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

Living in Interesting Times

The Great Depression has been mentioned a lot recently – Google searches on the subject have risen sharply in the past couple months. The Depression and its Black Tuesday – October 29, 1929, the day of the stock market crash that signaled the beginning of the economic downturn that was to last ov...

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Tags: Great depression, History, Population cohort, Recession, September 11

Frugal Treasure Hunters Furnish Apartment

by Guest Contributor Shaun Randol, originally published in the Queens Tribune [gallery] Sarah and I have been living in New York for two years now, albeit in university housing. As such, we had no need for the goods of everyday American living—standard furnishings like bed, dresser and microwav...

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Tags: Apartments, Frugal living, Furnishings, Recycle, Reuse, Savings

The Economic Crisis Diet

As you may have read in the recent post about the green economy, there is a growing movement dedicated to finding solutions that address the economic and environmental crises simultaneously. We recently came across this great blog post that proposed a number of actions you can take as an individu...

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Tags: Economy

The Green Economy: Win-Win Rather Than Either/Or

In uncertain times we tend to be more conservative, harking back to earlier recessions for tried and true remedies, or speaking in terms of limitation and tightening our belts. While these approaches may be valuable to our country right now, it's nice to know that sometimes the government need ...

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Tags: Economy, Green jobs, History

The total package: waste and saving money

Anyone who has ever felt a thrill at opening a nicely-wrapped gift can attest that there is an emotional appeal in packaging. Manufacturers of luxury products like perfume employ expensive packaging that may be a larger volume than the product it encases, all to evoke the lavishness of the scent ...

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Tags: Europe packaging, European waste policy, International trash

Melting Down and Sinking into Debt

An analysis of the financial crisis by Dr. Juliet Schor With the financial system in a meltdown, the underlying economy in recession (or worse), the American Dream is in even more in jeopardy than usual. Millions of Americans are wondering who caused this disaster, what does it say about the rol...

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Tags: Debt, Economic crisis

Bottled water has contaminants too, researchers say

The label may picture a pristine mountain stream or a bubbling spring, but bottled water's squeaky-clean image doesn't show the big picture: the contaminants that may be hidden in every swig. A two-year study by the Washington-based Environmental Working Group, an organization founded by scientis...

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Tags: Water contaminants, Water preservation, Water quality

No Impact Man and the Economy

The blogger known as No Impact Man posted an interesting explanation of the current economic situation. Here's an excerpt: But if our lives were more anchored in the other relationships, perhaps we would have less to be frightened of. What if our food and healthcare came locally, from our commun...

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Tags: Community, Economic policy, No impact man

On the Subject of Sacrifice

From the perspective of New American Dream, a particular moment stood out in Tuesday's second presidential debate. (Of course, several moments may have stood out for viewers, but for present purposes I am looking solely through the lens of New Dream's mission and message.) One of the questions f...

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