Welcome to Our Tour of the
New Dream Puzzle

Why a New Dream?

There are many indicators that people are spending, consuming, and working too much. Credit card debt is at an all-time high, working hours have dramatically increased, stress-related diseases are at epidemic levels, and the environment is suffering as a result of our insatiable appetites for more cars, bigger houses, and endless stuff. Everyone yearns for the traditional American dream of freedom, opportunity, and material security, but many are questioning the recent highly materialistic definition of that dream. If you are one of those who wants to slow down, live in accordance with your deepest values, and have more fun with less stuff, we’re here to lend a hand.

Why a Puzzle?

They say a picture’s worth 1000 words. Few busy web surfers have the time to read 1000 words on unfamiliar topics, but they will pause to give an interesting graphic a second glance (hey, it worked on you, right?). It’s just as impossible to capture the complete scope of the Center for a New American Dream’s work in one drawing as it is to do in 1000 words, but we think the puzzle begins to demonstrate connections between various issues involved in a new American dream. Different people approach the consumption issue from different sides based on their personal experiences and interests but, as the puzzle demonstrates, all pieces must fit in place for true sustainability to be achieved. For example, individual businesses can strive to "do the right thing" but will only be successful if researchers continue to make advances in efficient and appropriate technology, governments cut polluter subsidies which allow wasteful companies to undercut their clean counterparts, and individuals and communities shift consumer demand toward green goods.

Why a Tour?

Two reasons. First, while many people know where they want to start, others don’t and we want to show those folks around. Second, the issues covered by the New Dream Puzzle are expansive and so is our site. Some people who visited our site dozens of times remarked that they still only explored a fraction of it. Our hope is that the tour will give these folks a broader view of the site, offering resources for topics they’re interested in and sparking a new interest in dimensions they hadn’t previously given much thought.

What Will I Find in the Pieces?

First a short overview of the issue and an explanation of how it relates to a new dream and the other puzzle pieces. Then we offer an interesting fact and way you can take positive action in your daily life. We also cite books and resources for further reading as well as links to related articles and our popular directory of local and national organizations working on various aspects of the new American dream. But enough talking about what you’ll see, why don’t you go find out for yourself!!

Some puzzle pieces will interest you more than others, but everyone loves to eat so let’s start the tour with the Food and Agriculture piece.

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Comments and Questions: newdream@newdream.org