Environmental ethics cannot escape from considering what ought or ought not to be done, and how this is to be decided or discovered. ‘Principles for right action’ reflects on how to understand moral principles. It considers different contract theories of ethics, concluding that they continue to fail to ensure equity between generations and between species. Virtue ethics may be a more promising approach, but well-chosen, justifiable moral rules are essential. Rules and duties, and beneficial practices, traits, and actions are also discussed. The approach that is the more consistent, most fruitful, and best serves the needs of future generations seems to be consequentialism, allied to a broad theory of value.