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(Relinquishing) My Quest for the Best Feast Ever

My Arab Muslim family was all about Thanksgiving. We hosted friends at a huge feast at our home almost every year, quite possibly the most American of all our family meals (though my mother’s couscous stuffing is like no other!). Our home was full of delicious smells and laughter. My first Thank...

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The No Meals Out Challenge

As a graduate student, I’ve been living on a limited income. In addition to trying to cut down more than usual on the extras like new clothes, expanding my library, and taking unnecessary road trips, I recently challenged myself to a “No Meals Out” two weeks. Now, to many people—especially those ...

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Tags: Eating on a budget, Eating out, Home cooking
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Much Ado About Buy Nothing Day

The recent Take Action newsletter, Buy Nothing Day: Because Spending Won't Rescue the Economy has stirred up a lot of reader response, to which we reply, "Great!" It's wonderful to hear from all you New Dreamers out there, however closely your opinions match those expressed in our newsletter. Re...

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No Reason To Wait

As winter approaches, all of us start thinking about the holidays. How can we help it? We are struck daily by a marketing blizzard. Luckily, this time of year doesn’t stress me out too much. My parents were never much the holiday hubbub since my mom comes from a culture that doesn’t celebrate col...

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Tags: Family traditions, Gifts, Holidays
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New Dream Bumper Sticker and Simple Lifestyle Make Nightly News

Living simply is in the news in Portland, Maine--along with New Dreamer Nancy Artz. Nancy, who is a professor of consumer behavior at the Business University of Southern Maine, appeared with her husband on a local news segment to talk about their simple, green lifestyle.

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Tags: Green lifestyle, Living simply, New dreamer tips, Reduce carbon footprint
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The Key is to Reduce

One of the ideas we stress here at The Center for the New American Dream is being a responsible consumer - someone who thinks critically about the full impact of what they are purchasing. The drawing above illustrates this principle by actually ranking the three R's - reduce, reuse, and recycle. ...

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Tags: Consumption, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
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The Universal Language of Slow Food

Like many socially conscious Americans, I’ve had my fair share of qualms with the celebration of Thanksgiving. It’s been a struggle to find meaning in an historic event that represents the birth of American imperialism and hubris, commemorated in a day that’s become largely associated with consum...

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Tags: Food activism, Slow food, Thanksgiving
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Volunteering and the Subtle Economy: Promises of Connectedness

Acquiring stuff doesn't make you as happy as it promises it will...so what to do with that urge to shop? As the holiday machine gears up for another shopping season, it's fairly easy to decode the messages all around: buy buy buy. Embedded within the advertisement for a new watch, the latest com...

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Forget commercialism! The new realities of consumption and the economy.

Further analysis of the financial crisis by Dr. Juliet Schor Spending our way to prosperity? Not this time around. As a "New Dream" economist, I am asked all the time: won't consuming less hurt the economy? When there's less spending, people get laid off, their incomes fall and businesses, espe...

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Before Eggnog: Holiday highs, lows, and the simple path in between

Holiday shopping may appeal to your instincts, but you can don't have to obey. It's begun. The local drugstore is my gauge for the passage of the retail seasons: during the "Valentine season" (which seems to get longer and more elaborate every year), motion-activated stuffed bears wave their arm...

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Tags: Advertising, Holiday budget, Mall, Psychology, Shopping
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