Human beings should protect the environment in order to support the needs of every future generation. Global warming and climate change are unique problems that continue to affect the integrity of different ecosystems. Most of the strategies or initiatives put in place to deal with this problem have not delivered positive results. The use of programs such as educational campaigns and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategy that has failed to transform the situation.
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This research paper digs deeper in order to understand people’s relationships with the environment. Existing gaps will be identified in an attempt to propose appropriate recommendations that can transform the situation. Although the issue of attitude towards the environment can address most of the predicaments affecting humanity today, there are various actions and initiatives that can be undertaken to transform the situation and reduce people’s ecological footprints.
People’s Attitudes Towards the Environment
The role of human beings in the problem of global warming is a topic that continues to be hotly debated by policymakers, citizens, and politicians. Sawitri, Hadiyanto, and Hadi (2015) indicate that most of the activities are responsible for the changes experienced in the world since 1950. This predicament has been associated with the emission of dangerous greenhouse gases that destroy the ozone layer (Lao, Ho, & Yang, 2016). Various human activities have the potential to disorient or affect the integrity of the natural environment. For instance, deforestation is common malpractice that is pursued to get adequate land for farming and construction. The cleared forests affect the integrity of the surrounding environment. This means that the rate of global warming will increase significantly.
Human initiatives can be detrimental to the environment. For example, the use of aerosols and pesticides for agricultural purposes pollutes water and air. Some of the chemicals contained in these products are capable of emitting dangerous materials and gases, thereby affecting the integrity of the ozone layer. The wave of technological change has resulted in many vehicles, airplanes, and trains that emit greenhouse gases (Sachdeva, Jordan, & Mazar, 2015). These compounds or substances have led to the problem of global warming.
Numerous challenges associated with the natural environment, such as increased pollution, heavy downpours, extreme weather patterns, and transformed climatic conditions, continue to trouble people today. These problems have emerged due to peoples’ inability to protect the integrity of the natural environment (Bronfman, Cisternas, Lopez-Vazquez, de la Maza, & Oyanedel, 2015). Typhoons and tsunamis are being recorded in different parts of the world. These observations show conclusively that environmental conservation is an issue that should be taken seriously than ever before.
Current Behaviors and Attitudes
Within the past four decades, many people have been educated and empowered to transform their relationships with the natural environment. Tankha (2017) indicates that numerous initiatives and programs have been implemented in different parts of the world to educate individuals about the importance of protecting natural resources. Evidence-based practices such as conserving materials and recycling have been targeted by different stakeholders. These initiatives have resulted in desirable attitudes towards the environment. Bronfman et al. (2015) acknowledge that a lot needs to be done if positive results are to be realized in different parts of the world. This happens to be the case because many people are yet to embrace desirable practices that have the potential to protect the environment.
Many communities in the developed world have implemented superior initiatives that treat the concept of environmental protection as an ethical value (Sawitri et al., 2015). This means that individuals are informed and sensitized about the relevance of practices and ideas that can protect the environment. The notion of sustainable development has also been popularized, whereby many people are encouraged to focus on initiatives that can meet the demands of future generations.
Zhang et al. (2017) argue that many people in different developed countries focus on desirable practices that can result in the conservation of the natural environment. They have also been promoting specific approaches to empower more people to engage in sustainable initiatives. For example, human beings have been guided to use energy from renewable and sustainable sources such as wind and solar power (Zhang et al., 2017). Those who use electricity also appreciate the fact that natural lighting systems should be put in place.
A survey conducted by Sachdeva et al. (2015) revealed that half of the respondents were willing to engage in superior practices that could promote the integrity and sustainability of the environment. According to them, the idea was appropriate since it was capable of preserving natural resources and ensuring that they were available to many people in the future. They were also willing to plant trees in an attempt to minimize levels of soil erosion. The use of various resources efficiently was a superior practice that was being considered by many individuals to protect the natural environment.
In different companies, managers were implementing superior codes of ethics that focused on sustainable business practices. For instance, many corporations had designed powerful training programs to educate their workers about the relevance of environmentally-friendly practices (Pavalache-Ilie & Cazan, 2017). Some employees were observed to support evidence-based initiatives such as the power of research and development (R&D). This move was being taken seriously in an attempt to deal with the problem of environmental degradation (Sawitri et al., 2015). The companies were also ready to reduce their emissions, such as greenhouse gases. This was being achieved through the use of renewable energy sources. Wastewater was also being treated in an attempt to reduce the levels of pollution.
According to Bronfman et al. (2015), many people have positive attitudes regarding the protection or conservation of the natural environment. Such thoughts are crucial since they can either promote or decrease the quality of the environment (Lao et al., 2016). The introduction of learning courses and programs that revolves around the integrity of the natural resources and surroundings is an approach that has led to positive attitudes. In societies whereby positive mindsets have been taken seriously, it has been possible to record positive or meaningful results. This is the reason why many researchers propose that similar initiatives and ideas should be promoted in the underdeveloped world to maximize environmental quality.
The introduction of powerful campaigns aimed at sensitizing more people about the issue is an approach that has resulted in desirable attitudes. Those who benefit from the process embrace superior practices such as reusing and recycling scarce materials. They understand that such a practice can minimize the level of environmental exploitation and make it beneficial to every future generation. This concept has also been considered to empower more people and make it easier for them to plant trees (Tankha, 2017). The use of biodegradable materials is another positive outcome that arises from the implementation of effective educational initiatives or programs.
Some individuals have developed unique attitudes that dictate the nature and quality of products or services purchased. For instance, customers planning to purchase vehicles have been concerned about the issue of emission since it can have direct influences on the natural environment. This is the reason why many people are currently focusing on cars and trucks that have minimal impacts on the environment (Sawitri et al., 2015). Consequently, many automobile corporations such as Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen have been on the frontline to consider this emerging demand.
The concept of personal ecological footprint has become common in different regions or states. Many individuals have learned the relevance of engaging in practices that have the potential to promote the integrity of the natural environment. For instance, they use renewable energy sources, recycle food materials, and use bicycles for transportation (Bronfman et al., 2015). They also plant trees and construct houses that require sustainable materials. Water harvesting has also been taken seriously to minimize the level of runoff and reduce the problem of soil erosion.
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The above observation appears to be challenged by the fact that the problem of environmental degradation continues to affect many countries and communities. This issue is attributable to the negative attitudes associated with individuals who do not care about the natural environment. Zhang et al. (2017) argue that the ideals of capitalism have created a unique scenario whereby many investors and individuals focus on activities that have the potential to meet their economic goals. This is the reason why they have been destroying forests and overusing natural resources to support their business goals (Neiman & Ades, 2014).
At the individual level, practices such as deforestation, misuse of resources, and overreliance on nonrenewable energy sources have remained common. This is a clear indication that people’s attitudes towards the environment are yet to be improved or reconsidered.
Lao et al. (2016) assert that pro-environmental concepts and attitudes are influenced by a number of forces that must be taken seriously. For instance, a person’s age, socioeconomic status, and education will dictate his or her attitudes towards the surrounding environment. Other forces such as politics, social values, cultural practices, and gender have also been mentioned by different scholars (Tankha, 2017).
This means that individuals below the age of seventeen years might not be keen to engage in practices that have the potential to conserve the natural environment. In cultures whereby the issue is taken seriously, more individuals will be willing to plant trees and recycle various materials. The opposite will be recorded in countries and societies whereby pro-environmental ideas and attitudes are missing.
Environmental education has not been taken seriously in every community. This malpractice has affected the experiences and expectations of many people. Without effective procedures, more people find it hard to monitor or engage in practices that can result in environmental conservation. The absence of social programs and policies aimed at promoting this idea is an issue that continues to affect the attitudes of many people towards the environment negatively (Sawitri et al., 2015). The mass media has also failed to sensitize and educate more people about the role of the natural environment in their lives. These gaps explain why there is a need to implement evidence-based initiatives to improve the situation and support the needs of future generations.
Several approaches should be taken into consideration to empower more people to continue conserving the natural environment. Neiman and Ades (2014) support the power of the planned behavior theory to influence appropriate practices and attitudes that are capable of delivering positive results. For instance, individuals can be informed and guided to engage in meaningful practices such as planting trees and reusing various materials or resources. The use of efficient educational programs can be considered in order to meet the needs of every identified group.
Governments also have a role in supporting the implementation of superior policies that can result in desirable or pro-environmental attitudes (Pavalache-Ilie & Cazan, 2017). This strategy can be achieved through the use of positive behaviors and concepts that encourage more people to preserve various resources and engage in practices that can protect the natural environment. Every person should also be willing to engage in lifelong learning (Lao et al., 2016). This initiative will make it easier for more individuals to be aware of their ecological footprints, changing global conditions, and evidence-based initiatives for improving the integrity of the environment.
The completed study has revealed that the issue of environmental conservation has been taken seriously by some people in different parts of the world. However, positive results are yet to be realized since there are individuals whose attitudes towards the natural environment are underdeveloped. The involvement of different stakeholders such as the government can result in superior policies and educational programs that can transform the current situation. The presented proposals can address the current obstacles and eventually empower more people to promote the integrity of the natural environment.
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