In the words of Leonardo DiCaprio, “We only get one planet.” Yet many of us live like we have three to four more. Our air, lands, and water bodies, which we have polluted, are all parts of this environment. The diverse plants and animals around us depend on these resources just like we do. Therefore, as the environment quotes we’ve featured highlight, we have a responsibility to think about how our environment affects us and how we affect our environment.
We tend to see the environment as something separate and distinct from ourselves. But we are a huge part of the biodiversity of this planet. We have the ability to alter this planet in ways that other species cannot. Activities such as pollution, burning fossil fuels, and invasion of natural habitats are all damaging to our environment. We need to consider how our human agenda affects every other lifeform that shares this environment with us.
These 100 environment quotes might bring home to you just how important it is that we begin to value and care for our planet. For the future of all species, we need a sustainable approach to our environment.
Bangladesh Social Economist and Entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank. Yunus’ shared his objective to help the needy and less privileged through soft credit leveraging technology.
Through the Grameen Bank, Yunus helped the poor by providing loans on terms suitable to them. His team also taught poor people some financial principles so they could help themselves.
In his environment quotes Yunus speaks about the connection between poverty and environmental degradation. He encourages people to care less about profit and more about our social impact. Yunus shares his vision for a kinder, gentler planet in his book, ‘A World of Three Zeros’ (amazon).
Many knew American prolific Writer Ralph Waldo Emerson (Amazon) for his use of words in his lifetime. In addition to his writing career, Emerson was also an advocate for a clean environment which he proudly shared via his poems. He pointed humans towards an awareness of the cycle of life by giving the Earth a voice in his environment quote.
This awareness of the earth’s living relationship to each of us is essential for any meaningful discussion of humankind’s relationship to our natural environment.
Barbara Wars is a British economist and writer who gained interest in the environmental problems of developing countries. Ward was an early advocate of sustainability. She saw the care of the environment and concern for the well-being of all humankind as a "dual responsibility.” Her passion for environmental sustainability led her to establish the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), where she acted as the pioneer president.
With this environment quote, Ward reminds us that this planet is not ours as we may believe. We are guests who should leave our environment better than we found it for the sake of the next guests.
For similar quotes related to nature, check out our list of 70 of the best quotes about nature.
American oceanographer Sylvia Earle is famous for her research on marine algae. She has also featured in several documentaries. Earle is an advocate for the preservation of marine and aquatic lives. She often speaks about the effects of overfishing and the consequence of water pollution on these animals.
Earle uses her documentaries and books, such as Spineless and Stung! (both on Amazon) to further spread her messages about the environment. As such she has become widely quoted on the environment and related concerns. She is a part of the group Ocean Elders, which works to protect the ocean and its wildlife. In 2012 Claire A. Nivola wrote about her life in Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle (Amazon)
"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed."
~ Mahatma Gandhi
What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.
~ Evo Morales
American photographer David Maisel is a visual artist. His work has been the subject of five major monographs published by Nazraeli Press and other top press companies. Maisel’s work involves the exploration of vestiges and the natural environment. He is an avid lover of nature and shares this love through his work.
During one of his explorations of vestige and nature, David identified the effects of cyanide dumping in ponds. In the Mining Project, Maisel noted that we use metals extracted from the Earth by open pit mining to manufacture products that we global citizens employ daily.
Maisel also noted that these mines and their surrounding cyanide leaching fields are by-products of the developed nations’ culture of consumption. His environment quote speaks to the forgotten waste that comes with expensive gold jewelry and product components.
Victoria Principal is an American actress, producer, entrepreneur, and environmentalist. She is best known for her role as Pamela Barnes Ewing on Dallas (amazon), an American primetime soap opera. Principal supports several environmental causes. She created a foundation to support Environmental Groups in their work. Principal’s donations have helped projects by Oceana and the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC).
In a 2012 interview with The Huffington Post, Principal demonstrated her passion for environmental causes. She said, "My deepest concern is for the planet and every living thing on it. Without a healthy planet, education won't matter, hunger won't matter, and science won't matter because we will not survive”. The message in her environment quote was that we need to rectify the damage we have done to our land and our oceans. When we play our parts, the planet will reclaim itself.
American politician Paul Efthemios Tsongas represented Massachusetts in both houses of the United States Congress. He held office from 1975 to 1985. Many knew Tsongas for his efforts in Congress to support historic preservation and environmental conservation. He played a significant role while in the House in the creation of Lowell National Historical Park.
Tsongas was also integral in establishing or expanding several other National Park System areas, demonstrating his genuine commitment to our environment.
American actress, author, and activist, Marlee Beth Matlin won the Academy Award as Best Actress for her role in Children of a Lesser God (amazon, 1986). She is currently the only deaf performer to have won an Academy Award.
Matlin is actively involved with several charitable organizations dedicated to helping the disabled and less privileged in society. She is an advocate for environmental sustainability. Matlin, per her environment quote, has spoken in the past of our need to work collectively to care for our environment.
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.
~ Chris Maser
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 and developed.
~ Theodore Roosevelt
There is a tendency at every important but difficult crossroad to pretend that it's not really there.
~ Bill McKibben
There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation.
~ Herman E. Daly
American investor and venture capitalist John Doerr is the president and CEO at Kleiner Perkins in Menlo Park, California. He is also an advocate for a greener environment. Doerr spoke extensively on this in his recent TEDtalk. He apologized on behalf of Kleiner Perkins, his venture capital firm, about the poor state of green tech.
Kleiner Perkins will be investing $200M in a wide range of innovative green technologies. They aim to boost America’s economy towards becoming one of the leading green tech nations.
Erin Brockovich is an American legal clerk, consumer advocate, and environmental activist. Despite her lack of formal education in law, she played a vital role in building a case against California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) in 1993. A five Academy Awards Nominee movie was created from the story of this successful case.
Brockovich's environment quote talks to her work giving motivational speeches and consulting for several UN countries to address environmental disasters.
British politician Jeremy Bernard Corbyn was the leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition. Corbyn has described his concerns about the environment as a sort of "spiritualism.” He hopes for a plan to create a low-carbon economy with well-paid jobs we all can be proud of. Regarding his party, Corbyn also hopes the next Labour government will lead the world in tackling the climate and environmental emergency.
Corbyn's environment quote points to a simple yet practicel step we can take to reduce pollution by getting on our bikes.
American novelist, poet, environmental activist, and cultural critic Wendell Erdman Berry (amazon) is elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He is a recipient of The National Humanities Medal and the Jefferson Lecturer for 2012.
In 2009, Berry, alongside Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KEF), other non-profit organizations, and rural electric co-op members, wrote a successful petition against the construction of a coal-burning power plant in Clark County, Kentucky. Berry’s environment quote reminds us of the finite nature of the earth’s resources. We should act to preserve our planet.
Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.
~ Jimmy Carter
Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches, or its romance.
~ Theodore Roosevelt
Our efforts to preserve the environment are crucial to our very survival. There’s only one place we can find the structures and resources we need. And that’s right here. As humans, we should recognize our role in this ecosystem and the responsibilities that come with it. The future inhabitants of this planet also deserve access to nature and the resources that we enjoy today.