99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

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(Last updated on: 22/04/2022)

Sustainability quotes are great because they remind us how important sustainability is and they help to inspire us to be more sustainable in our everyday lives. As the likes of Greta Thunburg and David Attenborough like to remind us- we simply cannot continue living in the way that we have been- sustainability isn’t a choice, it is quite literally a matter of life and death. We might not see the impacts where we live today or tomorrow and the impacts of our (unsustainable) actions will not present themselves to us all at the same time, but eventually all of humanity will suffer if we do not collectively change our behaviours.

There are many things that we can do to be more sustainable, but outlining all of those is not the purpose of this article! Instead, this article provides you with 99 inspirational sustainability quotes that can help to give you those subtle reminders to do the small things like switching off the lights or recycling your litter as well as inspiring you to do good for the planet. Are you ready for some inspirational sustainability quotes? Keep scrolling…

Inspirational sustainability quotes

There are so many inspirational quotes that it was hard to choose which ones to include in this list, so I opted to include them all (well, I’ve done my best anyway)! I have organised the sustainability quotes into categories-

  • Famous sustainability quotes
  • Funny sustainability quotes
  • Short sustainability quotes
  • Hard facts about sustainability
  • Environmental sustainability quotes
  • Business sustainability quotes
  • Tourism sustainability quotes
  • Fashion sustainability quotes
  • Food sustainability quotes

Famous sustainability quotes

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

So lets start this article off with some of the most famous sustainability quotes….

“Modern technology owes ecology an apology”- Alan M Eddison

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

  “The difference between animals and humans is that animals change themselves for the environment, but humans change the environment for themselves.”  – Ayn Rand

“Surely we have a responsibility to leave for future generations a planet that is healthy and habitable by all species” – Sir David Attenborough

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

“It is not the strongest of species that survives nor the most intelligent but the one that is most responsive to change” – Charles Darwin

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

“The best way to predict future is to create it.” By Peter Drucker

“There must be a better way to make the things we want, a way that doesn’t spoil the sky, or the rain or the land” – Paul McCartney

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

“Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract – sustainable development – and turn it into a reality for all the world’s people” By Kofi Annan

“Sustainability is a political choice, not a technical one. It’s not a question of whether we can be sustainable, but whether we choose to be” By Gary Lawrence

Our planet’s alarm is going off, and it is time to wake up and take action!” – Leonardo DiCaprio

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

Funny sustainability quotes

Of course, sustainability is no laughing matter! But sometimes it can help to raise awareness by making an (appropriate) joke out of it. Here are some of the most funny sustainability quotes that I have come across…

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

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

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” By W.H AUDEN

“When you put the whole picture together recycling is the best thing to do” Pam Shoemaker

“If you’re not a tree hugger then you’re a what, a tree hater?”- Doug Coupland

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

“It is not reasonable that art should win the place of honour over our great and powerful mother nature. We have so overloaded the beauty and richness of her works by our inventions that we have quite smothered her.” Michel de Montaigne, Cannibales

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

Short sustainability quotes

And sometimes the best quotes are short and sweet! Here are some of my top picks of short sustainability quotes…

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes
99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

“Consume less; share better.” By Hervé Kempf

“One planet, one experiment.” By E. O. Wilson

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

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

“If you do not like the way the world is you change it one step at a time” – Marian Wright Edelman

“Waste isn’t waste until we waste it” Will.i.am

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

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

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

“Sustainability is no longer about doing less harm its about doing more good” Jochen Zeitz

“Sustainability is here to stay or we may not be” Niall FitzGerald

” The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” – Paulo Coelho

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

Hard facts about sustainability

Sometimes the best thing we can do to raise awareness is to look at the hard facts. So here are my top picks of hard facts about sustainability…

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

“Sustainable development is a fundamental break that’s going to reshuffle the entire deck. There are companies today that are going to dominate in the future simply because they understand that.” By Francois-Henri Pinault

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

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

“21st Century choice: Look after our planet, and it will look after us, or don’t and face the consequences” By Phil Harding

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” By Mahatma Gandhi

“Sustainable development is a fundamental break that’s going to reshuffle the entire deck. There are companies today that are going to dominate

“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

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

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

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

“Global warming will not end by Earth finding shade under the trees but under our hands joined together” -Agona Apell

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

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

Environmental sustainability quotes

As you probably know, the environment and environmental protection is a core part of being sustainable, so here are my top picks of environmental sustainability quotes….

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

“Recycling, packaging, businesses are changing all of those things because that’s what consumers want.” – Jerry Greenfield, Co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

“At its core, the issue of a clean environment is a matter of public health.” – Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, designed or removed from production.” – Pete Seeger, Folk Singer & Social Activist

“When you put the whole picture together, recycling is the right thing to do.” – Pam Shoemaker, Author

“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.” Annie Leonard, Proponent of Sustainability

“We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.” – Terry Swearingen, Nurse & Winner of Goldman Environmental Prize in 1997

“The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved.” – Richard Rogers

We have a basic notion that unless we find a solution for environmental problems, we will not achieve sustainable growth in the coming years – Author: Hiroyuki Watanabe

Business sustainability quotes

Some of the biggest and most powerful players when it comes to sustainability are businesses, so of course there should be some business sustainability quotes too, here they are…

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

“Sustainability has to be a way of life to be a way of business”- Anand Mahindra

“There is no business on a dead planet”- David Brower

“Hiring the wrong people is the fastest way to undermine a sustainable business” – Author: Kevin J. Donaldson

“I believe that companies, doing business in a responsible and sustainable way, can help raise the quality of life and standards of living in some of the poorest parts of the world” – Antony Burgmans

“Realize that employees and the customers both have to be engaged, at the same time, to move your business forward for sustainable success” – Author: Robert G. Thompson

“Sustainable fishing is a fraud. It’s a marketing term that really means ‘business as usual.” –  Paul Watson

“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos”. E. O. Wilson

“A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman of the next generation.” By James Freeman Clarke

“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

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes
99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

Tourism sustainability quotes

As this website focusses on travel and tourism, it is only natural that I include some tourism sustainability quotes, here goes….

“Tourism is important because it can create sustainable local economies. I’d much rather have 1,000 tourists going up the Tambopata than 1,000 gold miners.” – Author: Frans Lanting

“Tourism in India has the potential to promote faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth. It could be used as a powerful antidote to tackle poverty.” – Author: Chiranjeevi

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

“We never know the worth of water until the well is dry” Thomas Fuller

“Nature is inexhausabily sustainable if we care for it. It is our universal responsiblity to pass a healthy earth to future generations” Sylvia Delson

“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

“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

“Building a world where we meet our own needs without denying future generations a healthy society is not impossible, as some would assert. The question is where societies choose to put their creative efforts.” By Christopher Flavin

“The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.” By Ross Perot

“Our ancestors did great work for humanity. What will we do for the next generations?” By Lailah Gifty Akita

“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.” By Howard Zinn

“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

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

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

“If we achieve our sustainability targets an no one else follows we will have failed” Paul Polman

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

Fashion sustainability quotes

And the fashion industry has been notoriously bad when it comes to sustainability over the years, so lets take a look at the best fashion sustainability quotes that inspire more sustainable behaviours….

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

“Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth”- Environmental Audit Committee

“As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy” Emma Watson

“Sustainable fashion is not a trend but the future”- Antonia Bohike

“Buy less. Choose well. Make it last” Vivienne Westwood

“Become an active citizen through your wardrobe”. -Livia Firth- Founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age.

“Ethical fashion is the recognition that there are human beings behind the clothes that we wear”.

“Good design is a sustainable design”. –Imran Amed- Founder and editor-in-chief of The Business of Fashion.

 “Every time you spend money, you´re casting a vote for the kind of world you want”-Anna Lappe.

“If you pay a little more, we can live a little better.” – – Sharti Atka, garment worker from Bangladesh

“The really great thing about my shoe store is that there’s not one dead animal in it.”  Stella McCartney

“Fast Fashion can never be sustainable” – E.F Schumacher

“consume less share better” – Herve Kemof

Food sustainability quotes

And last but not least, lets take a look at some of the most well-known food sustainability quotes…

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

“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.” By Franklin D. Roosevelt

“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.” By Peter Singer

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

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” By J.R.R. Tolkien

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

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” By Cree Indian Proverb

“We should all grow our own food and do our own waste processing, we really should.”- Bill Gates

“In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically, aside from the cost implications, all the land, water, fertilisers and labour needed to grow that food is wasted – not to mention the generation of greenhouse gas emissions produced by food decomposing on landfill and the transport of food that is ultimately thrown away.” – Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director 

99 Inspirational Sustainability Quotes

“Imagine walking out of a grocery store with four bags of groceries, dropping one in the parking lot, and just not bothering to pick it up. That’s essentially what we’re doing.” – Dana Gunders, Food & Agriculture Scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

” The future of our nation depends on our ability to produce food and fiber to sustain the world” Phil Bredesen

Sustainability quotes- further reading

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