Green Quotes
Here are some quotes from the famous and not-so-famous about why it's important
to care for our environment.
Send us an email if you know a quote that should be
here. We included a special section at the bottom
just for Aldo Leopold quotes.
There are just too many great ones to choose from!


"
Behold, my brothers, the spring has come. The earth has received the
embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the results of that love! Every
seed is awakened and so has all animal life. It is through this mysterious
power that we too have our being and we therefore yield to our neighbors,
even our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves to inhabit this land.
My love of our native soil is wholly mystical.
"
-
Chief Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotaka), Hunkpapa Sioux (1831-1890)


"
The battle we have fought, and are still fighting for the forests is a part of the
eternal conflict between right and wrong, and we cannot expect to see the
end of it ... So we must count on watching and striving for these trees, and
should always be glad to find anything so surely good and noble to strive for.
"
- John Muir


"
Only after the last tree has been cut down…the last river has been
poisoned…the last fish caught, only then will you find that money cannot be
eaten.
"
- Cree Indian Prophesy


"If there is to be an ecologically sound society, it will have to come the grass
roots up, not from the top down.
"
- Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Commerce


"
Humans need continuous and spontaneous affiliations with the biological
world, and meaningful access to natural settings is as vital to the urban
dweller as to any other.
"
- Dr. Stephen Kellert, Yale University


"I see the whole field of environmentalism and population as nothing more
than the survival of the human species. I have wanted to have some bumper
sticker made up saying 'Save the Humans'. At the bottom of it all, we are
trying to save ourselves.
"
- Ted Turner


"Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground."
- Anonymous


"The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives."
- Native American Proverb


"We all moan and groan about the loss of the quality of life through the
destruction of our ecology, and yet every one of us, in our own little
comfortable ways, contributes daily to that destruction. It's time now to
awaken in each one of us the respect and attention our beloved Mother
deserves.
"
- Ed Asner, Actor


"To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land
instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in
the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand
down to them amplified. . .
"
- Theodore Roosevelt


"As the human population grows and our demand for natural resources
increases, more and more habitats are devastated. Today, we may be losing
30,000 species a year -- a rate much faster than at any time since the last
great extinction 65 million years ago that wiped out most of the dinosaurs. If
we continue on this course, we will destroy even ourselves.
"
- American Museum of Natural History


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


"The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest;
it is the one thing that all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but
a focusing lens on what we can become...
"
- Lady Bird Johnson


"
These sprays, dusts, and aerosols are now applied almost universally to
farms, gardens, forests, and homes - nonselective chemicals that have the
power to kill every insect, the 'good' and the 'bad,' to still the song of birds
and the leaping of fish in the streams, to coat the leaves with a deadly film,
and to linger on in soil - all this though the intended target may be only a few
weeds or insects. Can anyone believe it is possible to lay down such a barrage
of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life? They
should not be called 'insecticides,' but 'biocides.
'"
- Rachel Carson, Silent Spring


"... all things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man. . . the air
shares its spirit with all the life it supports.
"
-Chief Seattle


"Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you
may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.
"
-John Muir


"What's the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"
-Henry David Thoreau


"I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building
the principles which nature has used in its domain.
"
-Frank Lloyd Wright


"But now, says the Once-ler, Now that you´re here, the word of the Lorax
seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not.
"
-Dr Seuss


"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."
-Shakespeare


"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 Delano Roosevelt


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


"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national
security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad.
Otherwise what is there to defend?
"
-Robert Redford


"On Spaceship Earth there are no passengers; everybody is a member of the
crew. We have moved into an age in which everybody's activities affect
everybody else.
"
-Marshall McLuhan


"When you plant a tree, never plant only one. Plant three -- one for shade,
one for fruit, one for beauty.
"  
-African proverb


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


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


"Sooner or later, we sit down to a banquet of consequences."  
-Robert Louis Stevenson


"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


At 18 mpg, a car emits about 6 tons of carbon dioxide per year.


"
It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air
and water that are doing it.
"
-Dan Quayle


"Approximately 72 percent of the waste currently being landfilled or
incinerated consists of materials that could be put to higher and better use
through recycling or composting. Most of this material is office paper,
cardboard, non-recyclable paper, and food waste.
"
-Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance


"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


"In the end we will conserve only what we love. We love only what we
understand. We will understand only what we are taught.
"
-Baba Dioum


"Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want
to live in.
"
-Frances Moore Lappe


"The first steps toward stewardship are awareness, appreciation, and the
selfish desire to have the things around for our kids to see. Presumably the
unselfish motives will follow as we wise up.
"
-Barbara Kingsolver


"Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become
global garbage cans.
"
-Jacques Cousteau


"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it
must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.
"
-Theodore Roosevelt


"We don't have to protect the environment -- the Second Coming is at hand."
-James Watt


"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water."
-Loren Eiseley


"Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children's
lifetime. The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on
the land.
"
-Luna Leopold


"All things are connected, like the blood that runs in your family . . . The
water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.
"
-Suquamish Chief Sealth


"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


"It's the flock, the grove, that matters. Our responsibility is to species, not to
specimens; to communities, not to individuals.
"
-Sara Stein


"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
"
- Joni Mitchell


Quotes from Aldo Leopold

Exploring everything from wilderness, to erosion, to urbanization, to the loss of the
Passenger Pigeon, the writings of Aldo Leopold are just as relevant now as when
Leopld wrote them in the first half of the 20th century:

"
The problem is how to bring about a striving for harmony with land among a
people many of whom have forgotten there is any such thing as land,among
whom education and culture have become almost synonymous with
landlessness.
"
- Aldo Leopold, from
A Sand County Almanac, 1949


"
[I]f in a city we had six vacant lots available to the youngsters of a certain
neighborhood for playing ball, it might be "development" to build houses on
the first, and the second, and the third, and the fourth, and even the fifth, but
when we build houses on the last one, we forget what houses are for. The
sixth house would not be development at all, but rather it would be mere
short-sighted stupidity. "Development" is like Shakespeare's virtue, "which
grown into a pleurisy, dies of its own too-much.
"
- Aldo Leopold, from
A Plea for Wilderness Hunting Grounds, 1925


"
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.
"
- Also Leopold, from
A Sand County Almanac, 1949


"One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a
world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to
laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the
consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor
who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does
not want to be told otherwise.

"The government tells us we need flood control and comes to straighten the
creek in our pasture. The engineer on the job tells us the creek is now able to
carry off more flood water, but in the process we lost our old willows where
the cows switched flies in the noon shade, and where the owl hooted on a
winter night. We lost the little marshy spot where our fringed gentians
bloomed.

"Some engineers are beginning to have a feeling in their bones that the
meanderings of a creek not only improve the landscape but are a necessary
part of the hydrologic functioning. The ecologist sees clearly that for similar
reasons we can get along with less channel improvement on Round River.
"
- Also Leopold, from
Essays on Conservation from Round River (published
posthumously)


"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of
the biotic community. It is wrong when it does otherwise.
"
- Also Leopold, from A Sand County Almanac


"A land ethic...reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in
turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of the land.
Health is the capacity of the land for self-renewal. Conservation is our effort
to understand and preserve this capacity.
"
- Aldo Leopold from A Sand County Almanac


"
There can be no doubt that a society rooted in the soil is more stable than
one rooted in pavements.
"
- Aldo Leopold


"
The art of land doctoring is being practiced with vigor, but the science of land
health is yet to be born.
"
-Aldo Leopold,
A Sand County Almanac


"
The oldest task in human history: to live on a piece of land without spoiling
it.
"
-Aldo Leopold


"
That the situation appears hopeless should not prevent us from doing our
best.
"
-Aldo Leopold


To learn more about Aldo Leopold, visit www.aldoleopold.org. An excellent
biography of Leopold is
Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work by Curt Meine."
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