How Was George Washington Carver America’s First Environmentalist and How Were His Ideas Ahead of Their Time?

George Washington Carver had many thoughts on the environment that were years ahead of their time.

He once said, “There is no better plant food than the things we ignore or throw away every day.”

Carver taught his students how to make compost of leaves, garbage, and weeds long before the organic gardening movement of the late twentieth century.

He believed that all things in the world are interconnected and that to ignore this fact can have disastrous effects.

He said all our actions on our environment “must be considered in the light of its overall, long-term consequences, not just its immediate benefits.”

Carver seemed to foresee the “reduce, reuse, recycle” approach of the conservation movement.

He said, “Waste is man-made. Nature produces no waste; whatever is consumed is returned to the whole in a reusable form. Man fails to utilize appropriately the bounty of nature.”