Nature has provided a bounty of philosophical insight for centuries, always offering a moment to reflect. The flora and fauna connect us all and give us a common ground on which to communicate. Use these quotes from writers, anthropologists, environmentalists, and more to celebrate the natural world on Earth Day—and every day.
Kahlil Gibran: "And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."
Sylvia Plath: "I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, 'This is what it is to be happy.'"
Frank Lloyd Wright: "I believe in God, only I spell it Nature."
John Muir: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
Wendell Berry: "The earth is what we all have in common."
William Blake: "To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, and Eternity in an hour."
Lord Byron: "There is a pleasure in the pathless woods. There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more."
Lady Bird Johnson: "The environment is where we all meet, where we all have a mutual interest; it is one thing that all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become."
Dr. Jane Goodall: "One individual cannot possibly make a difference alone. It is individual efforts, collectively, that makes a noticeable difference—all the difference in the world."
Indigenous proverb: "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
Barry Commoner: "The proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it."
Thomas Fuller: "He that plants trees loves others beside himself."
Ralph Nader: "The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun."
Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Henry David Thoreau: "What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"
Bill Vaughan: "Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them."
Gaylord Nelson: "The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats, and biodiversity."
Thomas Edison: "Until a man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favorable comparison with the products of nature, the living cell of a plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life."
Indigenous saying: "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."