Environment Quotes

Over 1,000 quotes on environmentalism, simple living, sustainability and more to inspire, and illustrate your values, via SustainableBabySteps.com

The environment quotes on this page are a collection of my favorite green or simple living quotes. Many of them can be found scattered around the site; some of them are only found on this page.

Some of them may not seem like green quotes at all, but when viewed through the big picture, they all contribute to the message of this site: simple and sustainable living.

Use these links to jump down the page or simply scroll down to view all the green living quotes on this page:

Caring for the Environment Quotes

These environment quotes are some of the most popular or most profound. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to. - Terri Swearingen

  • One planet, one experiment. - Edward O. Wilson

  • The proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it. - Barry Commoner

  • The fate of the living planet is the most important issue facing mankind. - Gaylord Nelson

  • Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man. - Stewart Udall

  • I feel more confident than ever that the power to save the planet rests with the individual consumer. - Denis Hayes

  • You know what happens when windmills collapse into the sea? A splash. - Bill Maher

You know what happens when windmills collapse into the sea? A splash. - Bill Maher (Find more green quotes on SustainableBabySteps.com)

The sun is the only safe nuclear reactor, situated as it is some ninety-three million miles away. - Stephanie Mills (Find more green quotes on SustainableBabySteps.com)

  • The sun is the only safe nuclear reactor, situated as it is some ninety-three million miles away. - Stephanie Mills

  • Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. - Aldo Leopold

  • What is the use of a house if you don't have a decent planet to put it on? - Henry David Thoreau

  • I conceive that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless numbers are still unborn. - Nigerian Chief

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. - Albert Einstein

  • Waste not the smallest thing created, for grains of sand make mountains, and atomies infinity. - E. Knight

  • If we go on using the Earth uncaringly and without replenishing it, then we are just greedy consumers. - Satish Kumar

  • Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

  • If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down. - Jack Handey

  • Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. - Carl Sagan

  • When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. - John Muir

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. - John Muir (Find more green quotes on SustainableBabySteps.com)

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river. - Ross Perot (Find more green quotes on SustainableBabySteps.com)

  • The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river. - Ross Perot

  • The supreme reality of our time is ...the vulnerability of our planet. - John F. Kennedy

  • The battle we have fought, and are still fighting, for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong. - John Muir

  • We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. - Aldo Leopold

  • You have to hold yourself accountable for your actions, and that's how we're going to protect the Earth. - Julia Butterfly Hill

  • Out of all those millions and millions of planets floating around there in space, this is our planet, this is our little one, so we just got to be aware of it and take care of it. - Paul McCartney

  • The best friend of earth of man is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources on the earth. - Frank Lloyd Wright

  • A person who cares about the earth will resonate with its purity. - Sally Fox

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. - Franklin D Roosevelt #eco (Find more green quotes on SustainableBabySteps.com)

  • A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • No issue is more compelling than the air we breathe, be it hot or cold, be it hawk or human. - Jack Nicholson

  • It was not until we saw the picture of the earth, from the moon, that we realized how small and how helpless this planet is - something that we must hold in our arms and care for. - Margaret Mead

  • The frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives. - Chinese Proverb

  • When we realize we can make a buck cleaning up the environment, it will be done! - Dennis Weaver

  • Everyone who considers themselves a realist will be forced to justify their behavior in light of their contribution toward the preservation of the environment. - Ernst von Weizacker

Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man. - Stewart Udall

  • Sustainability requires maintaining life-supporting natural capital in order for our socioeconomic goals to be met. - Warren Flint

  • The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. - Rachel Carson

  • Where the quality of life goes down for the environment, the quality of life goes down for humans. - George Holland

  • The ecological crisis is doing what no other crisis in history has ever done -- challenging us to a realization of a new humanity. - Jean Houston

  • What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another. - Gandhi

  • Only to the white man was nature a 'wilderness'. - Luther Standing Bear

  • Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the people of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. - Chief Seattle

  • We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. - Thomas Fuller

  • Man maketh a death which Nature never made. - Edward Young

  • For 200 years we've been conquering Nature. Now we're beating it to death. - Tom McMillan

  • We've embarked on the beginning of the last days of the age of oil. - Mike Bowlin, Chairman, ARCO

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river. - Ross Perot (Find more green quotes on SustainableBabySteps.com)

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river. - Ross Perot (Find more green quotes on SustainableBabySteps.com)

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
- HG Wells

  • The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • You could cover the whole earth with asphalt, but sooner or later green grass would break through. - Ilya Ehrenburg

  • When the soil disappears, the soul disappears. - Ymber Delecto

  • The rose has thorns only for those who would gather it. - Chinese Proverb

  • The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too. - Luther Standing Bear

  • They kill good trees to put out bad newspapers. - James G. Watt

  • There's so much pollution in the air now that if it weren't for our lungs there'd be no place to put it all. - Robert Orben

The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun. - Ralph Nader

  • When a man throws an empty cigarette package from an automobile, he is liable to a fine of $50. When a man throws a billboard across a view, he is richly rewarded. - Pat Brown

  • In America today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see, and nobody calls the cops. - Paul Brooks

  • I have no doubt that we will be successful in harnessing the sun's energy... If sunbeams were weapons of war, we would have had solar energy centuries ago. - Sir George Porter

  • We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. - Aldo Leopold

  • The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future. - Marya Mannes

Till now man has been up against Nature; from now on he will be up against his own nature. - Dennis Gabor

  • When a man says to me, "I have the intensest love of nature," at once I know that he has none. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life? - Charles A. Lindbergh

  • It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

  • We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them. We say we love trees, yet we cut them down. And people still wonder why some are afraid when told they are loved. - Unknown

  • Understanding the laws of nature does not mean that we are immune to their operations. - David Gerrold

  • Nature's laws affirm instead of prohibit. If you violate her laws you are your own prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and hangman. - Luther Burbank

  • Dig a trench through a landfill and you will see layers of phone books like geographical strata or layers of cake.... During a recent landfill dig in Phoenix, I found newspapers dating from 1952 that looked so fresh you might read one over breakfast. - William Rathje

The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition. - Carl Sagan

  • It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. - Rachel Carson

  • God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the west... keeping the world in chains. If [our nation] took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts. - Mahatma Gandhi

  • Man is a complex being: he makes deserts bloom - and lakes die. - Gil Stern

  • Humanity is on the march, earth itself is left behind. - David Ehrenfeld

  • Human destiny is bound to remain a gamble, because at some unpredictable time and in some unforeseeable manner nature will strike back. - Rene Dubos

  • Waste is a tax on the whole people. - Albert W. Atwood

  • Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day. - Anton Chekhov

...most of the damage we cause to the planet is the result of our own ignorance. - Yvon Chouinard

  • A margin of life is developed by Nature for all living things - including man. All life forms obey Nature's demands - except man, who has found ways of ignoring them. - Eugene M. Poirot

  • For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death. - Rachel Carson

  • The global environment crisis is, as we say in Tennessee, real as rain, and I cannot stand the thought of leaving my children with a degraded earth and a diminished future. - Al Gore

  • Contrary to the ecologists, nature does not stand still and does not maintain the kind of equilibrium that guarantees the survival of any particular species - least of all the survival of her greatest and most fragile product: man. - Ayn Rand

  • In looking at waste as an entirely modern, man-made idea, I stopped viewing garbage as garbage and instead slowly started to see it as a commodity. - Tom Szaky

  • A way of life that ever more rapidly depletes the power of the Earth to sustain it and piles up ever more insoluble problems for each succeeding generation can only be called violent. - E. F. Schumacher


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Appreciating Nature and the Environment Quotes

What good is taking about Nature if we don't take the time to appreciate the environment? Quotes like these are just a simple reminder of why it all matters.

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. - John Burroughs

  • There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before. - Robert Lyn

  • It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature. - Henry David Thoreau

  • Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can never learn from books. - John Lubbock

  • The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too. - Chief Luther Standing Bear

  • Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it. - Henry David Thoreau

Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites. - William Ruckelshaus

  • That each day I may walk unceasingly on the banks of my water, that my soul may repose on the branches of the trees which I planted. - Egyptian tomb inscription

  • Nature always strikes back. It takes all the running we can do to remain in the same place. - Rene Dubos

  • Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you'll find it there. - Robb Sagendorph

  • The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. - Galileo

  • Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, as vital to our lives as water and good bread. - Edward Abbey

We can never have enough of Nature. - Henry David Thoreau

  • All I want is to stand in a field and to smell green, to taste air, to feel the earth want me, without all this concrete hating me. - Phillip Pulfrey

  • Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction. - Dr. Edward O. Wilson

  • I have no other wish than a close fusion with nature and I desire no other fate than to have worked and lived in harmony with her laws. - Claud Monet

  • We should judge every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity. - E.O. Wilson

  • You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters. - St. Bernard

The natural environment sustains the life of all beings universally. - Dalai Lama

  • An act of violence against nature should be judged as severely as that against society or another person. - Dr.Michael W.Fox

  • I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait 'til oil and coal run out before we tackle that. - Thomas Edison

  • You forget that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, "What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?" - Rachel Carson

  • I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. - E.B. White

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together. All things connect.
- Chief Seattle, 1855

  • Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values.... God made life simple. It is man who complicates it. - Charles A. Lindbergh

  • Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another. - Juvenal

  • Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so called scientific knowledge. - Thomas Edison

  • There is no drop of water in the ocean, not even in the deepest parts of the abyss, that does not know and respond to the mysterious forces that create the tide. - Rachel Carson

  • To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival. - Wendell Berry

He that plants trees loves others beside himself. - Thomas Fuller

  • Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. - Francis Bacon

  • The earth is what we all have in common. - Wendell Berry

  • Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. - Standing Bear

  • I do not see a delegation for the four-footed. I see no seat for the eagles. We forget and we consider ourselves superior. - Chief Oren Lyons

  • Those who love and free nature are never alone. - Rachel Carson


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Simple Living and the Environment Quotes

Simple living is all about slowing down, enjoying life and foregoing consumerism; a perfect match for caring for the environment. Quotes about simple living are some of my favorite reminders.

Freedom is the greatest fruit of self-sufficiency.
- Epicurus

  • Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. - Mohandas Gandhi

  • Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life. - Michael Leboeuf

  • After a visit to the beach, it's hard to believe that we live in a material world. - Pam Shaw

  • Home is an invention on which no one has yet improved. - Ann Douglas

  • You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. - Kahlil Gibran

It is the sweet, simple things of life which are
the real ones after all.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder

  • The purpose of life is a life of purpose. - Robert Byrne

  • Live simply that others might simply live. - Ghandi

  • Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter. - D.H. Mondfleur

  • You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy. - Eric Hoffer

There must be more to life than having everything!
- Maurice Sendak

  • Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends...Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. - Henry David Thoreau

  • Simplicity is the nature of great souls. - Papa Ramadas

  • Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. - Confucius

  • You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need. - Vernon Howard

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
- Leonardo da Vinci

  • Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. - Albert Einstein

  • The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. - Hans Hofmann

  • The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed - it is a process of elimination. - Elbert Hubbard

  • The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. - Doris Janzen Longacre

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
- Henry David Thoreau

  • The simplest things are often the truest. - Richard Bach

  • Simply the thing that I am shall make me live. - William Shakespeare

  • Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. - Lao Tzu

  • Reducing our levels of consumption will not be a sacrifice but a bonus if we simply redefine the meaning of the word 'success.' - David Wann

The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple.
- Doris Janzen Longacre

  • He who knows he has enough is rich. - Lao Tzu

  • There is no way to re-enchant our lives in a disenchanted culture except by becoming renegades from that culture and planting the seeds for a new one. - Thomas Moore

  • We have to cultivate contentment with what we have. We really don't need much. When you know this, the mind settles down. Cultivate generosity. Delight in giving. Learn to live lightly. In this way, we can begin to transform what is negative into what is positive. This is how we start to grow up. - Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

  • There is a great need for the introduction of new values in our society, where bigger is not necessarily better, where slower can be faster, and where less can be more. - Gaylord Nelson

  • My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants. - J. Brotherton

  • In our rich consumers' civilization we spin cocoons around ourselves and get possessed by our possessions. - Max Lerner

  • Happiness consists, not in possessing much, but in being content with what we possess. He who wants little always has enough. - Zimmermann

Our life is frittered away by detail...
Simplify, simplify, simplify!
Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.
- Henry Thoreau



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Taking Action for the Environment Quotes

These environment quotes are all about staying motivated, acting more than talking and continuing to move forward in our efforts, despite adversity.

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.
- Peter Marshall

  • A life without cause is a life without effect. - Barbarella

  • People will always try to stop you from doing the right thing if it is unconventional. - Warren Buffett

  • All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke

  • The probability that we will fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. - Abraham Lincoln

  • There is a difference between saying that change is hard to achieve and saying that the average person will never do anything. One is a challenge, and the other is a cause for despair - Unknown

If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed.
- Chinese Proverb

  • They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

  • Be content to act, and leave the talking to others. - Baltasar Gracian

  • When deeds speak, words are nothing. - African Proverb

  • Action is the antidote to despair. - Joan Baez

  • Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action. - Walter Anderson

  • An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied. - Arnold Glasow

Well done is better than well said.
- Benjamin Franklin

  • Don't find fault. Find a remedy. - Henry Ford

  • I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts. - John Locke

  • Never mistake motion for action. - Ernest Hemingway

  • Talk doesn't cook rice. - Chinese Proverb

  • Nobody did a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. - Edmund Burke

  • Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. - William James

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead

  • Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

  • As we grow older we should become not less radical but more so. - Margaret Laurence

  • One person can make all the difference in the world. For the first time in recorded human history, we have the fate of the whole planet in our hands. - Chrissie Hynde

  • If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. - Chinese Proverb
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Inspirational Environment Quotes

We all need a few less depressing doomsday messages and a lot more inspiring motivation. These environment quotes are meant to uplift and inspire you, as well as inspire you to inspire others!

I'm not an environmentalist. I'm an Earth warrior.
- Darryl Cherney

  • People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing. - Dale Carnegie

  • Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame. - Henry David Thoreau

  • Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. - Albert Einstein

  • What we do flows from who we are. - Paul Vitale

  • Fall seven times, stand up eight. - Japanese proverb

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
- Albert Einstein

  • We share the earth not only with our fellow human beings, but with all the other creatures. - The Dalai Lama

  • Those who love and free nature are never alone. - Rachel Carson

  • And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. - William Shakespeare

  • A person who cares about the earth will resonate with its purity. - Sally Fox

  • Put a grain of boldness into everything you do. - Baltasar Gracian

Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you reach your destiny.
- Carl Schurz

  • There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet. - Brooke Medicine Eagle

  • We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. - Native American Proverb

  • Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. - Albert Einstein

  • I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. - John Muir

  • How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. - Anne Frank

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
- William James

  • I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. - Mother Teresa

  • I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. - Edward Everett Hale

  • How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world. - William Shakespeare

  • Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. - Horace Mann

If I thought I was going to die tomorrow, I should nevertheless plant a tree today.
- Stephan Girard

  • If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it. - Lucy Larcom

  • My life is my message. - Mahatma Ghandi

  • The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • You can't lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself. - Gene Mauch

  • Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. - Mother Teresa

Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.
- Edwin Hubbel Chapin

  • Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. - Ayn Rand

  • The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • One person can make a difference, and everyone should try. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

  • Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good action; try to use ordinary situations. - Jean Paul Richter

  • Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Out of clutter...find simplicity. From discord...find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. - Albert Einstein





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Spirituality, Religion and the Environment Quotes

These environment quotes have been taken from the article Religion and the Environment. They tie numerous religions to their environmental messages, despite ideas to the contrary.

In all matters moderation is desirable.
If a thing is carried to excess, it will prove a source of evil.
- Baha'ullah, Tablets of Baha'ullah, p. 69

  • Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I undertake to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. - Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk

  • But ask the animals, and they will teach you; or birds of the air and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you; or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the lord has done this. In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. - Job 12:7-10

  • Let the states of equilibrium and harmony exist in perfection, and a happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth, and all things will be nourished and flourish. - Confucius

  • Everything in the universe belongs to the Lord. Therefore take only what you need, that is set aside for you. Do not take anything else, for you know to whom it belongs. - Isa Upanishad

Devote thyself single-mindedly to the Faith,
and thus follow the nature designed by Allah,
the nature according to which He has fashioned mankind.
There is no altering the creation of Allah.
- Quran 30:30

  • Ahimsa or nonviolence is not only non-killing, it also means that one's attitude must be of maitri (amity) and peace. The real meaning of ahimsa is maitri. There are thought to be countless jivas, life or life forms, that populate the earth, air, water and are present all around us. How are we to behave towards these? With maitri. - Jitubhai Shah

  • For in respect of the fate of man and the fate of beast, they have one and the same fate: as the one dies so dies the other; all share the same breath of life. - Kohelet [Ecclesiastes] 3:19

  • Be charitable to all beings, love is the representative of God. - Ko-ji-ki, Hachiman Kasuga of the Shinto tradition

Sikh tradition begins with the simple premise
that all the universe is sacred and worthy of respect.
Every bush, ant and tree is, in its own way, engaged in worship.
- SikhNet.com

  • He who knows the activities of Nature lives according to Nature. - Chuang Tzu, The Book of Chang Tzu

  • Whoever teaches care for all these seven creations, does well and pleases the Bounteous Immortals; then his soul will never arrive at kinship with the Hostile Spirit. When he has cared for the creations, the care of these Bounteous Immortals is for him, and he must teach this to all mankind in the material world. - Shayasht ne Shayast 15:6

  • God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. - John Muir

  • Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values...God made life simple. It is man who complicates it. - Charles A. Lindbergh

  • Every time you admire something in nature, it's a prayer to the Creator. - Vernon Harper

Little flower, but if I could understand, what you are, root and all in all, I should know what God and man is. - Tennyson

  • Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction. - Dr. Edward O. Wilson

  • Our only choice, whatever our dogma, is to protect the Earth. This is our common progress or our common ruin. There is nothing in between. - Barbra Ward

  • Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him? - Pierre Troubetzkoy


Society and the Environment Quotes

This collection is all about our cultural and social impact on the environment. Quotes on this topic tend not to be positive, as they are often commentary from strong opinions.

  • Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum. - Kurt Vonnegut

  • Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. - Cree Indian Proverb

  • Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. - Bill Vaughn

  • Man shapes himself through decisions that shape his environment. - Rene Dubos

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. - Albert Einstein

  • The good building is not one that hurts the landscape, but one which makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the building was built. - Frank Lloyd Wright

  • Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth. - Albert Schweitzer

  • There can be no question about whether we should or should not transform our society in the direction of sustainability. - Alan AtKisson

  • A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. - Aldo Leopold

  • The control man has secured over nature has far outrun his control over himself. - Ernest Jones

  • I have no doubt that we will be successful in harnessing the sun's energy...If sunbeams were weapons of war, we would have had solar energy centuries ago. - Sir George Porter

Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us. - Henrik Tikkanen

  • The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago...had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands. - Havelock Ellis

  • The future belongs to those who understand that doing more with less is compassionate, prosperous and enduring and thus more intelligent, even competitive. - Paul Hawken

  • Your grandchildren will likely find it incredible - or even sinful - that you burned up a gallon of gasoline to fetch a pack of cigarettes! - Paul MacCready, Jr.

  • You can tell how high a society is by how much of its garbage is recycled. - Tahanie

  • We are seeing the birth of a new perspective of the world, where ecology and economics are two sides of the same coin. - Leif Johansson

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. - Mahatma Ghandi

  • I think when sustainability begins to drive business practices instead of greed, we'll evolve as a species. - Tom Kay

  • If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age. - Jacques Barzun

  • Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle. - Pope John Paul II

  • The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. - Mahatma Gandhi

  • If you really want to define civilization it should be a culture that doesn't destroy its environment. If you burn down the kitchen one day and expect to eat the next, it is not even intelligent, let alone civilized. - Sting

The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition. - Carl Sagan

  • When the planes still swoop down and aerial spray a field in order to kill a predator insect with pesticides, we are in the Dark Ages of commerce. - Paul Hawken

  • Economic advance is not the same thing as human progress. - John Clapham


Other Great Not-Quite-Environment Quotes

Some of the following not-quite-environment quotes probably don't sound like they apply to this page. They are either quotes found throughout the website, in various articles or they are just some of my favorite quotes and resonate with me within the sustainable movement.

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food. - Hippocrates

  • The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. - James Bryce

  • As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

  • Because we have learned to believe negativity is more realistic, it appears more real than any positive voice. - Bell Hooks

  • Observations always involve theory. - Edwin Hubble

  • There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children. - Marianne Williamson

When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there.
- Cecil Selig

  • Men occasionally stumble over truth but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. - Sir Winston Churchill

  • Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians - Chester Bowles

  • Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. - Kahlil Gibran

  • There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out. - Russian Proverb

  • Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories. - An Affair to Remember

Ah, summer, what power you have to
make us suffer and like it.
- Russel Baker

  • Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world. - George Bernard Shaw

  • The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. - Hanna Rion

  • In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. - Charles Lindbergh

  • Truth is the strong compost in which beauty may sometimes germinate. - Christopher Morley

  • Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise. - Michael P. Garafalo

Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration.
- Lou Erickson

  • Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw. - Henry David Thoreau

  • The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow. - Unknown

  • Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art. - Izaak Walton

  • You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. - Kahlil Gibran

  • A holiday gives one a chance to look backward and forward; to reset oneself by an inner compass. - May Sarton

Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.
- Mary Ellen Chase

  • Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. - Norman Vincent Peale

  • Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living! - Amanda Bradley

  • You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet. - Hal Borland

  • You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. - Navajo proverb

  • It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. - Krishnamurti

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
- Albert Einstein

  • The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself. - Archibald MacLeish



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