This is not an extensive list of environmental quotes, only ones I've run across in my travels which I found interesting.

Environmental Protection:

  • Show me a healthy community with a healthy economy and I will show you a community that has its green infrastructure in order and understands the relationship between the built and the unbuilt environment.
    ~Will Rogers, Trust for Public Land
  • There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.
    "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." ~Theodore Roosevelt
  • If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.
    ~ Chinese Proverb
  • "To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace."
    ~ Tacitus (AD 56 - AD 117)
  • "The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."
    ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer - German pastor and theologian
  • "As soon as I had gotten out of the heavy air of Rome and the stink of the smoky chimneys...which poured forth ..pestilential vapors and soot...I felt an alteration of my disposition"
    ~ Seneca - Roman philosopher 61 A.D.
  • Most children have a bug period, and I never grew out of mine.
    ~ Edward O. Wilson, Harvard entomologist, in his book Naturalist.
    I still remember the excitement of the Granddaughter of a friend I was helping with a garage sale when I picked up a rock on the side of the driveway to hold down a tarp and revealed some bugs. She spent the next hour turning over rocks. It was the highlight of her day.
  • The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.
    ~ Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia, 1984, p, 121
  • The world can't weigh you down when you're standing on top of it.
  • Humankind, no matter how sophisticated or technical, owes its entire existence to a few inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains.
    ~ Author unknown
  • "To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded."
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


  • If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to sleep in a room with a mosquito.
  • Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
    ~ Henry Ford
  • "Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
    ~ The Lorax from Dr. Seuss
  • "We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve, but to strive."
    ~ Aldo Leopold
Sierra Club - John Muir:
  • Sierra Club's old advertising campaign had the slogan:
    "Opposition to irresponsible development not irresponsible opposition to development."
  • "One of the Americans who inspired Theodore Roosevelt to conserve our nation's forests was the naturalist John Muir, who once said, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread - places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." In today's fast-paced, high-tech world, Muir's words are even more compelling."
    ~ Bill Clinton, August, 2004 - Opposing an attempt by the Bush administration to eliminate the "Roadless Area Conservation Rule" which limited logging and development in nearly 60 million acres of national forests where there were no roads already built.
    In 2006 a federal Judge reinstated the rule. See the
    correlation with the Alberto Gonzales controversy.
  • Keep close to Nature's heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
    ~John Muir
  • "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 Read more:
Lake Tahoe:
  • "Three months of camp life on Lake Tahoe would restore an Egyptian mummy to his pristine vigor ..."
    "As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords." Mark Twain, From "Roughing It", 1872
  • The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
    ~ Alvin Toffler
  • Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people's curiosity. It is enough to open minds; do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire.
    ~ Anatole France
U. of Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education (WAEE) Resources - Environmental Quotes
Conservation and Nature Quotes - Prince William Conservation Alliance
John Muir Quotes
Quotes to Think About by Kevin Varner at

last updated 14 May 2011