Sep 18

Being a Positive Influence for Health’s Sake

This week we learned about the biopsychosocial model. This model states that health is related not only to biology but also to psychological and social factors (Schneider, Gruman, Coutts, p. 169 2012). The text talks about how social interactions can have a beneficial as well as negative impact on our health. For example, in my own personal life, I try to exercise regularly in order to stay healthy and maintain (or lose) weight. Because of my interest in staying healthy, I have a lot of friends that ask if they can work out with me. For them, having a work out partner is important to helping them make a similar health commitment to themselves, and I have the pleasure of being that positive impact.

That being said, I think a lot of the friends that I have are still in the early stages of change when they reach out about becoming healthier. Chapter 8 of the text also talks about the stages of change model, which includes pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance (Schneider et al. p. 180-181, 2012). The contemplation and preparation stages are generally where I find my friends, which is a place I was myself in for a long time. They are either contemplating their heath change, which means they are aware that a change needs to take place and are seriously considering doing so (Schneider et al. p. 180-181, 2012), or they are in the preparation stage which consists of making an actual plan and preparing to start making changes within the next month (Schneider et al. p. 180-181, 2012).

Taking classes like applied social psychology and learning about different health models has been very helpful to me, personally, as well as how I can help my friends and family. I was unhealthy for a long time and I never had any energy and was unhappy in a lot of ways. I’m definitely not the fittest person now, and I don’t make all of the right decisions, but I am much healthier and want to try and help the people I care about to be healthier as well. Hopefully having knowledge about the stages of change model, and others, will help me in my health endeavors!


.Schneider, F. W., Gruman J. A., Coutts, L. M. (2012). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Sep 18

Effect of Stress in Orphanages

Stress is such an interesting construct. It is heavily studied by psychologist in many different domains of research. We all have a collective identification with stress, because it is something that every individual experiences. From our lesson we learned that “stress arouses us to prepare us to cope with challenging events” (Nelson, PSU WC, lesson 5). Stress isn’t continuous. For the most part, we will all experience a stressful situation, and then it will resolve itself. I wondered what the effects of stress could be on an individual who experiences stress in a continuous cycle.

Professor Andy Bilson is a social worker who has advocated for the reform of orphanages on a global scale. He has seen first hand the haunting feeling of walking into an orphanage and not hearing anything but prevailing silence. How can this be? Anyone who is familiar with babies and children is that they are loud. They make noise. This is their nature. Babies cry for attention because it is their way of communicating that they need something. Anyone who has had a child knows that the cry of a baby is very effective and it does its job by getting your attention. Babies don’t cry in orphanages because they have learned that their needs will not be met, so why cry? Additionally, the stress a baby experiences is connected with higher cortisol levels. This dangerous level of cortisol has developmental and creates differences in brain growth in babies in orphanages.

I found this article to be heartbreaking, but it is a truth that we must face and correct. I have a cousin who was adopted from Russia when she was 16 months old. I remember my Aunt and Uncle telling me stories about the orphanage being silent, no crying. My cousin has faced countless set backs in her emotional and developmental growth. She was evaluated at age 12 as having the emotional maturity of a four year old. She has had to go to alternative schools because of her disciplinary problems in a main stream school.

It is not shocking that there are negative effects on someone who is under a constant state of stress. What is shocking to me, is how pervasive the effects of that last. Even with interventions, my cousin will probably never lead a completely independent life.


Bilson, A. “The babies who suffer in silence: how overseas orphanages are damaging children” The Telegraph. 6 November 2017. Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/babies-suffer-silence-overseas-orphanages-damaging-children/

Sep 18

Just Another Manic Morning

In terms of daily stress, I have about the normal amount for a working mother. My mornings consist of running around the house ensuring everyone is dressed, packed for school, with filled water-bottles, clean teeth and all the cats feed. Sometimes I have the added burden of getting the trash out to the street before the truck passes our house. A typical morning for the school-age parents according to Dr. Anderson who can be quoted in the article School Mornings Without Stress saying school mornings are like “frequent flyer situations for stress levels to regularly peak.” It seems that no matter how hard I try to plan ahead and get things ready the day before or wake up early to have enough time something out of the ordinary will always happen to throw us off.

What happens to all of us when I begin running around the house in chaos? Inadvertently I end up sending my kids off to school in a state of “Flight-vs-Fight” as my stress often is transferred to them when they pick up my panicking vibes. It starts with our hypothalamus getting us rolling with a blast of adrenaline and cortisol. These are the hormones that get me rolling with a surge of energy that gets my blood rushing, a flash of color to my cheeks and makes my body feel like it is in a cardio mode. This is usually the point where my kids will notice that I am hastening and will often speed themselves up and urge the other one to get going. With our now fast beating hearts we have an extra pump of oxygen-rich blood in our body and we will start breathing faster to match of pace. This seems to increase our stamina to run around the house even more as we gather supplies and finish last minute chores. These are only the noticeable physical changes occurring to our bodies as the hypothalamus activates the sympathetic nervous system.

Once we are all in the car and a good distance on the way to school our bodies begin to slow back to normal. It is almost as if a balloon of hot air is deflating in our car and balance is reinstated. Our hearts and breathing return to a normal pace. My face will usually return to my usual shade of pale and I no longer feel the need to do a thousand things in a second. My son says at this point that our game music has returned to normal instead of super speed (as video games do when the timer is about to go out.) This stage of our day is due to the parasympathetic nervous system being activated.

If you are a working parent like me, is this what your morning is like? Or if you have the magic formula for having a smooth sailing morning to school I would love to hear it! I know the children in my family and the many other families at the preschool I work for would definitely benefit from a different start to the day. If only we could learn to slow down and take a deep breath!

Arky, Beth “School Mornings Without Stress” September 2018 childmind.org

American Psychological Association “Stress Effects on the Body.” http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx

Sep 18

Gut-Wrenching Anxiety


Ever “gone with your gut instinct” or had felt “gut-wrenching anxiety” when you’ve been nervous?  You may be getting information from your “second brain.”  The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) is like a second brain in your gut.  That main role of the ENS is to control digestion.  Our guts consist of all of the organs that process, digest and eliminate food.  The ENS is the lining of that gut.  Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology says “The enteric nervous system doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results.”  Our brain can directly affect our stomachs and our stomachs can also affect our brain, meaning, this communication goes both ways.  For example, just the thought of food can cause our stomach to begin releasing acids for digestion.

This adjusts thinking on several levels, does our brain health affect our gut health or can our gut health affect our brain health?  Perhaps therapies that help our brain, can also help our gut health.  More specifically, altering the bacteria in our guts could affect our brain health.  Research shows that changes in the microbiome of our gut can cause symptoms that look like anxiety, depression and even Parkinson’s Disease (Mussell, et al., 2008).  Results suggest that patients presenting with GI problems should be screened for anxiety and depression.   Similar research shows that individuals with anxiety and depression often experience changes in the gut microbiome due to high levels of stress (Posserud et al., 2004). The gut microbiome are the bacteria, viruses and fungi that all live in the gut.  Stress can physically affect the physiology of the gut, in fact, stress and the hormones produced by stress, can influence the movement and contractions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Given the knowledge of these connections, it makes sense that we can experience GI symptoms from stress.

Research on the link between gut and brain health is still relatively new and there is still a lot to learn.  Scientists have learned about prebiotics and probiotics that can specifically change brain health.  Specifically, omega-3 fatty foods, foods that are fermented or high-fiber foods can be beneficial to brain health.  There are millions of nerves connecting the brain to the gut and this communication goes both ways.  It will be exciting to see what researchers come up with to combat mental illness using this gut-brain connection knowledge.



Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). The gut-brain connection – Harvard Health. Retrieved September 17, 2018, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection

Mussell, M., Kroenke, K., Spitzer, R. L., Williams, J. B. W., Herzog, W., & Löwe, B. (2008). Gastrointestinal symptoms in primary care: Prevalence and association with depression and anxiety. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 64(6), 605-612. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2008.02.019

Posserud I, Agerforz P, Ekman R, Björnsson ES, Abrahamsson H, Simrén M. Altered visceral perceptual and neuroendocrine response in patients with irritable bowel syndrome during mental stress. (2004). Gut. Aug 1;53(8):1102-8. https://gut.bmj.com/content/53/8/1102

The Brain-Gut Connection. (n.d.). Retrieved September 17, 2018, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-brain-gut-connection

Sep 18

Worried Sick

The amount of times that I use the word “stressed” in a day is concerning. From the daily routine of schoolwork, housework, errands, and everyday obligations, it seems that I’m rarely not feeling stressed. Stress is defined as “a particular relationship between the person and the environment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well-being” (Coutts, Gruman, Schneider, 2012, 183). The commentary described it well when stated that in modern life, the stressful situations that we face cannot be helped by our stress responses as they were by our ancestors, who used stress response as a survival tactic.

There is extensive damage that can occur from prolonged periods of feeling stressed. When one experiences chronic stress, it can start to interfere with the mind and body. For example, you may feel fatigued, unable to concentrate or irritable without reason. Chronic stress can also make existing problems worse, which then may lead to bad habits such as smoking, over eating, and excessive drinking as ways to cope with the stress (American Psychological Association, 2018).

I can personally attest to the negative consequences of chronic stress in my own life. A few years ago, my husband went on deployment and my body decided to start shutting down, due to the stress and worry that I was experiencing. I was unable to work and doctors could not pinpoint the problem through extensive testing, however, after a month of rest and towards the end of my husband’s deployment, I started to re-gain my energy. I literally stressed myself sick and needed to let my body get back to its normal functioning.

Harvard Business Review, describes how high pressure and anxiety at work may be one of the leading causes of stress in a person’s life. As previously discussed, studies show that the brain and body have difficulty differentiating between stress caused by real danger, such as a house fire and perceived danger, such as a boss with too many demands (Harvard Business Review, 2017). Therefore, it is crucial to help the body differentiate between the perceived danger and the real danger, by being aware of our bodies physical and mental symptoms.

Health psychologists are focused on problem-focused efforts, where one works to change the stressor itself, and emotion-focused efforts, where one tries to regulate emotions to minimize the distress. As stress and coping are a major focus in health psychology, it is important that we, as a whole, start to recognize the signs that our bodies are giving us and work to pinpoint the underlying issues caused by stressful situations in our lives. Whether it is documenting where you’re at or what your surroundings are when you’re feeling intense feelings of stress or simply taking time out of your day to do something you enjoy.


American Psychological Association (2018). How stress affects your health. APA.  Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress.aspx

Nelson, A (2018). Penn State World Campus. PSCH424 Applied Social Psychology. Lesson 5: Health AND Clinical/Counseling.Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1942493/modules/items/25002500

Schneider, F.W., Gruman, J.A., Coutts, L.M. (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (2nd ed).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Walsh, Regan (2017, November 01). What to do when work stress (literally) makes you sick. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2017/11/what-to-do-when-work-stress-literally-makes-you-sick

Sep 18

Behavioral Change Promotes Environmental Satisfaction

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.

Sep 18

Habitat Destruction

The loss of habitats is something that we are all aware of, but maybe don’t discuss as often. I love animals more than humans sometimes because we have changed the planet in so many ways and are responsible for the extinction of many species, which is pretty shameful. Habitat destruction should be discussed even more than it already is and some serious changes need to occur right now before we destroy everything completely. One way to do so is to educate everyone on what is exactly going on and motivate people to participate in making a change.

We have done many things that have been harmful to animals and have caused extinctions. Things such as abusing animals, using them as entertainment instead of letting them live in their natural habitats, and using their skin for fashion. Another terrible thing that has caused extinction is habitat destruction. The world’s forests, swamps, and lakes are disappearing because humans are building more housing, more roads, more pipelines, etc (Evans, 2011). According to EarthTimes, “Human activity is responsible for the loss of around half of the forests that once covered the Earth. Although these can recover and can even be sustainably harvested, their rate of loss is about ten times higher than the rate of regrowth” (Evans, 2011). Loss of these habitats also means the loss of other living species. For example, habitat destruction will be responsible for the extinction of 120 living primate species within the next ten to twenty years (Evans, 2011). The animals that will probably be affected more are the bigger ones such as tigers, mountain gorillas, pandas and lions because they require a bigger area of land for a healthy living and breeding population (Evans, 2011).

“Habitat loss is also a huge problem in the marine environment. Destructive fishing, using deep trawlers and dynamiting coral reefs destroy entire ecosystems. Coastal habitats are destroyed when land is drained for development. Excess nutrients from fertilizers or domestic sewage flow into the sea, causing harmful algae to form, blocking out the sunlight and depleting the water of oxygen” (Evans, 2011). The marine environment is another habitat that needs to be protected more because it’s also a great resource for humans. If the sea isn’t taken care of, then it can’t take care of us as well. For example, fish and water. We need fish because it’s beneficial to our health and we need the water. What happens when all of that is eventually destroyed?

There is also another environmental issue that is contributing to the one discussed here and that’s climate change. Climate change will cause many habitats to become inhospitable. For example, “A study in Nature indicated that within the next 50 years a quarter of the world’s land animals and plants could become extinct. This is around a million species”  (Evans, 2011).

Human intervention is a cause for this habitat destruction and needs to be taken more seriously. Right now the only thing that can be done is educate those around us on how to be more responsible for our environment. We need to be aware of what we can do in order to save more animals from extinction and we can start by taking care of their habitats. When you take care of the habitats, then more species will be saved over time. By destroying everything, we will end up causing the predicted extinctions and then what? Can you imagine a world with destroyed habitats and not seeing specific animals anymore such as lions, tigers, and gorillas? Personally, I can’t imagine a world like that and I don’t want to. We need to take responsibility and educate ourselves on how we can change our destructive ways.



Evans, M. (2011, May 10). Habitat Loss and Degradation. Retrieved from http://www.earthtimes.org/encyclopaedia/environmental-issues/habitat-loss-degradation/


Sep 18

Stately Sustainability


While I may consider it to be the best atmosphere in the whole country, others fear the cheers and jeers of the over 107,000 white-clad diehards screaming their lungs out on any given football Saturday. And no matter which side one may fall on, there is little doubt that Penn State’s Beaver Stadium provides a raucous and unique environment for college athletics, one that has drawn millions of people to central Pennsylvania over the years.

But in speaking about environments, there are many who are also concerned about how fan behavior not only generates an exciting sports scene but can also negatively affect the Earth. Do alumni waste an exorbitant amount of gas making their trips back to Happy Valley during football weekends? Is too much electricity consumed to turn the borough of State College into a bustling city in anticipation for the big game? Can anything be done to balance good times and good practices? A discussion of intervention strategy on individual’s behaviors, along with some current efforts by the Penn State community, may provide perspective in to what actions can be taken to promote future environmental sustainability.

One approach to shaping desired outcomes amongst society is the use of antecedent strategies during interventions. These schemes promote identifying the factors that cause behavioral issues, and then using goals, educational tools, and information to target the negative behavior before it has been committed (Schneider, Gruman, and Coutts, 2012). These devices “prime” the subject to make the necessary changes identified when formulating a solution to a problem, but do not necessarily require that the actual change takes place (Schneider et al., 2012, p. 307). Essentially, a proactive approach to eliminating adverse influences before a problem arises.

Here is an example for my football fans out there. Let us say that a certain football coach may hope to prepare his Nittany Lions to beat the University of Illinois next week but is concerned about his players losing focus as they look a week ahead to the Ohio State matchup. During the time prior to this week’s game, he may take to Twitter and repeatedly use the term “Illinois” to remind his team of where their concentration and goals should lie. Next, he will instruct the coaching staff to review film of only the Illini football team’s games and then also directs them to not use the words “Ohio” or “Buckeyes” all week. The entire team is provided with a scouting report on only Illinois’ strengths and weaknesses from the coaches, and there is no mention of any schools that may be located in a bordering state. In removing some the interfering elements, the team dedicates itself to focus solely on winning at Illinois. Likewise, similar interventional avenues can also be used to persuade others not to commit environmentally-hazardous behaviors.

With an overabundance of trash left after football games, Penn State is leading an effort to determine how to promote less waste by visitors to Beaver Stadium. In conjunction with the university’s Sustainability Institute, Tailgate Ambassadors have descended upon the stadium in recent years with the goal of promoting efficient recycling practices at football games (Tailgate, 2018). To intercept poor habits before they occur, these student volunteers spread out amongst the tailgating lots during the season, interacting with fans and providing educational information about how and where to dispose of waste. Fans are encouraged to presort their recyclable cans and bottles in to blue bags, and other waste is disposed of in similar clear containers. During just one home game against Michigan last season, Tailgate Ambassadors communicated with 80,000 fans, handing out 3,600 bags, and capturing 62,000 pounds of recycling (Tailgate, 2018). In using the antecedent strategies of setting goals and providing education and information before the problem arises, Penn State students are tackling the issue of environmentally-damaging behaviors.

Interventions program can be implemented to address the different factors associated with changing individual’s behaviors, as evident by organized volunteer initiatives at Penn State. Based on their adaptation in a variety of situations, antecedent strategies are currently being invoked by the university’s Sustainability Institute in providing student Tailgate Ambassadors who make a considerable difference in recycling efforts at Beaver Stadium. Prior to the disposal of trash, these volunteers educate fans about the correct methods for managing recyclables and waste, and in doing so, make a positive impact on the environment.

What else can be done to make the Penn State football experience an environmentally-sustainable one. Can all of those used vinyl pom-poms be repurposed into something more beneficial? Are concession stands currently operating at 100% compliance in using recycled foodservice plates and cutlery? Are there options for more energy efficient stadium lights? It remains an important endeavor to continue to seek new ways to make Penn State not only a great football atmosphere, but an environmentally-friendly one as well. Something everyone can cheer about!


Schneider, F.W., Gruman, J.A., & Coutts, L.A. (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Tailgate Ambassadors. (2018). Retrieved September 13, 2018, from https://www.pennstatecsl.com/tailgate-ambassadors.html

Sep 18

The War Against Straws

Recently the United States has gone to war; albeit the war is against plastic straws and not an actual country, but nonetheless it is a war. While the term war may seem a bit harsh, the amount of plastic waste harming our environment is even harsher. By 2050 there will be more plastic, (in terms of weight) than fish in the ocean (Petroff, 2018). If that prediction doesn’t alarm you then I don’t know what will. Due to this recent calculation, many countries are proposing bans, trying to discourage the use of plastic materials as much as possible. In Germany for example, bagging your groceries into a plastic bag will cost you an extra $0.20 per bag. The European Commission has proposed a legislation that will have all single use plastics banned by 2030 (Petroff, 2018). This legislation is a huge deal because it seemingly splits the responsibility between both the consumer and the business/corporation.
Other than threatening corporations with hefty environmental fines, our textbook discusses more positive ways to change people’s behaviors that would essentially benefit our environment. Firstly, we must choose a specific behavior to change that will improve the quality of the environment (CITE). Then we look at the factors that may influence said behavior (CITE). Third we come up with a plan, or design to change the specific behavior, and last, but not least we evaluate the results to see if it had an impact or not.
To change something as big as our plastic footprint, you must change the culture. Many people would be hesitant to give marketing companies their due credit, but this is why advertising is crucial and such an important piece of culture. Trying to appeal to someone’s inner sense of what’s right or wrong is not enough. Simply put, if you want to change the way someone thinks and behaves, you merely have to convince them that everybody else is doing it. Cue America’s favorite capitalist corporation: Starbucks. On July 9, 2018 America’s favorite coffee company announced that by 2020 they would eliminate all single-use plastic straws in more than 25,000 of their operated and licensed stores in North America (Viswanathan 2018). With such a prominent figure in American culture putting forth such a big move to improving our environment, it is only a matter of time before other popular food and retail companies follow suit. Normally I am one to support those that stand out from the pack, but in this case doing “what everybody else is doing” may not be such a bad thing after all.


Gruman, Jamie A., et al. Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems. 2nd ed., SAGE, 2017.
Petroff, Alanna. “Plastic Ban: Europe Plans to Phase out Plastic Cutlery, Straws and More.” CNNMoney, Cable News Network, 28 May 2018, money.cnn.com/2018/05/28/news/europe-plastic-ban-proposal/index.html
Viswanathan, Radhika. “Why Starbucks, Disney, and Tom Brady Are All Shunning Plastic Straws.” Vox, Vox, 27 July 2018, www.vox.com/2018/6/25/17488336/starbucks-plastic-straw-ban-ocean-pollution.


Sep 18

Dilemma of A Perfect Lawn

The environment is just one of the influences of humans. Bandura (1986) devised a theory that explains a triadic reciprocal or cause between humans and environment that is influenced by our own behavior. (PSU WC L4, 2018) For example, a neighbor of mine has a lawn that looks pristine and lush.  The lawn looks amazing but I feel it comes with a price for our environment.  The owners use a spray on their lawn that seems to have some toxic chemicals.  The reason I believe this is, I see them wearing a mask to cover their mouth and nose when they are spraying their lawn and gardens.  This spray is being used not only on his lawn but can travel beyond as it escapes through the air and wind as it traveling up and spreads beyond and may settle in our local water system, and other lawns that may not want all those chemicals on their own lawn.

Just by this one toxic spray can have about “about 30 commonly used chemicals in this product that people can use to treat their lawns that are not good for the environment.   Out of those 30 commonly used chemicals, there are about 19 different chemicals detected in groundwater, 20 have the ability to leach into drinking water sources, 30 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms vital to our ecosystem, 29 are toxic to bees, 14 are toxic to mammals, and 22 are toxic to birds”. (Beyond Pesticides, 2018) Those streams deer, coyote’s, fisher cats and wild animals drink from being affected.

A big factor with a perfect lawn and chemicals that are used to treat these lawns is also affecting the bee population.  A bee’s job is to pollinate plants, flowers, and gardens but is dying because of the chemicals that are in some of these sprays that we as humans are spraying on our gardens and lawns to keep certain bugs or weeds away.  Because bees are dying there are consequences that are affecting our environment and food supply.  Beekeepers are reporting that they are losing about 30% of there honeybee’s that are pollinating only 71 out of the 100 crops that provide 90% of most of the world’s food.  (Grozinger, 2018)

As I mentioned, just by one lawn owner spraying a toxic spray can have so much negative and harmful effect on our environment.  But, if you become an informed consumer and knowledgeable on what to use for products without all the harsh chemicals, your lawn can look the way you want it to.  Some of the chemicals to avoid are products with Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam, Acetamiprid, and Dinotefuran are a few toxic chemicals to stay away from.   Staying away from these kinds of toxic chemicals will not only help the bee population, but also our environment, water system, keep our own pets safe, food supply, and ecosystem, just by making a few different choices and not using certain chemicals.



Beyond Pesticides, (2018) Lawn Factor Sheets: Hazards of Chemical Lawn Care: [online] Retrieved September 15, 2018, from https://beyondpesticides.org/programs/lawns-and-landscapes/overview/hazards-and-alternatives

Environment Massachusetts, (Last updated 2/28/2017) Go Bee Friendly. [online] Retrieved September 15, 2018, from   https://environmentmassachusetts.org/programs/mae/no-bees-no-food

Grozinger, Christina Pennsylvania State University, (2018) Center for Pollinator Research. The Pollinator Research Center: More Than Just a Place: [online] Retrieved September 15, 2018, from https://ento.psu.edu/pollinators/publications/the-center-for-pollinator-research-at-penn-state

Pennsylvania State University, World Campus. (2018). PSCH424 Applied Social  Psychology. Lesson 4: The Environment: [online lecture notes] Retrieved September 12, 2018, from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1942493/modules/items/25002492

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