quotes about sustainability

Did you know that sustainable development is the only way we can guarantee life for future generations? Well, these quotes on sustainable development will shed more light on that.

Our environment is all we have. If we don’t take care of it who will? The following quotes on sustainable development are some of the many ways that we can learn and understand the importance of sustainable development.

I have compiled a list of the best quotes on sustainability to help us understand better the whole concept.

64+ quotes about sustainability

Let’s get into our list of quotes about sustainability and sustainable development. We will break out the quotes into the following categories: famous quotes, food sustainability quotes, hard-facts quotes, inspiring quotes and short quotes.

This will help you find your favorite quotes to live by and use to continually improve your sustainability efforts.

Famous quotes about sustainability

Daisaku Ikeda quote about sustainability

1. “The best way to predict future is to create it.”

– Peter Drucker

2. “Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

– Gro Harlem Brundtland

3. “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.”

– Gary Lawrence

4. “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

5. “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.”
– Kofi Annan

6. “No matter how complex global problems may seem, it is we ourselves who have given rise to them. They cannot be beyond our power to resolve.”

– Daisaku Ikeda

7. “The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is the bedrock of our enterprise for a sustainable world.”

– Indian Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi

8. “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

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

– Paul Hawken

10. “Without environmental sustainability, economic stability and social cohesion cannot be achieved.”

– Phil Harding

Inspiring sustainability quotes

Here is a list of some inspirational quotes on how to adopt sustainable development.

Jean-Paul Richter quote about sustainability

11. “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

– Edmund Burke

12. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

– R. Buckminster Fuller

13. “Our ancestors did great work for humanity. What will we do for the next generations?”

– Lailah Gifty Akita

14. “Real human beings take precedence over partisan interests; however, legitimate the latter may be.”

– Pope Francis

15. “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

16. “Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good action; try to use ordinary situations.”

– Jean-Paul Richter

17. “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.”
– Christopher Flavin

18. “We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present.”

– Adlai E. Stevenson

19. “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

20. “The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.”

– Ross Perot

21. “The sustainability revolution will, hopefully, be the third major social and economic turning point in human history, following the Neolithic Revolution – moving from hunter-gathering to farming – and the Industrial Revolution.”

– Prince Charles

Quotes about sustainable food

If we negatively impact nature, water and food are some of nature’s gifts that will become a luxury. If we can’t take care of nature, nature can’t take care of us.

Jacques Barzun quote about sustainability

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

– Stewart Udall

23. “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

24. “We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.”

– Thomas Fuller

25. “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.”

– Cree Indian Proverb

26. “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

27. “If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.”

– Jacques Barzun

28. “Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.”

– Carl Sagan

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

– J.R.R. Tolkien

See Related: Caring for the Environment – Why It Matters

Hard-facts quotes on sustainable development

Sometimes it is not enough to just inspire people; giving them the hard facts, is some instances the best way. These are quotes on sustainable development that will help us be prudent when making some decisions.

Mahatma Gandhi quote about sustainability

30. “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”

– Albert A. Bartlett

31. “Global warming will not end by Earth finding shade under the trees but under our hands joined together.”

– Agona Apell

32. “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

33. “21st Century choice: Look after our planet, and it will look after us, or don’t and face the consequences.”

– Phil Harding

34. “An act of violence against nature should be judged as severely as that against society or another person.”

– Dr. Michael W.Fox

35. “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

36. “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

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

– Ha-Joon Chang

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

– Henrik Tikkanen

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

– Mahatma Gandhi

40. “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.”

– Francois-Henri Pinault

Funny sustainability quotes

Although these sustainability quotes may sound humorous, they are as serious as the lack of water can be to our environment. They intend to help us see the sarcasm in what we do in the name of development.

W. H. Auden quote about sustainability

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

– Thomas Edison

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

– Ansel Adams

43. “Our life is frittered away by detail…Simplify, simplify, simplify! Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.”

– Henry Thoreau

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

– Ayn Rand

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

46. “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

– W. H. Auden

47. “Sustainable Development is more than meeting the needs of today and future generations; to my understanding, this definition better fits the sex industry.”

– M.F. Moonzajer

48. “It is not reasonable that art should win the place of honor 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

49. “A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman of the next generation.”

– James Freeman Clarke

Short sustainability quotes

Henry David Thoreau quote about sustainability

50. “There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”

– Marshall McLuhan

51. “Sustainability is here to stay, or we may not be.”

– Niall FitzGerald

52. “We have a duty to care for the environment.”

– Lailah Gifty Akita

53. “Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.”

– Aldo Leopold

54. “We can never have enough of Nature.”

– Henry David Thoreau

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

– Jennifer Nini

56. “He that plants trees love others besides himself.”
– Thomas Fuller

57. “When the soil disappears, the soul disappears.”

– Ymber Delecto

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

– Albert Einstein

59. “Consume less; share better.”

– Hervé Kempf

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

– Robert Swan

61. “Treat the Earth as though we intend to stay here.”

– Crispin Tickell

62. “One planet, one experiment.”

– E. O. Wilson

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

– Robert Swan

64. “Ownership is a sine qua non of sustainable development.”

– James Wolfensohn

Want more quotes like these? Check out our list of quotes on climate change.

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