of the group. So yeah--education, education, education--for sure!
    I also remember Swami M Om's chakra posters set up next to all the recycling stations--I think we could all help out by making many colorful, humorous and pretty signage that explains recycling, Rainbow principles, etc. It seems from comments above that it's time to go back to basics.
    I am so happy to find out today that the gathering will be close enough for me to attend and I have the time available. I haven't been to a national gathering since 2003. Can't wait to come home. Lovin' u all!


Comments that use racial/sexists slurs, advocate violence against anyone, or that attempt to sell things will not be published. If this is what you're into, do it on your own website.

I welcome healthy debate on ideas of interest to the 2014 annual gathering of the tribes.