Posted by: Noni | September 7, 2015

Searching for greener pastures… and greener lifestyle

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 foodglobal 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 GoIngienous 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.

Share or support this project 


  1. Hi Alison, great mission — good luck! I’d be happy to be considered for music when the time comes — please let me know.

    Do you have to fly to Peru? That will generate the equivalent warming effect of several tons of carbon dioxide. “Wanting to do more” followed by a trip to Machu Picchu seems slightly incongruous despite your very best intentions. Is there nothing off-grid closer to home? What about indigenous cultures in North America?

    Some extra thoughts on sustainable world travel:

    All the best,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, flying has huge carbon footprint which is reason I am going for an extended period of time and also taking a personal journey to start. I am specifically focused on destruction in the Amazon and will be traveling to as many countries as possible while in South America.
      The Amazon provides over 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen and with the sad state of our oceans I am attempting to educate and inspire measures that will preserve the biodiversity and land which is constantly being threatened.

      I’m always very conscious of my personal impact on this planet but flying makes sense for time and budget. My return flight stops in central America where I will stop to gather footage and interviews on sustainable projects as well. This is over 4 months for one flight and I am prepared to stay longer if necessary.

      Thanks for your offer of music once again. You’re talent and generosity is welcomed!
      Thanks for your feedback! The links are great, I subscribe to both of those publications.
      Best to you!


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