Musings

60 Great Quotes About Sustainability, Green Living & Our Environment

60 Great Quotes About Sustainability, Green Living & Our Environment
Written by Jennifer Nini

Like most women my age, I enjoy reading quotes and I enjoy collecting them. I sometimes create memes of them.

So here is a collection of my favourite green, environmental and sustainability quotes. To the untrained mind, some quotes may seem unrelated to the “eco” cause, but when you look at the bigger picture you will see the relevance.

I really hope these quotes inspire you to reflect and to take sustainable action.

— Jen xx

1. 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

2. 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. – Mahatma Gandhi

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

4. Buy less, choose well, make it last. – Vivienne Westwood

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

6. The most sustainable way is to not make things. The second most sustainable way is to make something very useful, to solve a problem that hasn’t been solved. – Thomas Sigsgaard

7. Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. – Aldo Leopold

8. 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

9. 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

10. We can’t just consume our way to a more sustainable world. – Jennifer Nini

We can't just consume our way to a more sustainable world - sustainability quote - jennifer nini

11. 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, 1854

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

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

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

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

16. He that plants trees loves others beside himself. – Thomas Fuller

17. There must be more to life than having everything! – Maurice Sendak

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

19. 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

20. 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

21. Being green is more than just buying ‘eco’. It is an unshakable commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. – Jennifer Nini

sustainability quote - eco warrior princess - jennifer nini

22. 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

23. 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

24. 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

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

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

27. 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

28. In our rich consumers’ civilization we spin cocoons around ourselves and get possessed by our possessions. – Max Lerner

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

29. 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

30. People ‘over-produce’ pollution because they are not paying for the costs of dealing with it. – Ha-Joon Chang

31. Where the quality of life goes down for the environment, the quality of life goes down for humans. – George Holland

32. We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. – Thomas Fuller

33. When the soil disappears, the soul disappears. – Ymber Delecto

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

35. 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

36. 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

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

38. We can never have enough of Nature. – Henry David Thoreau

39. 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

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

41. 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

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

43. 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

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

45.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

46. The greatest danger to our future is apathy. – Jane Goodall

47. Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed. – Mahatma Ghandi

48. We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. – Howard Zinn

sustainability and environmental quotes - eco warrior princess

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

50. The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river. – Ross Perot

51. The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces, or at least not try to defy them. – Paul Hawken

52. It angers me when sustainability gets used as a buzz word. For 90 percent of the world, sustainability is a matter of survival. – Cameron Sinclair

53. Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it. – David Suzuki

54. Forests and meat animals compete for the same land. The prodigious appetite of the affluent nations for meat means that agribusiness can pay more than those who want to preserve or restore the forest. We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet – for the sake of hamburgers. – Peter Singer

55. “Consume less; share better.” – Hervé Kempf

56. Be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

57. The great challenge of the twenty-first century is to raise people everywhere to a decent standard of living while preserving as much of the rest of life as possible. – Edward O. Wilson

58. We are not above nature, we are a part of nature. – Jennifer Nini

59. You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. – Jane Goodall

60.  The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. – Robert Swan

Now over to you: What are some of your favourite sustainability quotes? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Loved this post? You’re gonna love this one too that lists inspiring quotes about climate change!

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About the author

Jennifer Nini

Jennifer Nini is a writer, activist and the founding editor of Eco Warrior Princess. In 2010, after studying Fashion Business, she launched Eco Warrior Princess to explore her interests in fashion, politics, social justice and sustainability. Jennifer is also the founder of The Social Copywriter, a digital agency harnessing the power of copywriting and content marketing to help mindful businesses reach more people. When she’s not perfecting a sentence or coaching business clients, you will find her at her certified organic farm reconnecting with nature.

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