The Center for a New American Dream: More of What Matters
October 2011

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Dear Friends,

This month, we feature two innovations from the U.S. west coast: Patagonia's Common Threads Initiative and the North Portland Tool Library. We also talk with the founder of a successful local sustainability group in New York State and feature new research about the "gendering" of kids' toys. Enjoy the latest issue of In Balance!

—The New Dream team



The Company That Wants You to Buy Less

In a new initiative, outdoor apparel company Patagonia is encouraging customers to buy its products used before purchasing them new. Is it possible for a company to be environmentally responsible and still make a profit? Patagonia thinks so.

Power Tools to the People: BORROW THIS IDEA

Jason Hatch tells the story of how he borrowed a great idea from Berkeley, CA and started the first tool library in Portland, OR. Today, the North Portland Tool Library has more than 2,500 registered members, hundreds of tools, and service to all North Portland neighborhoods.

The "Gendering" of Kids' Toys, and What We Can Do About It

As gender relations continue to move toward a more egalitarian end, why do toys seem to be moving in the opposite direction? Elizabeth Sweet looks at how children’s toys have changed over the past century, and tries to find a toy for her daughter that isn’t pink.

Weaving a Sustainable Future: An Interview with Gay Nicholson

The founder of Sustainable Tompkins in New York's Finger Lakes region talks about how she's helped her community lay the groundwork for the transition to a resilient local economy, healthy environment, and strong social fabric.

Arts & Culture Corner: Critiquing Our Consumer Culture


Chicago-based artist Mary Ellen Croteau uses bottle caps, plastic bags, and other everyday trash to make beautiful artwork—and a statement about our consumer habits.

New Dream Web Roundup: Popular Stories from the Month

Calculating the Savings in Growing Your Own Food

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

VIDEO: Collaborative Consumption Groundswell

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