In 2010 I returned to Canada after living abroad several years. I had visited many countries and witnessed firsthand how differently people lived in other parts of the world. One of the first things I noticed was how North Americans were over consuming and extremely wasteful.
Environmental Impacts of Consumption
“Calculations show that the planet has available 1.9 hectares of biologically productive land per person to supply resources and absorb wastes—yet the average person on Earth already uses 2.3 hectares worth. These “ecological footprints” range from the 9.7 hectares claimed by the average American to the 0.47 hectares used by the average Mozambican.” (World Watch Institute)
There’s no shortage of land, it’s strictly a distribution problem. On average Canadians discard 40% of their food. As a filmmaker I used my journalist skills to dig for information. Paper waste, carbon emissions, toxic food, global warming… Understandably overwhelmed by the facts and statistics, I felt I had to do something.
I decided to create a program to bring awareness and to teach simple ways to reduce our impact both locally and globally. My interactive transmedia experience, 30ZeroZero (30 days, Zero Waste, Zero Impact) was a great success. I adjusted my habits and reduced my waste to minimal amounts while influencing others to do the same. But after 4 years of buying local, riding transit and re-purposing goods I felt it wasn’t enough. I wanted to do more.
My dream is to live off-grid, build a tiny home and grow my own food, but where, when and how? I came up against so many obstacles. I realized that money was the root of problem. We live in a capitalistic society based on a failing monetary system. Occupy Wall Street pointed that out, but did protesting really change anything? I aligned myself with scholars, scientists and activists to delve deeper, hoping to find simple solutions.
Stop Reset Go, Ingienous Designs and the Institute for Future Living inspired me to use my talents as a storyteller to document how change can, and will, make a difference.
On October 13th, 2015 my journey begins with a trek to ruins of an ancient civilization in Peru, Machu Picchu. After a personal retreat to acclimate (high altitude)I will begin documenting various new and established communities in South America that are striving to maintain sustainable practices. Permaculture, off-grid communities and shared resources in small hubs are models of future lifestyles required for preserving both our planet and humanity.
I’m asking for your help in producing this learning tool. I’m a minimalist whose proven I can work on a shoestring budget but there are costs that are stretching my savings too far. I humbly request that you consider sponsoring me for expenses like:
Communications – Phone & Internet connectivity
Camera Equipment – repairs to existing gear and additional items suitable for jungle and remote locations (charging batteries won’t always be possible)
Transportation – I travel green and will bus/hike/ride-share when possible
Medical – Vaccinations, insurance, medications and safety supplies
Crew – Guides, translators and when necessary extra camera and audio operators.
Post Production – editing, music, graphics, voice over and additional interviews with experts
Accommodations – While for the most part I will be living out of a backpack or participating within the communities I’m documenting, I may require a safe place to rest between locations.
Contingencies – When traveling abroad theirs always extra expenses that pop up. Whatever is left over will be used towards marketing and distribution of the film.
If you have resources, ideas, extra air-miles or anything you think may help me realize this project I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for your good intentions and well wishes.