Leave No Trace

posted in: Blazing Swan 0

It’s funny how some things seem so obvious when you meet others who share your ideals. I feel strongly that humans’ impact on the environment must be minimised in any way possible.

One of the principles of the Blazing Swan Festival is “Leave No Trace.” This guides how both the organisers and participants go about planning the experience. A person’s own food and water is brought, and they remove their own rubbish. The idea is to leave the environment just as you found it, without impact. As you go further into that ideal, you start to consider things like:

  • What am I bringing? Is it the most efficient and environmentally friendly way I could do this?
  • How is it stored? Are there different packagings I could use?
  • Do I really need something new, or could a small effort in checking something existing spare the resource waste of buying something new?
  • What can I share between others so that we don’t all do the same thing?
  • How can I use these things again?

Leave no trace…

I think this is a wonderful ideal which speaks to more than just taking home your own rubbish. It deals with the whole idea of environmental impact.

In creating DeployED, I wanted to make that concept a reality. Utilising shared resources, avoiding New when something existing was already perfect for the job, and thinking innovatively so that everything was self-contained, efficient and as Green as possible.

I decided to use existing sea containers instead of getting new ones made. There are thousands of containers around and with a careful eye it was straightforward to ensure I got an excellent quality container to suit the purpose. Lighting is sourced from quality stock that’s recovered from prior uses. The air-conditioner is re-purposed. The Storage container which accompanies the clinic has had internal framing for insulation done with leftover wood from the last Swan. Where possible I’ve made sure to use recycled, repurposed and environmentally friendly materials. It’s so important that we make every effort toward sustainability, because there are finite resources on this planet, and if we don’t turn the tail of the creation-use-disposal pathway into a viable beginning for the next cycle, then we will fail as a species. I’m going to keep striving to make DeployED a sustainable, green, meaningful enterprise, because that’s just the only way to be.


(Photo Credit: Debska Photography)

Follow Dr Stuart McLay:

Emergency Physician

Dr Stuart McLay is passionate about the delivery of exceptional care, everywhere. He is the founder of DeployED, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (FACEM - an Emergency Physician), a Core trainee of the College for Intensive Care Medicine, and a Mass Gathering Medicine / Expedition Medicine enthusiast. He's also a husband to 1, and father to 2, and a great annoyance to many.