The New Dream Blog

In our blog, we feature stories, tips, and commentary from contributors around the world on topics ranging from
consumerism and parenting to how to live a fuller life with less. Enjoy!

Interested in contributing a guest post? Please review our submission guidelines.

Marketing CPG: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

by Emily Canan   |   May 2, 2016

The Center for the New American Dream believes that the American Dream is re-emphasizing its focus to “more of what really matters, such as creating a meaningful life, contributing to community and society, valuing nature, and spending time with family and friends.”

Five Meaningful Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

by Edna Rienzi   |   April 28, 2016

It’s not always easy to come up with a meaningful gift to show our moms how much they mean to us. Here are five gift ideas they're sure to love.

My Year of Buying Nothing New: 4-Month Update

by Julie Fathy   |   April 25, 2016

Colorado mom Julie Fathy has found joy in a different kind of life—one with less stuff.

Living the Dream: Brooke Moore, Minimalist and No-Regrets Purger of "Stuff

by Edna Rienzi   |   March 25, 2016

A few trips to drop off stuff at her local thrift store became the first steps in what would become a beautiful journey to minimalist living.

In Defense of Screen-Free Week

by Edna Rienzi   |   March 25, 2016

Some have called it "unrealistic," but Screen-Free Week can serve as an important opportunity for families to kick-start new habits.

How a Group of Kids Bagged the Disposable Bag in Boulder, Colorado

by Kate Bailey and Kate Nelson   |   March 17, 2016

What decades of education and outreach couldn’t accomplish, a group of high school students could.

Six Ways to Make Sure Your Wedding Has a Positive Impact

by Caitlin Frauton   |   March 16, 2016

Looking for some ways to have an eco-friendly wedding? Caitlin Frauton from DIY Wedding Mentor shares six tips to help you throw a meaningful celebration that positively impacts the environment and your community.

Why the Toys You Choose Matter: 6 Tips for Combating Commercialism and Encouraging Creative Play

by Edna Rienzi   |   February 29, 2016

Choosing toys and accessories carefully for your children can help them grow up to become smart consumers.

Why Gift At All? Top 3 Reasons Why People Should Still Use Registries

by Edna Rienzi   |   February 25, 2016

A few years ago, when the New Dream staff started tossing around the idea of creating an alternative gift registry, we weren’t all on board. Most of us had an “ick” sort of feeling when it came to registries. Traditional registries can sometimes come across as a bit tacky or even greedy. Plus, New Dream is an organization dedicated to shifting the ways that people consume—so why were we jumping into an industry dominated by big-box stores hawking more stuff? Wouldn’t we be encouraging people to create more waste and clutter? Read on to learn the top three reasons we were convinced that registries (and gifting) are still important.

Bangor Daily News: Our Problem With Stuff

by Mark W. Anderson   |   February 24, 2016

Boston College sociologist Juliet Schor explores the issue of stuff in our industrial society; her work among that of others spawned the Center for a New American Dream. 

Building a More Connected Community, One Hour at a Time

by Mary Murphy   |   February 22, 2016

At just one year old, the Silver Spring Timebank is already a proven leader in organizing community sharing events.

Living the Dream: Bea Johnson, Zero Waste Guru

by Edna Rienzi   |   February 22, 2016

Bea inspires a growing community to live simply and take a stance against needless waste.

Real Celebration: Emet’s Meaningful Coming of Age Story

by Edna Rienzi   |   February 3, 2016

In the Real Celebrations series, SoKind asks registry users to share a bit about their celebrations. Read about how one family used SoKind to provide long-distance family and friends the opportunity to not only participate in their son's Bar Mitzvah, but to also express themselves through their gifts.

Living the Dream: Evita Ochel, Consciousness Expansion Teacher

by Edna Rienzi   |   January 28, 2016

Evita talks about her work to help people optimize their well-being on all levels of the body, mind, and spirit.

Why Give Up Chocolate for Lent When You Can Give Up Plastic?

by Carol Janus   |   January 28, 2016

It may seem impossible to stop using plastic. But with perseverance and a little creativity, it can be done.