One of the articles in Business On A Small Planet (IC#41)
Originally published in Summer 1995 on page 57
Copyright (c)1995, 1997 by Context Institute

Dorothy N. Andersen, Editor
Tom Paine Institute Publishers, Tucson, AZ, 1993
204 pp., $10 + $2 shipping (paper).
To order, write: 467 River Rd. Eugene, OR 97404

This is an inspiring, thought-provoking, and conscience-prodding collection of 10 autobiographical sketches of people who have taken "voluntary simplicity" to levels previously beyond my imagining.

  • Example: Charles Gray, who writes about "The World Equity Budget or Living on about $142 per Month," the amount of money he estimates that each person would have if the world’s income were equally distributed.
  • Example: Ken and Peg Champney, who raised five children and two foster children while keeping their income below taxable level by giving away all their earnings above that amount.

Such lifestyles aren’t for everybody (and probably aren’t for me), but reading about them has definitely enlarged my sense of what’s possible – and, more to the point, of what it means to live a life consistent with one’s values.

– Jill Bamburg


Griesinger Films,
Gates Mills, OH, 1994,
3-video set, $69.95 (incl. shipping)

These three videos express well the fundamental concepts of sustainability in the language of economics. Well-known authors, scholars, and scientists capture the revolution in thinking that is reinventing economics.

– Diane Gilman

HOMEMADE MONEY: How to Save Energy and Dollars in Your Home

by Richard Heede and the staff of Rocky Mountain Institute

Brick House Publishing Company, Amherst, MA, 1995
258 pp., resource listings, $14.95 (paper)

This easy-to-use book leaves no excuse not to save money while acting more sustainably. Sprinkled with pithy and sometimes astounding quotes and facts, like: "All the televisions in the US, when turned to the ‘off’ position, use the equivalent in output of one Chernobyl-sized powerplant" – this practical guide provides the nitty-gritty details to help you dramatically reduce energy costs in your home.

-Kathryn True

A HIGHER STANDARD OF LEADERSHIP: Lessons from the Life of Gandhi

by Keshavan Nair

Berrett-Koehler Publishers
San Francisco, 1994
151 pp., $21.95 (hardback)

In today’s world, all too often characterized by leaders intent on power and wealth, Nair offers a pragmatic framework for leadership based on the concepts Gandhi exemplified:

  • Service is the purpose of leadership.
  • Moral principles must be the basis of goals decisions and stratagems.
  • A single standard of conduct needs to be employed in both public and private life.

Nair advances the essence of a true standard of leadership, one that begins with the moral and spiritual dimension. I found myself wiggling uncomfortably in my seat, for instance, as I understood more clearly the full consequences of nonviolence. It demands action; it is not just refraining from abusive, violent behavior. It requires work against all forms of exploitation – protecting the environment, assisting the less fortunate, putting an end to any form of discrimination.

This book can be a blueprint for the future leaders of the world.

– Gay-Wynn Cooper


by John Gastil

New Society Publishers,
Philadelphia, PA, 1993
213 pp., $14.95 (paper)

John Gastil defines and demystifyies democracy through examples and practices of what living democracy is, how to nurture it and allow it to flourish. This book is especially for those aspiring to organize, build, or restructure.

Gastil walks the reader through the evolution, challenges, pitfalls, and creative steps needed to bring democratic organizations to life.

– Ed Cooper

BRINGING THE WORLD ALIVE, A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children

The Orion Society, 136 East 64th Street, NY, 1995
42 pp., $6 (paper)

This book is an annotated bibliography of 115 children’s books that present ecological information in ways that children can relate to and appreciate. There is a particular focus on books for younger children (ages 3-8) and on books that present optimistic visions for the future of people and the planet – a useful antidote to the daily news about the current generation of grownups.

-Jill Bamburg

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