The environment is as important ecological source that helps sustain mankind. It is responsible for providing individuals with the necessary resources needed to live and prosper. Environmental resources have become a controversial topic of discussion. Individuals are concerned with the fast depletion of resources such as water, oil, and coal. Additionally, they are caught in the conflict of needing as much resources as possible for the fast growing population. This accommodation is stressful issue that influences an individual’s behavior and actions. Since life has become easy in terms of accessing natural resources, it has become the responsibility of the individual to prepare, cut down, and find alternatives to the extensive usage of natural resources.
People consume water and energy on a day-to-day basis. The most basic action, such as brushing your teeth, requires an individual to use water. Additionally, in one’s household, he/she is in charge of his electrical usage. For example, he/she can choose to leave all the lights on in the entire house or switch the lights off except for the areas he/she is in. According to Schneider, Gruman, and Coutts (2012) a resource dilemma occurs every time an individual wants to do something that requires using a natural resource. Therefore, all these actions are considered dilemmas. Furthermore, Schneider, Gruman, and Coutts (2012) stated that, “humans have a greater cognitive capacity than animals do, therefore, they can anticipate difficulties and solve problems.” This indicates that with the rise in complication resulting from a limited water supply, people can develop ways, approaches, and programs that may substitute or limit the usage of non-renewable resources.
Generally, environmental psychologists look for conditions where an individual will act in self-interest to the damage of others and the actual resource and where an individual will not act in self-interest to the damage of others and the natural resource. This process is linked to human behavior. Psychologists can develop strategies that can deal with problematic behavior. These approaches fall under two categories; antecedent strategies and consequence strategies (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). Antecedent strategies consist of behavioral commitment, goal setting, education, and environmental design. Whereas, consequence strategies consist of feedback and rewards. These two strategies can help promote environmental awareness and change. For example, education can be given to individuals about excessive water consumption and how it may affect their lives, the lives of others, and the environment. When change occurs, feedback and rewards can be given from governmental affiliations or other institutions that benefit from greener production.
Consequently, the planet provides man and animals with the necessary resources needed to live through each generation. As the population continues to grow, so does the consumption of our natural resources. It is an individual’s duty to preserve and maintain these resources rather than abuse their abundance. A main action to invest in is behavioral change. Generally, every human action is a result of one’s behavior and perspective. Psychologists tackle this issue in order to address the problem. Using different methods to induce behavioral change can result in positive outcomes for the individual, the people around him, and the environment itself. The consequences of a depleted world will result in chaos, therefore, to avoid this devastation, scientists and individuals can contribute to a great behavioral adjustment.
Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., and Coutts, L. M. (Eds.) (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.