“It’s Time to Change the Life We Lead” — The Ultimate Guide to the Lorax's Best Quotes

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Jamie Bichelman - Author

Apr. 23 2024, Published 11:28 a.m. ET

In this screenshot from The Lorax, the titular character and the Once-Ler observe the last tree falling.
Source: Universal Pictures

The ability of a brilliantly written and profoundly spine-chilling quote delivered by a passionate advocate can spur change and inspire you to make the world a better place. I have always found Dr. Seuss' The Lorax to be educational, accessible to anyone regardless of age, and chock-full of quotes that catalyze necessary changes to our habits.

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We've collected some of our favorite quotes from the original 1971 book, the 2012 animated movie, and the 1972 television special to help inspire you to protect the planet, whether it's Earth Month or any time of year!

Twelve-year-old Ted plants a tree in the "Let It Grow" scene in 'The Lorax'.
Source: Universal Pictures
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These quotes from 'The Lorax' are perfect for Earth Day and Earth Month:

"I'm the Lorax who speaks for the trees which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please." The Lorax character says this to the Once-ler in the book as trees are chopped down.

"NOW ... thanks to your hacking my trees to the ground, there's not enough Truffula Fruit to go 'round. And my poor Bar-ba-loots are all getting the crummies because they have gas, and no food, in their tummies!" The Lorax says this in the book as trees and animal habitats are being destroyed.

"Once-ler! You're making such smogulous smoke! My poor Swomee-Swans ... why, they can't sing a note! No one can sing who has smog in his throat." The Lorax character declares this in the book as smog, produced from the factory, damages the singing swans.

"Oh, their future is dreary. They'll walk on their fins and get woefully weary in search of some water that isn't so smeary." The Lorax character says this to the Once-ler in the book as pollution damages the fish habitats.

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Dr. Suess's book 'The Lorax' open on the grass
Source: Getty Images

"And at that very moment, we heard a loud whack! From outside in the fields came a sickening smack of an axe on a tree. Then we heard the tree fall. The very last Truffula Tree of them all!" This is the description in the book as the last tree is cut down.

"Now all that was left 'neath the bad-smelling sky was my big empty factory...the Lorax...and I." The Once-ler reflects on what is left around him in the book after all of the trees, animals, and life around him are gone because of his ruinous greed.

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"Truffula Trees are what everyone needs. Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back." The Once-ler hands the narrator in the book a seed to repopulate the land.

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We also love these other inspiring quotes from 'The Lorax.'

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." The Once-ler says this iconic quote near the end of the book.

"...Make them care. Plant the seed in the middle of town, where everyone can see. Change the way things are. I know it may seem small and insignificant, but it's not about what it is...it's about what it can become." The Once-ler says this to Ted in the movie, about the importance of planting the last Truffula seed.

"What I want more than anything is to see a real tree growing on my backyard.” Audrey, played by Taylor Swift, dreamily says this to Ted in the movie about the value she places on real trees.

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"Well, that’s me – the guy who still cares.” Ted tells the incredulous Once-ler in the movie that he cares about trees, despite the Once-ler believing no one cares about such a thing anymore.

"A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean." The Lorax character prophetically warns the Once-ler in the movie that he should lean away from greed, lest he destroy the planet.

"I remember when trees were everywhere. And no one had to pay for air." Grammy Norma sings this in the movie in support of planting trees.

It’s time to change the life we lead.” The crowd in the movie sings this, encouraging the repopulation of the land.

"Plant a seed inside the earth...Let's celebrate the world's rebirth. We say let it grow!" In the movie, the crowd also sings this quote, encouraging the repopulation of the land.

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