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$1,254 pledged of $28,500 goal
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By Marjorie Alexander
$1,254 pledged of $28,500 goal
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About this project

Simple by Design is a documentary film project focused on examining if Voluntary Simplicity is a viable form of eco-friendly living and could play a major role in improving the health of our planet.

After a conversation with my father I realized many of my ethics and morals regarding the environment weren't strongly represented in my day-to-day life. My lack of knowledge about recycling, the amount of food waste I created, and my personal carbon footprint and natural resource usage were nowhere near something to be proud of. I wanted to transform my outward actions to more closely match my inward beliefs and thousands of individuals around the country have already succeeded in doing just that. Voluntary simplicity through micro housing, producing zero waste, living off the grid and growing all your own herbs, fruits & veggies are just some of the ways people have accomplished a minimal footprint and freedom from traditional consumerism.

This film will follow my story as I design and build a 100% off grid 130 square foot "tiny house" in an effort to simplify and greenify my life. It will also feature a day in the life of several others who have all chosen different routes to achieve voluntary simplicity in a way that meets their needs and spares the environment.

On the other hand there are hundreds of ways for the average individual or family to take steps towards simplicity and a more eco-friendly lifestyle without going vegan or living in 130 square feet. Many of those strategies will be highlighted in this film as well.

Lastly, we will address other issues such as over-consumption, forced consumerism, single-use packaging, waste accumulation and natural resource misuse.

The plan for the Tiny by Design house, or 'Tiny' for short, will be to show how inexpensive it can be to build a 100% off grid capable home that features all the necessary items & utilities: a composting toilet, plumbed shower and bathroom sink, a full kitchen, a mini gas fireplace, two sleeping lofts and eventually it will be outfitted with solar panels.

The building of this tiny house and the transition to living in it will be a crash course for viewers on a more extreme transition towards voluntary simplicity.

The Budget (approx. $26,220 after fees):

• $13,000 will go towards creating and shooting a "simplified life" including, building the tiny house, small garden and composting toilet and converting all household products over to eco-friendly versions.

• $13,000 will go towards the production cost of 4-6 "day in the life" shoots as well as key interviews from voluntary simplicity and environmental experts.

Detailed Reward Descriptions:

$5 - Tiny house time-lapse video & email thank you - Watch the tiny house build start to finish in a matter of minutes!

$15 - A cool photograph from the site & a handwritten thank you card - The photographs will be professionally printed on recycled paper with a description of the eco-friendly materials & processes shown therein.

$25 - Simple by Design All Access Pass - The SBD website will feature a member’s only section while filming is in progress which will include behind the scenes footage, interviews, images and other exclusive content as well as a digital download of the finished film when it is completed.

$50 - Special Edition DVD & “This film made possible by” film credit - The Special Edition DVD will come in eco-friendly packaging and include exclusive content & special features.

$100 - Green building material & info book - This will be a piece of toxin free, eco-friendly material from the actual building site. Cut to size, made child-safe (rounding out any sharp corners, making sure it's large enough to not be swallowed, etc.) and delivered to you with a description placard and info book with pictures, how we used the material and how it helps protect the planet.

$300 - “Special Thanks” credit & 2 Film Premier VIP Tickets – You will be our guest at the reception, have reserved seating at the screening and complimentary tickets to the after party.

$600 - Simple by Design Private Screening - We will come to your school, non-profit, company or residence and hold a private screening with Q&A and Voluntary Simplicity How To session.

$1,000 - Associate Producer credit & a 3-night stay at the tiny house - You may schedule your stay anywhere along the west coast, June 1st through December 15, 2013. Email for other available dates.

What happens when this project is over? What will be the long term benefits?

• Helping individuals and communities see that voluntary simplicity is a viable form of sustainable environmentalism for the common person through a truthful, engaging and entertaining film.

• Using the examples shown in this film a curriculum will be developed for teaching voluntary simplicity.

SimpleByDesignProject.com will continue to show scenes and interviews from the cutting room floor that will include honest information about the ins and out of voluntary simplicity.

Prospective screening locations & film festivals:

• South Central Los Angeles Community

• East Los Angeles Community

• Boy Scouts of America

• Girl Scouts of America

• LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District)

• Green Dot and other public charter schools

• The Institute for Exceptional Children

• Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital

• Colorado Environmental Film Festival

• Princeton Environmental Film Festival

Learn more about our us at SimpleByDesignProject.com and help us make green education more fun and enjoyable by donating to the right. Every dollar counts!

If you have any questions or want to contact me regarding being included in the film feel free to email me at info@simplebydesignproject.com and connect with us on Twitter & Facebook!

Thanks for your donations!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A personal email thank you and time lapse video of the building of the Simple by Design tiny house.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A handwritten thank you and image from behind the scenes of the film, professionally printed on recycled paper plus the tiny house time lapse video.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You now have a Simple by Design All-Access Pass! Starting in November 2013 you will have access to behind the scenes footage, interviews, images and other exclusive content through the project's membership site. You'll also receive a digital copy of the finished film and all above rewards.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A copy of the Special Edition DVD, delivered in eco-friendly packaging and including special features and exclusive content plus the above rewards. You will also receive a "This film made possible by:" credit on the film.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You will receive a piece of Tiny House history...literally. A small piece of eco-friendly construction material from the build will be delivered to you along with an info placard and mini-book featuring pictures, how & where we used it, and other cool facts about the material. You'll also receive the above rewards.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Two VIP tickets to the LA premier of the film, Simple by Design, which includes a private reception, reserved seating during the screening, a "Special Thanks" credit on the film and all the above rewards.

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    You will receive a private screening of the film at your business, school or organization, followed by a Q & A with the filmmakers and a Voluntary Simplicity How-To. You'll also receive all above rewards.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You are officially an Associate Producer on the Simple by Design documentary! You are entitled to a 3-night stay in the tiny house and all above rewards. See description to the left for schedule.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Company Sponsor/Executive Producer - email me for details.

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Funding period

- (45 days)