We are what we measure.   It's time to measure what we want to be.

Key term: Economy

Economy: the way that goods and services are produced, distributed and consumed.

The word economy comes from two Greek words meaning 'house' and 'manage.' Economics is about how we manage our households, both our individual households and our collective community 'households.' People need material goods to survive: food, water, energy, a place to live, and clothes to wear. These goods are all based on resources from the natural environment in which we live. However, for many people, 'economy' is a complex topic related to money. Newspaper, radio and TV reports reinforce the idea that understanding the economy requires special training: 'The economy grew at nearly a 6% annual rate in the first quarter, fueled mainly by consumer spending; growth in real gross domestic product may top 1% this month.' This sounds impressive, but it leaves us wondering, 'How does an economy grow? What is real gross domestic product? Does this affect me and my family?' The technical jargon of economics obscures the fact that most people actually do understand the basic meaning of 'economy,' and also understand that the economy is tightly connected to society and to the environment.

So, in the context of sustainability, economics is about the material goods and services that we use in our lives-from basic necessities to the special 'extras' that make life more enjoyable.