I was really excited when my cousin Brent agreed to take part in my 30 Day Challenge to live Zero Waste and Zero Impact. When I embarked on the month-long experiment I was feeling a lot of pressure to purvey my story and inspire Metro Vancouver residents to make change. I had planned on focusing on one simple lifestyle adjustment each day. That way regular folks (those not as environmentally sensitive or conscious) could learn how easy it was to protect and nurture our environment.
Natural disaster struck in the pre-production stages of my project and all eyes suddenly focused on Japan. On March 11th a force of nature created devastating destruction and took the lives of many. I was worried about my cousin and was relieved to connect, first through email and then Facebook. Brent was safe; his home was “trashed” but with no significant damages. We began interacting daily and he inspired me to invite him to share his experience with my documentary audience.
Since Japan is a densely populated island they have minimal room for waste. In many respects they are well ahead of Canada for conservation and cradle to cradle techniques. Brent wrote a daily column about the habits and tricks he learned in the 24 years he has lived there. You can read his contribution on the archives on the 30 Zero Zero website.
I decided to include Brent’s letters in the documentary film (besides the website) and plan on creating a photo slide show of him over audio of the letters being read. I asked him to arrange for some high-resolution photos to be taken of him in and around the city. His friend Jodie Chellew spent the day with Brent and her submissions are stunning and creative. Now I feel compelled to feature her work… funny how the entire project has evolved. Documentaries are like that… unscripted and jumping around with no rhyme or reason just like life.
This is one of my favorites from the shots that Jodie sent me. Thanks Jodie!