We Americans pride ourselves on our individuality. But franchising, mergers and acquisitions, and the super sizing of many businesses can make Springfield, Massachusetts feel pretty similar to Springfield, Oregon.

Some argue U.S. culture has become dominated by mass retail and corporate logos. Local and regional differences, they say, are being pushed aside by car-oriented shopping strips lined with the same stores and restaurants found everywhere else? Is there room for mom and pop in a consumer economy where low prices increasingly drive most buying decisions? Has disposability trumped quality and craftsmanship?

What are your ideas for getting more >_____ by using less >_____?

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