Mindful American is a travel documentary series highlighting intentional living in the United States. In each episode, host Erica M. Hart travels to cities, suburbs, rural towns, remote communities, and everything in between to find out how people in this country are living with intention in our modern world. The subjects in Mindful American are united by a common thread—a consciousness of their surroundings and utilization of the resources available to them.

Coverage of so-called “alternative living” movements is often narrowly and homogeneously focused. Mindful American will diversify this media attention, showcasing self-sufficiency and sustainability throughout a spectrum of race, class, sexuality, gender. Today you don’t need to travel to a commune or go off-the-grid to find people growing their own food, making their own clothing, living in 200 square foot houses, or taking small steps to slow down their lives and be more self-sufficient. People are incorporating some really cool practices into their everyday lives right in your own community!


There is so much waste involved in media production. Set materials and props hit the landfills once the project wraps, huge high-powered lights stay on all day, production assistants drive all over the city on endless errands, and much of the craft services gets trashed at the end of the day. Media production is also characterized by a general “crisis mode”—everyone working as fast as possible for very long hours, which often leads to unwise and unsafe decision-making.

Behind the scenes, Mindful American will strive to reduce the waste and environmental impact of the production while creating a compassionate, non-exhaustive set experience. Crew members will experiment with sustainable alternatives and work together to establish best practices for the production. The process of becoming more sustainable will be documented in BTS videos on the YouTube channel and the MindfulAmerican.com blog.