Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 27, 2013.

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A journey across the USA to see how reusing is not only eco-friendly, but a win-win-win for people, planet, and wallet.

THE BACKGROUND

The definition of reuse is as simple as the concept: the action of using something again. But this simple act can have such a profound effect on us all, as well as our planet.


Hi! My name is Alex Eaves and I live a “reuse life.” Ever since I was a little kid, reusing has been a part of my life; from turning toilet paper rolls into matchbox car tunnels to using old refrigerators for skateboarding obstacles. But what really sparked my passion for reuse was the mass production of new “stuff” that I saw during my years of selling merchandise for bands around the world. And when I saw a lot of the unsold items being destroyed without ever having been used once, that was the real catalyst to lead a reuse life. 

Alex Eaves with some very early reusing of paper bags and paper towel rolls.
Alex Eaves with some very early reusing of paper bags and paper towel rolls.

If I wanted to create widespread change though, I knew that I had to do something beyond just incorporating reuse into my own life. I needed to educate and offer ideas and solutions to encourage people to take their own small steps. So, in 2008, I took my first step and converted my apparel brand, STAY VOCAL, into a strictly reuse apparel brand. Instead of printing on new garments, we rescue T-Shirts and give them a second life. Just a few months after the conversion, I won a best small business idea award for SV and we’ve been finalists for Green America business awards in 2009, 2010 and 2013. 

Alex Eaves speaking about STAY VOCAL and reuse at an Earth Day event in Berkeley, CA
Alex Eaves speaking about STAY VOCAL and reuse at an Earth Day event in Berkeley, CA

As a result of running a business that reuses every step of the way, reusing has become a way of life for me. From how I shop to how I dress to how I give gifts, reusing is always at the forefront. And what I've learned is that reuse is the ultimate win-win-win: the benefits are for people, planet, AND your wallet. Plus, it can be pretty fun! For example, whenever you buy a STAY VOCAL T-Shirt, you’re not just getting a cool T-Shirt featuring a unique design at a great price. You’re also helping save 400 gallons of water; the amount it takes to grow the cotton for 1 T-Shirt! So, just by putting that shirt on, you’re creating instant positive change for the planet. And it doesn’t just stop there. I’ve heard from customers time and time again at how amazing the SV reuse shirts are as conversation starters. 


THE FILM

The benefits of reusing instead of buying new or recycling are significant and many of us see them; we just need more people to see them. And if there's one thing I've learned over the years of doing events around the country for STAY VOCAL, it's that getting out, talking to people and sharing reuse ideas is the most effective tactic. That’s what this project is all about.

After being a finalist for Green America's People & Planet Award this past February, I decided that I would hit the road for a second nationwide tour to share how STAY VOCAL is reusing. (In 2010, I did the STAY VOCAL "ReUse & Schmooze" Tour with singer/songwriter Dandelion Snow). In addition to showcasing STAY VOCAL, I would seek out other people who are reusing in unique ways, as this country is full of people with great ideas about reusing.  But after working with a team to plan my tour, it became obvious that these ideas needed to be shared on a larger scale. Thus, the idea for a documentary was born.

The documentary will be a compilation of a nationwide tour with stops in all 48 contiguous states. In each state, I'll visit with people and organizations who are reusing in original ways. By documenting this experience, I'll not only broaden the awareness and benefits of reuse in everyday life, but also provide a unique edutainment experience by seeing how people all over the country are reusing in different ways; many of which we could easily incorporate into our own lives, many of which help save money, and many of which are fun!

The San Diego stop of STAY VOCAL's Reuse & Schmooze Tour
The San Diego stop of STAY VOCAL's Reuse & Schmooze Tour
In addition, I’ll be visiting various events and shops along the way to showcase how STAY VOCAL is reusing through its apparel, shipping, and everyday business methods. By sharing these ideas, both business owners and customers will be able to see how bringing more reuse into their life can be that win-win-win scenario for people, planet, and wallet.

Reusing cereal boxes for STAY VOCAL saves money, resources and is obviously totally fun!
Reusing cereal boxes for STAY VOCAL saves money, resources and is obviously totally fun!

Besides the final production, I will be constantly updating my blog, facebook, and twitter during the tour; sort of a “daily reporting from the field.” I'll also be featuring tips on how you can save money and resources while traveling, simply by reusing more.

THE TIME FRAME

  • Leave by late May/early June 
  • Travel for 60-90 days. 
  • Scheduled film release will be Earth Day 2014

THE COSTS

  • Cameras (pre-owned of course)
  • Assistant
  • Food 
  • Travel
  • Lodging
  • Film Production
  • Reward production & fulfillment

THE POSSIBLE IDEAS IF I EXCEED MY FUNDING GOAL

  • Film Release Parties
  • Film screenings on a follow up tour across the country
  • Extra footage/second film
  • More rewards
  • More STAY VOCAL ReUse merchandise made for the tour

STAY VOCAL's event booth is a perfect example of reusing whenever possible. In addition to the shirts for sale, the tent was bought used, the signs were cut from cardboard boxes, and the banners were printed on the back of discarded misprinted banners. As those choices cut costs way down, this is truly a win-win-win for people, planet, and wallet.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

My challenges are quite typical: trying to compress great footage and info into a standard length film and running past the deadline.

In the case of info overload, I'm not opposed to releasing a second part, especially if I have well exceeded my funding goal.

If it looks like I won't be finishing the project on time, all backers would of course be notified ahead of time with a new release date.

FAQ

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    Sweet Level - your name will be listed on the Kickstarter Thank You Page on Alex Eaves’ website.

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    High Five Level - Virtual High Five emailed from Alex, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    Pictures To Prove It Level - Thank You photo from the tour emailed to you, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    I Just Want To See It! Level - Digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page..

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    We Should Talk Level – A personal thank you phone call from Alex on the road, digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page. (US backers only)

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    Going Postal Level – handmade thank you reuse postcard from Alex during the tour, digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    Cotton Recognition Level – Your name will be featured on a limited edition STAY VOCAL Reuse shirt, plus you’ll receive $5 off that shirt and the first chance to buy it. Also a thank you email from Alex, digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    Make It A Combo! Level – 1 REUSE! Because You Can’t Recycle The Planet T-Shirt, 1 REUSE! Patch, handwritten thank you note from Alex on something random and reused, digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    Shirt Off My Back Level – 1 Alex Eaves ReUse Life T-Shirt,1 bonus T-Shirt from Alex’s personal collection (most size Men’s Medium), a personal thank you video explaining the shirt, digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    Film Collector Level – Limited Edition handmade DVD copy of the film (using pre-owned DVD-RWs of course) in a hand designed jewel case sent before public release. Also included will be a REUSE! Patch, digital download of the movie, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    Coffee Talk Level – Alex will take you and a guest out for coffee while on the tour. Also 2 REUSE! patches, digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page. If Alex is not directly passing through your area, you must be able to meet him somewhere.

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    Basketball Card Collector Level – Limited Edition handmade DVD copy of the film in a handmade case made with basketball cards. Film sent before public release. Also included will be 10 vintage cards from Alex’s collection, a REUSE! Patch, a digital download of the movie, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    Baseball Card Collector Level – Limited Edition handmade DVD copy of the film in a handmade case made with baseball cards. Film sent before public release. Also included will be 10 vintage cards from Alex’s collection, a REUSE! Patch, a digital download of the movie, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    Book Collector Level – Limited Edition handmade DVD copy of the film inside a handmade journal featuring some photos and notes from the tour. Film sent before public release. You'll also get a digital download of the film, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    Do A 180! Level – One of a kind skateboard deck art designed by Alex on a used skateboard deck. The deck will also hold a Limited Edition handmade DVD copy of the film. Also included will be a personal thank you video from Alex while skateboarding, a REUSE! Patch, digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page.

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    You Want To Do More Level – Alex will come to your home or business and give an evaluation on how you can incorporate reuse to benefit yourself, the planet and your wallet. This will of course begin with a talk over coffee. In addition, you’ll get a handmade DVD copy of the film, a digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page. Location can be anywhere in the 48 contiguous states and timing will have to coincide with the tour (dates & locations tba). Otherwise, your location can be within 100 miles of Norwell, MA and it will happen during the fall when Alex is back.

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    T-Shirt Party! Level - Alex will come to your residence or business and set up a mini STAY VOCAL store for you and all of your friends. Included will be a special party song mix, a one of a kind STAY VOCAL T-Shirt, your choice of 3 other T-Shirts, and special party prices on everything for you and your friends. ALSO, at least a small part of this will be included in the film, so you’ll also receive a thank you in the film credits. In addition, you’ll get a handmade DVD copy of the film, digital download of the film before public release and name listed on the Thank You page. Location can be anywhere in the 48 contiguous states and timing will have to coincide with the tour (dates & locations tba). Otherwise, your location can be within 100 miles of Norwell, MA and it will happen during the fall when Alex is back.

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    UNITY Level – Choose one of Alex's custom made 311 Basketball Jerseys, all size 40 (Men's M/L). Three will be made available: Hexum, Mahoney, and Sexton. First come, first serve. You will also receive a DVD copy of the film in a handmade case that is 311 themed and include something from Alex's touring days with 311. Also included will be a personal thank you video from Alex, a REUSE! Patch, digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page. NOTE: Jersey will be shipped before everything else, in time for 3-11 Day 2014!

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    A Day In The Life Level – Hang out with Alex for an entire day in Massachusetts (minimum 12 hours). He’ll provide you and a guest with breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, entertainment, thrift store mini shopping spree, a one of a kind STAY VOCAL T-Shirt for each of you, and a detailed look into his reuse life. ALSO, at least a small part of this will be included in the film, so you'll receive a thank you in the film credits. In addition, you can choose any of the limited edition handmade DVD copies of the film, digital download of the film before public release, and name listed on the Thank You page. You must provide your own transportation to meet up with Alex in Massachusetts.

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    A REASON TO TOAST Level (Mass Pickup Only)– You will get Alex's Mighty Mighty Bosstones "Wall" - a 4 x 8 foot sheet of plywood that was used to advertise one of their concerts in 1997. You will also receive a DVD copy of the film in a handmade case that is Bosstones themed and include something from Alex's days going to see and work with the Bosstones. Also included will be a personal thank you video from Alex, 2 STAY VOCAL T-Shirts of your choice, a REUSE! Patch, digital download of the film before public release, name listed on the Thank You page. NOTE: You can pick up the Plywood any time! I'll need a couple weeks notice though.

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    Seriously Staying Vocal! Level – Box of 25 different STAY VOCAL ReUse T-shirts (choice of sizes & various designs) & 25 various STAY VOCAL patches (choice of designs). In addition, you'll receive a thank you in the film credits, you can choose any of the limited edition handmade DVD copies of the film, digital download of the film before public release, and name listed on the Thank You page.

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    Flat Stanley Level – I will make a new segment for the documentary about making life size cardboard cutouts of people from boxes; something fun to do at school or home. The cut out will be of you and I will make you wearing any T-Shirt you want (within reason). You will receive a personal thank you in that segment, along with a thank you in the film credits. After the film is done, I will ship you the life size cut out of you holding a personal thank you letter, your choice of any 3 STAY VOCAL T-Shirts, any one of the limited edition handmade DVD versions above, a digital download of the film before public release, and name listed on the Thank You page.

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Funding period

- (28 days)