Inspirational quotes for the journey toward a more sustainable life.

See also my Reading List.


“Anytime you have the opportunity to accomplish something and you don’t, you’re wasting your time on this Earth.”

~ Roberto Clemente, baseball great


“Celebrate what you want to see more of.”

~ Tom Peter, management expert and motivational speaker


“The world doesn’t change one person at a time. It changes as networks of relationships form among people who share a common vision of what’s possible.”

~ Margaret Wheatley, organizational behavioralist


“Whatever is morally necessary must be made politically possible.”

~ Eugene McCarthy, when running for President in 1968


“[C]onsuming comes naturally to humankind. Restraint does not. Change requires a supportive social environment.”

~ The Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2008


“[W]e were built for community. Everything we know about human beings, from the state of our immune systems to the state of our psyches, testifies to our desire for real connection of just the kind that an advanced consumer society makes so difficult. We need that kind of community to slow down the environmental changes coming at us, and we need that kind of community to survive the changes we can’t prevent. And we need that kind of community because it’s what makes us fully human.”

~ Bill McKibben, co-founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org


“The schisms that we’re experiencing across political divides, socio-economic divides, race, gender and geography obscure the urgency and the cooperation that is required to work together to solve some of our most pressing global problems. In order to transform our world, we have to transform how we engage with each other.”

~ Simran Sethi, sustainability journalist (in her July 2012 TEDxTalk, “Why and How Do We Engage?”)


“Saving the planet means going beyond our comfort zones: working with faith communities, even if we’re not believers, with old people, even though they talk slowly and with young people, even if we can’t decipher their text messages.”

~Annie Leonard, author of “The Story of Stuff”


“Sufficiency is a better term than the ecological buzzword, sustainability, as the latter leaves ambiguous the question of whether what is to be sustained is the existing system or not. But in either case, humanity needs to greatly reduce its load on planetary systems.”

~ Joel Kovel, writing in The Enemy of Nature (2002), p. 208


“[T]he forces pressing towards radical change need not be linear and incremental, but can be exponential in character. In this way, conscientious and radical criticism of the given, even in advance of having blueprints for an alternative, can be a material force, because it can seize the mind of the masses of people. There is no greater responsibility for intellectuals.”

~ Joel Kovel, writing in The Enemy of Nature (2002), p. 224


“What I have gathered from reading your posts over the last year or so is that Port Townsend is truly the promised land! Oh, and a lot of good tips about living green (of course). No more crackly towels in my house!”

~ Juliet Christian-Smith, environmental policy analyst, El Cerrito, Calif.