5 Ways Leave No Trace Starts at Home

Photo by Eric Allen

On its face, the concept of leaving no trace appears to be pretty basic.


Bring home everything you brought with you, and even take home MORE if you can. But in reality, the task takes some effort and often we struggle to actually bring our trash back with us. We are certainly leaving a trace.

This leaves extra work for the waste management team and makes our beautiful venue far less pristine. If we want to “pack out” effectively it’s going to involve more than just thinking you’ll bring your trash back.

A little planning is required to make it happen. But have no fear, we’ve got you covered with some tips for a successful pack out routine that will have you leavin’ no trace like a pro.

Photo by Foster Snell

1. BYO (Bring Your Own) Trash Receptacles

Let’s be honest, no one wants to take a bunch of trash home. If it isn’t bundled up nicely, it’s especially gross. This doesn’t mean we don’t do our part!

Bring enough trash bags so you can separate your waste. Pick up after your camp regularly so things stay tidy and items don’t get blown away. I keep several bags in my camping gear at all times so I always have a backup.

But don’t stop there! Bring some smaller containers to deal with cigarette butts or other small trash.  Mint containers, Ziplock bags, and small pouches all work great. It’s a whole lot better than cramming trash in your pocket along with that sweet gift you received from a new friend.

Littering cigarette butts is not only gross, they are a massive source of pollution and contain materials made from plastics, which take just about forever to biodegrade.

Photo by Jennifer Roberts

2. Leave Space in Your Vehicle for Trash

If you pack your car to the brim you won’t have room to take your trash home. It seems to make sense that if you’re packing out the same amount of stuff you brought with you there will be space, but there never is.

This task is easier said than done, but if you can keep in mind that everything you bring needs to come back with you, you’re much more likely to have some space for it.

Bonus Points: If you have lots of extra space help out another person and help take their trash home! But don’t count on someone doing this for you of course.

3. Discard of Unnecessary Packaging Before You Leave (No Trace)

In other words reduce the waste you bring. In an ideal world, we’d all just go zero-waste. While we applaud anyone doing this (and would love to hear your tips for attending festivals zero waste in the comments!), that isn’t always possible or practical for many.

Photo by @FishMakesPhotos

One good way to start is by getting rid of any packaging you can before leaving for the festival. Did you just buy a new tent or other cool gear? Ditch the packaging before you bring it with you. Bringing food items with extra layers of packaging? Throw it out before loading it into the car.

4. Ditch the Single Use Junk!

Most people know this by now, but please forget the disposable bottles and other single use plastic.

They’re terrible for the environment, take up extra space, and why bring a 24-pack of water bottles when you could just bring a single reusable one?!

Reducing what you bring in is an important part of leaving no trace. While this doesn’t offset your overall footprint, you won’t have to figure out how to dispose of that stuff once you’re on site.

If this is your first Lucidity, you’ll be happy to know Live Oak is equipped with several refill stations where you can re-up on delicious filtered water.

Photo by James Lester

5. Mindful Feeding Pass

Food waste and packaging is a big source of trash. Reducing that will also help leave space in your car, reduce the gas required to get there, and save cleanup at camp.

Our kitchen will feed you five absolutely delicious meals with accommodations for Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten Free diets. You’ll get the communal eating experience eating in our dining area with other Lucidity participants. No hassle, no stress. Get the feeding pass on our ticketing page.


No one person should be held responsible in the efforts to Leave No Trace. Everyone has a role to play and we will only find success if we do this together.


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