Post-Materialism is "value orientation that emphasizes self-expression and quality of life over economic and physical security. The term postmaterialism was first coined by American social scientist Ronald Inglehart in The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles Among Western Publics."

"Over the last 20 years," writes journalist Dave Lindorff, "America has degenerated into a nation of consumers, with 72 percent of Gross Domestic Product (sic) now being accounted for by consumer spending?most of it going for things that are produced overseas and shipped here. That is not an economic model that is sustainable."

As a result, we are being dragged kicking and screaming into an age of post-materialism. But it?s the greatest gift we can give ourselves, our planet, and the future. Looking forward, Al Fritsch, director of Earth Healing, has written about "Fifty Possible Ways to Challenge Over-Commercialism." For example, turning blacktop into garden. "The challenge," says Fritsch, "is to turn urban areas or recreation space into productive gardens. Raised beds allow for intensive gardening and the foliage overlapping walkways during the summer productive season. These raised beds should be organic (no commercial chemical pesticides or fertilizers) and yielding high quality crops that can be consumed right at home. Interplanting with flowers add color, protect from certain pests, and attract bees, butterflies and curious neighbors."

Lindorff concludes: "What we are now seeing is the beginning of an inevitable downward adjustment in American living standards to conform with our actual place in the world."