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Center for a New American Dream: Wikis


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The Center for a New American Dream is a non-profit organization based in Takoma Park, Maryland, on the border of Washington, DC. A primary focus of New American Dream is promoting sustainable consumption. New American Dream’s stated mission is to “help Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice.” The organization works with individuals, institutions, communities, and businesses to conserve natural resources, counter the commercialization of the culture, and change the way goods are produced and consumed.[1]

New American Dream encourages people to “live consciously, buy wisely, and make a difference,” which it explains as follows:

"Living consciously means getting more of what really matters in life, being aware of what’s going on around you, finding balance, and having a little fun while you’re at it;
Buying wisely means becoming a positive force in the marketplace, using your purchasing power to support business practices that are safer for the environment and better for people;
Making a difference is all about making sure your citizen voices are heard, being active in your community and letting policy-makers know where you stand.”[2]

In reference to its name, the organization states that it is dedicated to helping support and nurture an American dream that upholds the spirit of the traditional dream, but with a new emphasis on sustainability and a celebration of non-material values. One of New American Dream's goals is to shift the culture from an emphasis on more to an emphasis on more of what matters.” It is up to the individual to determine what matters in his or her life, but the organization offers, by way of example, more time, nature, fairness, and fun as appropriate points of emphasis over material goods.[3]


The Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) is a national network of procurement-related professionals dedicated to socially responsible and environmentally sustainable purchasing.

Officially founded in 2005, RPN is a program staffed and managed by the Center for a New American Dream, and advised by a voluntary Steering Committee of leading procurement stakeholders from government, industry, educational institutions, standards setting organizations, and related organizations. [4]

RPN publishes guides [5] which outline the scope and impact of responsible purchasing, and provide model purchasing policies and practices. They are available online or in print. Each guide includes:
- A social and environmental issues overview - Best practices for implementing a responsible purchasing program - Model policies and specifications - Explanations of standards and certifications - A list of products meeting our recommended criteria - The latest responsible purchasing news


Carbon Conscious Consumer (C3) a national climate campaign sponsored (in 2007) by the Center for a New American Dream that challenged individuals to establish climate-friendly daily habits (that reduced their carbon footprint) and inspired their friends to do the same. Participants who most creatively and effectively spread the word won prizes. [6]

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