Communities around the world face pollution problems on one level or another. Pollution exists in a number of forms, including noise, air, land, water, indoor, and outdoor. Humans are affected by pollution both physically and emotionally through the effect on the environment and physical health. The life blood of the community is the water source, whether it comes from a river, well, or water treatment plant. The purpose of this paper is to review one pollution problem faced by a community, how the problem affects the psychological health of the community and purpose a solution to that problem.
The chosen topic for this paper is water control which will include the pollution problem of water control, the effects on humans, conservation techniques, and barriers to solving the problem. Psychology and the Preservation of the Environment A diverse relationship exists between psychology and the preservation of the environment. The world of psychology covers an extremely huge realm, which is full of different areas and much information. Inside this realm is the notion of the environment, which surrounds human beings.
The word “environment” is composed of diverse concepts and possesses an extremely large definition or can be quite specific. Certain examples of environments are institutions, office or event buildings, or family settings, to name just a few (Veitch & Arkkelin, 1995). Resources have grown less available over the years. When compared to many years ago when resources like water were in abundance and human beings did not need to concern themselves with running out of this resource, today water and other resources are revealing signs of extreme reduction.
This indicates that if the population does not work to conserve these resources, they could evaporate ultimately. One main relationship or connection between psychology and preservation is behavior. Human beings behave in a certain manner, which is influenced by their capability and willingness. These behaviors can possess an effect on the preservation of the natural environment. Nevertheless, a human being’s behavior can be altered to fit the needs of other individuals (Veitch & Arkkelin, 1995).
The main component of this behavior modification is the motivation of the human being because if people do not yearn to adapt their behavior, the essential behavior changes will not take place (Veitch & Arkkelin, 1995). The following is an example of the need for adaptive behavior for the occurrence of water conservation. If a human being possesses a large swimming pool, he or she will most likely be adding water on a normal basis to keep water in the pool and to keep it clean.
In addition cleaning and replacing filthy water for clean water is an excellent way to maintain a sanitary swimming pool. However, certain individuals exist who quickly refill their swimming pools with more water once a small amount is splashed out. When a decrease in water availability exists, a human being must alter his or her behavior to preserve water. Furthermore, an individual must be willing to desist from refilling his or her water when this happens. This involves certain behavior alterations, which if an individual can achieve can create a huge contribution to his or her environment.
However, if an individual does not change his or her behavior, the government body that observes the accessibility of water will need to create a decision regarding how to decrease the water consumption. Numerous issues regarding preserving and conserving the environment possess a focus throughout psychology. As the population evolves and human beings help to protect the environment, people in the intended environment will begin to adapt (Veitch & Arkkelin, 1995). Young children will learn to preserve water and other natural resources.
Furthermore, the generation of these young children will adapt easier compared to their parents who knowingly had to change their behavior to preserve the natural resources within their environment. Solution for Water Pollutants Community and Factory Solution In 1972, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act that is now known as the Clean Water Act (CWA) was formed (NPDES. 2011). What this act was to ensure is that there are regulations put in place for the pollutants entering the water from point sources in the United States.
Industries are given a limit of how much and how they are disposing of harmful chemicals that will either go directly into the water or into sources that will reach water supplies (NPDES. 2011). Rules, limits, regulations as well as permits are needed for disposal of toxins (NPDES. 2011). Workplaces, factories, and manufacturing plants have been fined, but still continue to release harmful toxins that go against the regulations of the CWA (Dissenting, 2000). The issue with this is that the problem still arises and many of these places are not punished for the crimes they are committing (Dissenting, 2000).
As of this time the penalties are a fine of between $5,000 and $50,000 a day as well as but not necessarily, including possible jail time of no more than three years (Dissenting, 2000). Penalties need to be more extensive with laws that also state that after so many offenses that the factories are shut down with a possible permanent license removal. It would also be feasible to have the fines start at the $5,000 to $50,000 a day but have them go up a percentage each day or a larger percentage weekly, however, not to exceed a number of days without loss of licensing and permit loss.
Second offense would be the same although time that elapses without license or permit is to be extended. Personal or Household Solution Many brands are labeling their products as “green” (Yu, 2010, April). It is difficult to know what one is buying when he or she flips to the back of a product and still many of the ingredients are unrecognizable. Many people will pay more money for products in the hopes of buying a product that will be better for the environment, themselves, and family. Federal regulation at this time expresses leniency on companies using the word “green” in their products (Yu, 2010, April).
Some companies are using phrases like ”nontoxic” such as Simple Green, although the products still contain chemicals that are found to cause red cell damage and even reproductive issues in animals (Yu, 2010, April). Other companies are using the term “green,” and this actually means in the product is that they are using the least toxic chemicals found in the group which the chemicals are classified under (Yu, 2010, April). There are many simple tricks, or products people may use that they generally have lying around the house.
This will ensure that the people know what products they are using and know that the toxins are not in what they are using. Here are some helpful tips. Bathtubs, Floors, and hard to scrub areas (baking soda with vinegar) Cutting Boards and Counters (Hot water and vinegar) Furniture (Microfiber cloth dampened) Polished Furniture (A regular cloth and an oil base, such as olive oil or even a citrus oil) Windows (isopropyl alcohol, water, and vinegar) Air Freshener (Water, baking soda, and lemon or even fabric softener) Mold (one part peroxide to two parts water let sit for one hour) Barriers to the Solution
Big corporations, manufacturing companies, and utilities have been given a set of rules and regulations to follow when the use and disposal of chemicals are involved. Often penalties have been enforced for disregarding regulations and the discovery of illegal dumping; however, this has not stopped the problem. Enforcing the regulations and ensuring payments of the fines given has proven to be a difficult task. Political lobbyist hired by the corporations have helped to protect the interests of the companies by effectively limiting the amount of the fines and helped to create legal loop holes to avoid paying those fines.
The legal battles which may be successfully brought before a court can take years to win and with the financial resources on the side of corporations the cases sometimes never make it into court. In addition the sum of the fine is often easier to pay so the companies can go about their business. Increasing regulations and raising the limits on the fines could be beneficial but difficult to achieve because of the political action of hired lobbyist. Outcome and Justification Water pollution is a serious problem that is affecting the environment in multiple ways. By limiting the amount of pollution, the environment may be preserved.
Behavior modification techniques can enforce proper waste control and proper chemical use. To preserve the environment, harsher punishments are suggested for companies that violate the regulations of the Clean Water Act. Fines are currently at a flat rate per violation. A suggested action is to increase the fine until the regulations are followed. In the case that regulations are continually violated, companies should face loss of license. These suggestions may prove difficult to enforce because of legal and political barriers. Household pollution can be limited by changing the use of products.
Some products are misleading in advertisements and claims; phrases such as “green” and “non-toxic” do not always mean chemical free. These types of products can cause severe damage to the environment, animals, and people. Behavior modification is the basis behind the suggestions to reduce and prevent water pollution in both industrial environments and in the household. Behavior modification relies on the concept of conditioning (Sullivan, 2009). Behaviorism was based on the idea that individuals had no free will and all actions could be explained using stimuli and responses.
Operant conditioning modifies behavior through rewards and punishment. To encourage a behavior, a reward is offered upon completion of the behavior (Sullivan, 2009). To reduce a behavior, a punishment is given upon each occurrence of the undesired behavior. Using rewards and punishments, behavior can be modified. In this situation, behavior can be modified to reduce pollution (Sullivan, 2009). In the case of companies violating regulations of the Clean Water Act, a punishment would be given with each violation. If the severity of the punishment is sufficient, the behavior will be less likely to occur again.
The idea behind increasing the fines is that increasing the severity of the punishment will decrease the likelihood of repeat behavior. In the situation of chemical use and pollution in the household, rewards may be used to modify behavior. Suggested alternatives to harmful chemicals are less costly and simple to use. Benefits also include a sense of health safety when harsh chemicals are not present. The financial reward of not buying chemicals and less concern for health may increase the likelihood of using home remedies rather than chemical filled products.
Small changes can create differences in actions and the influence on the environment. Behavior modification regarding water pollution may reduce pollution and preserve the environment. Conclusion Pollution plagues communities around the world affecting health and the environment. Identifying pollution problems, their causes, and solutions is the key to preserving the future for the next generations. Water is a necessity for every living organism on the planet and clean drinking water is a must for humans and animals alike.
Once the target pollution issue has been identified, creating a workable solution that can be accomplished by all those in the community is the next important step. Every potential solution may have various barriers to overcome, such as political, legal, and financial considerations. Political barriers, such as corporate lobbyist are likely to be a problem. However, environmental lobbyists are helping to fight solutions to pollution and the damage it is doing to the earth and humans. The implications for the future are not very promising without conscientious changes individually and communally.
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