Sustainability Quotes

“We must realize that when basic needs have been met, human development is primarily about being more, not having more.”

– from ‘The Earth Charter

“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.”

– Aesop

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

– Native American Proverb

“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.”

– Benjamin Franklin

“I don’t know what the answer is. In time man gets used to almost anything, but the problem seems to be that technology is advancing faster than he can adjust to it. I think it’s time we started applying the brakes, slowing down our greed and slowing down the world.”

– Dick Proenneke

“There is no delight in owning anything unshared.”

– Seneca

​“You need time to make good food but time set aside to make good things for family and friends becomes a luxury in itself and the reward is all the sweeter.”

– Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall

​“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

– Henry David Thoreau

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“There is too much making and not enough designing.”

– Ezio Manzini

“If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children.”

– Confucius

“Happiness does not come from having much, but from being attached to little.”

– Venerable Cheng Yen

“Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.”

– Elizabeth West

“If we human beings are ever going to live in happiness and harmony with each other and with the natural world, we will have to rethink our economics — starting with downgrading the importance of economics in our thinking.”

– Donella Meadows

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

– Winston Churchill

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”

– H. G. Wells

“For those who think business exists to make a profit, I suggest they think again…Surely it must exist for some higher, nobler purpose than that.”

– Ray Anderson

“Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.”

― Kenneth E. Boulding

“He will always be a slave who does not know how to live upon little.”

– Horace

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

– William Ruckelshaus

“The control man has secured over nature has far outrun his control over himself.”

– Ernest Jones

“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

More sustainability quotes

“Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind, large ones weaken it.”

– Leonardo Da Vinci

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

– J.R.R. Tolkien

“To attain knowledge, add things every day.
To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

– Lao Tzu

“An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.”

– E. F. Schumacher

“The philosophical point is that our happiness and wellbeing is not based on incomes rising. This is not just the wisdom of sages but of ordinary people. Prosperity is more social and psychological: it’s about identification, affiliation, participation in society and a sense of purpose.”

– Tim Jackson

“Wealth is the number of things one can do without.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky

“They take great pride in making their dinner cost much; I take my pride in making my dinner cost so little.”

Henry David Thoreau