The subject of non-equilibrium thermodynamics is now quite old, dating back to Prigogine, Biot and Truesdell in the 1950's and 1960's. It has had a resurgence in the physical sciences in the past five years largely due to a consolidation of ideas on thermodynamics as a whole and to advances in computer speeds. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics has now advanced to a stage where it forms an umbrella approach to understanding and modelling coupled phenomena in Earth Sciences. Currently, approaches are pioneered independently in geodynamics, seismology, material sciences (solid mechanics), atmospheric and marine sciences (fluid dynamics) and the chemical sciences. We present a first attempt at consolidating some ideas and show a simple example with potential significance for geodynamics, structural geology and seismology.