Unformatted text preview: d furniture and newer, less expensive furniture that substituted cheaper
materials for hardwood. Today even expensive furniture is often made from wood laminates or from softwoods
like pine rather than solid hardwoods; cheap furniture is made from pressed particle board, which is made of
small pieces of wood and sawdust bonded together by VOC-based adhesives. As a society we have accepted this
change. But will we always be able to find substitutes when we run short of natural resources?
Measures of Environmental Degradation
To measure our progress towards sustainability we need quantitative measures. Environmental
degradation is a loss of environmental capital, so we need a measure of environmental capital. Perhaps the
most useful measure in use today is the Ecosystem Wellbeing Index (EWI), which is an average of indices of
Land (L), Water (W), Air (A), Species and genes (S), and Resource Use (R). A country has a high EWI if
((Prescott-Allen 2001), p. 60):
Table 1.5: A High Ecosystem Wellbeing Index Means…...
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- Fall '14