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.

Weaving a Sustainable Future: An Interview with Gay Nicholson

by Lisa Mastny   |   October 13, 2011

The founder of Sustainable Tompkins in New York State talks about how she's helped her community lay the groundwork for sustainability.

The Company That Wants You to Buy Less

by Wen Lee   |   October 11, 2011

Patagonia is asking customers to buy less and buy used—something that flies in the face of everything we know about commercial business.

The “Gendering” of Our Kids’ Toys, and What We Can Do About It

by Elizabeth Sweet   |   October 7, 2011

On a quest to find a gender-neutral toy for her daughter, an inquisitive mother delves into the magical history of pink and blue branding.

Power Tools to the People: BORROW THIS IDEA

by Jason M. Hatch   |   October 4, 2011

The founder of Oregon's first tool library describes how he borrowed an idea and created a real resource for his neighborhood.

Bikes, E-Waste, Petlessness, Oh My! Reflections from Portland

by Erik Assadourian   |   September 30, 2011

This week I had the opportunity to visit Portland, and it was refreshing to see so many efforts to grow a sustainable culture wafting out of the Rose City. There were some scary trends oozing out from there as well. But let’s start with the positive:

"Our American Dream": Traveling Families Live Outside the Box

by Lisa Mastny   |   September 29, 2011

A group of nomadic bloggers inspires us to think beyond the white picket fence and to forge our own paths and destinies.

Artist Critiques Social Norms and Our Consumer Culture

by Lisa Mastny   |   September 26, 2011

Undermining the status quo with provocative artwork and a healthy dose of wit and humor.

Calculating the Savings in Growing Your Own Food

by Dawn Handschuh   |   September 22, 2011

Growing our own food offers multiple benefits—for our health, our taste buds, and our pocketbook. So how much money are we actually saving?

Fostering Connection and Community Through Resilience Circles

by Luka Carfagna and Emilie Dubois   |   September 7, 2011

Two Boston graduate students are building community and increasing their personal security through participation in a local Resilience Circle.

Copia: Snapshots of Consumer Culture

by Wen Lee   |   September 7, 2011

How much do we shop? And what is it doing to us? Photographer Brian Ulrich explores these questions in a new series.

Finding Our Way Out of the Sprawl: An Interview with Mark Valentine

by Lisa Mastny   |   September 7, 2011

A sustainability consultant talks about the livability challenges facing U.S. communities today and the glimmers of hope he sees around the country.

Are You Being Frugal, or Just Plain Cheap?

by Dale S. Brown   |   September 2, 2011

In today’s society, frugality can lead to accusations of “cheapness.” But there’s an important difference.

New Infographic Shows Our "Hyper Consumption"

by Lisa Mastny   |   August 19, 2011

One of the root causes of our environmental problems is hyper consumption. We simply buy too much of what we don't really need.

Sailing Simplicity: My American Dream

by Lisa Mastny   |   August 17, 2011

In 2008, Teresa Carey left her job, sold many of her belongings, and moved aboard a 27-foot sailboat to pursue her dream of simpler living.

Work Sharing: The Quick Route Back to Full Employment

by Lisa Mastny   |   August 15, 2011

In the current economic climate, work sharing may be the most effective way to avoid many layoffs and quickly return the economy to full employment.