From Kumarappa's writings

On the virtues of a natural life
If we have to utilise as food the nutritious elements found in nature, we may get gur from palm trees that grow wild on uncultivable lands and obtain the whole benefit of the sap, minus the water which it contains, along with the sugar in a digestible form, and various minerals and salts. But man, in his anxiety to use his knowledge, puts up sugar mills, converts good lands, which may be used for cultivation of cereals, into sugar-cane growing lands and then the sugar-cane is converted into sugar, wasting the bulk of the minerals and salts in the molasses, which are thrown out as unfit for human consumption and from which he prepares rum and gin to poison the people.

On natural resource use
The land we draw our sustenance from, the water, sunlight, air and the rest of the physical world claim our attention and regard while we strive to satisfy our needs. If we fail to consider these factors, nature will retaliate with violence in the form of pain, disease and death. Taking all these factors into consideration, man has to pick his way through skilfully, so as to obtain the greatest benefit to himself with the least harm to others and the minimum disturbance of the natural order.

On recycling
A scientific use of resources should mean that we get the fullest benefit out of what we find around us. Man, in his eagerness to use mechanical devices, is often irrational in the utilisation of resources. For instance, if paper is to be made out of bamboo by the simple hand process, we do not use bamboos cut fresh from the forest. The bamboos in the forest, when they are first cut, are used in various ways, for roofing, for being made into mats, sieves, baskets and other household articles and then, when they have served their term as such, the broken and used up bamboo pieces are converted into pulp and paper is made from it.

On forest management
The government will have to radically revise its policy of maintaining forests. Forest management should be guided, not by considerations of revenue but by the needs of the people... Forest planning must be based on the requirements of the villagers around. Forests should be divided into two main classes: 1) those supplying timber to be planned from the long range point of view, and 2) those supplying fuel and grasses, to be made available to the public either free of cost or at nominal rates.