On September 30, 2020, New Dream as an independent non-profit organization closed its doors after nearly 25 years as a clearinghouse and source of inspiration for those seeking “more of what matters.” Our website remains live and our work is continuing on in new and important ways through the efforts of our partners. Read more to learn where to find New Dream's programs and resources, and to see our official notice of closure.
We encourage you to connect with the following organizations and programs that will continue to carry forward New Dream's work and spirit:
OneEarth / Beacon for Sustainable Living – New Dream is grateful to partner with OneEarth, a Canadian “think and do tank” and longtime ally in supporting the transition to more just and sustainable lifestyles. OneEarth will be maintaining New Dream’s website and assets, and continuing to build on New Dream programs in their own work. With partners around the world, OneEarth advances sustainable living internationally and in Southwest British Columbia. Their Beacon for Sustainable Living project will be of particular interest to New Dreamers, as it helps individuals and communities make lifestyle choices that are in line with climate solutions and sustainable consumption.
→ Sign up for the Beacon email list and tell them New Dream sent you!
Question Consumption – Our Question Consumption program, which questions and challenges the things and ideas we are told to consume, and draws connections to the larger systems and forces that impact justice for all people and the planet, will continue to live on. This youth-centered storytelling effort can be found on Facebook and Instagram. Like and follow QC to stay apprised of important developments in this exciting program, which will continue to be led by Raagini Appadurai.
Simplify the Holidays – This signature New Dream project can now be found within the Center for Biological Diversity’s Population & Sustainability program. The Center will soon be launching new and redesigned resources for this program under the leadership of New Dream advisor Kelley Dennings. Keep up with Simplify the Holidays here.
Kids & Commercialism – Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has taken the reins of our Kids & Commercialism program. CCFC will be updating and weaving New Dream’s work into their existing programs that focus on countering the harmful effects of advertising and marketing to children. Learn more about CCFC here.
SoKind Registry – Center for Biological Diversity has taken on SoKind Registry, the first ever non-material gift registry pioneered by New Dream over two decades ago. SoKind helps individuals, couples, families, and communities celebrate life events with secondhand items, and gifts of time and experience, to help reduce consumption while honoring life’s milestones. Explore SoKind here.
To our generous and kind New Dream community,
We write today with an important announcement: effective September 30, 2020, New Dream, formerly the Center for a New American Dream, will close its doors after nearly 25 years as a clearinghouse and source of inspiration for those seeking “more of what matters.”
When New Dream was first conceived in the mid-1990s, no other organization was addressing consumption and consumer behavior from the perspective of human and environmental flourishing. New Dream’s focus on reducing and shifting consumption—from excessive, wasteful, destructive, and dispiriting habits toward activities and consumer patterns aligned with the environment and well-being—was truly one-of-a-kind. Over the past two-plus decades, our work has supported “green” purchasing by large institutions, helped countless people reframe how they celebrate life’s meaningful events, and supported families and caregivers as they navigate advertising and screen use aimed at kids, among many other important activities.
Perhaps most significantly, together, we’ve built a community of people in North America and beyond who no longer feel outside of the mainstream in aligning their consumer behavior with their values.
This successful execution of our mission is one of the many factors behind our decision to close. It’s no longer considered “on the fringe” to consume with the environment and well-being in mind. Large portions of New Dream’s work have become mainstream, from buying local, to opting for non-material gifts, to questioning the systems that give consumers poor choices (if they have any choice at all). Although tremendous work remains to be done before we’ve addressed all the downstream effects associated with runaway consumption, New Dream’s focus on changing norms and behavior has made major strides.
"Although tremendous work remains to be done before we’ve addressed all the downstream effects associated with runaway consumption, New Dream’s focus on changing norms and behavior has made major strides."
We also recognize that many urgent issues—racial injustice, the climate emergency, growing inequality, and many others—hold unique importance at this time. It has become harder for New Dream to maintain programming that moves our rapidly evolving movements forward, while securing funding based on changing conditions. While we’ve long received generous support from people like you, we also recognize that now is the time to tend to urgent efforts that have never received the attention they deserve. We know that consumption and its impacts are woven into the thorny and complex problems we face, and we know they are symptoms of deeper root causes. While consumption remains an important issue, we hope that you will continue to connect the dots between the larger systemic forces behind all of these pressing challenges.
As an organization, we’ve been deeply fortunate to build and support a community of people who care so deeply about the environment and their communities, and share profound concern about the state of the world. We’ve been fortunate to receive the counsel of many wise voices as we’ve considered this decision. One friend shared with us, “Don’t think of this period as a post-mortem, but rather as a postpartum.” We're leaning into this advice. Over the past year, we’ve been busy solidifying enduring partnerships with incredible organizations that are now repurposing many of our best programs and assets. With this work in mind, we remain deeply optimistic that New Dream’s mission will live on in new and important ways.
"Over the past year, we’ve been busy solidifying enduring partnerships with incredible organizations that are now repurposing many of our best programs and assets."
While we recognize that this is sad news for many, especially amid the many challenges we’re all facing, the New Dream team remains optimistic that the work we’ve built together will continue in new and important ways. We are grateful for the efforts of the community that we’ve built together, as we’ve all worked to embrace and advance more fun, less stuff, more joy, less waste, and more of what matters. If you’d like to reach out to share a story or remembrance or connection, we'd love to hear from you. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for being a part of this community with us.
Lisa, Guinevere, Casey, Amy, and Raag
The New Dream Team
"We are grateful for the efforts of the community that we’ve built together, as we’ve all worked to embrace and advance more fun, less stuff, more joy, less waste, and more of what matters. "