And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: “Look at this Godawful mess.”
~Art Buchwald, 1970
Only when the last tree has been cut down,
Only when the last river has been poisoned,
Only when the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
— Cree Indian Prophecy
“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 Delano Roosevelt
“To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
“Eventually we’ll realize that if we destroy the ecosystem, we destroy ourselves.”
— Jonas Salk , American physician and microbiologist, 1914-95
“When the earth is sick and polluted, human health is impossible…. To heal ourselves we must heal our planet, and to heal our planet we must heal ourselves.”
— Bobby McLeod (Koori activist, aboriginal)
“There are 70 pesticides that are listed as known or probable carcinogens, based on animal testing. Of those 70, 44 are in use today, and 23 are used on our food.”
— Gina Solomon, specialist in internal medicine 
There is hope
if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves,
that heartfelt knowledge
that we are caretakers of this planet.
~ Brooke Medicine Eagle ~
Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain’s majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.
~ George Carlin ~
We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.
~ Thomas Fuller, ‘Gnomologia’ 1732 ~
The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago… had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.
~Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923
The packaging for a microwavable “microwave” dinner is programmed for a shelf life of maybe six months, a cook time of two minutes and a landfill dead-time of centuries.
~David Wann, Buzzworm, November 1990
Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.
The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.
What poor as well as rich families leave on the sidewalks these days for the Sanitation Department to cart away looks to me like the stuff people used to load on moving vans, not on dump trucks. I see lamps, umbrellas, TV sets, playpens, baby carriages, bicycles, tables, refrigerators – all cut down in the prime of life. We have been educated to use; we shall now have to be reeducated to reuse, restore, renew and conserve.
-Sam Levinson, New York Sunday News, 28 November 1971
Walk lightly in the spring – Mother Earth is pregnant.