Elegant Simplicity: The Art of Living Well is a beautifully written book on the art of living well, by ecological writer and former Jain monk Satish Kumar. All of his books are lovely (check out Spiritual Compass). He asks us to consume less and live more, for inner peace and ecological integrity. This is the guide for anyone who wants to get off the treadmill of consumption.
If you believe that ‘going green’ means buying lots of new gadgets, this is the opposite. This is more a book on the spiritual reasons to go green. It’s a lovely read, beautifully written yet simple to absorb. Satish ran away from the monastery as a young man and toured the world as a ‘peace pilgrim’ with Gandhi’s successor, to spread the message of peace and simple living. He eventually settled in Devon after marriage to edit Resurgence magazine. He was also involved in setting up Schumacher College and a small school.
Satish’s son Mukti Mitchell is continuing the carry the baton. After sailing around the British Isles on his self-built solar-powered boat, today he is one of the world’s experts on how to reduce your carbon footprint, and runs the world’s best free carbon calculator (go through these tips, then watch your energy company phone up to find out why your bills are so low!)