Conserving African environment

August 13, 2016

As an ageing bloke, I am more concerned about a healthy life than anything else but remaining fit like a fiddle means i need to live in an environment that isn’t polluted.Thanks to less industrialisation, African countries has less pollution and generally, Africans worry about the environment but they do little to protect it. Psychological research offers one possible solution is to stop worrying.Feeling happy is in fact the best way to encourage environmentally friendly actions.According to a recent report,a good number of African population worry about environmental issues, such as loss of biodiversity, pollution, and climate change. But the report also shows that Africans do little to reduce their impact on the environment.Africans are among the highest consumers of water per household member and although the vast majority of them don’t have access to water. Africans recognise energy labels on appliances but very few have actually installed energy-efficient appliances.Africans are so worried about the environment but do so little to protect it.Traditional methods of encouraging people to be more environmentally sustainable rely on information campaigns to increase awareness and concern about environmental issues. However, information by itself is rarely successful in getting people to change behaviour or take action.Research in psychology has shown that the way we feel, being in a positive or negative mood for example, can greatly influence how human beings interact with each other and the world around them.When in a good mood, people are open to a wider range of experiences and are more likely to build up resources.Being happy might lead someone to start up a conversation with a stranger, which potentially expands their social network and builds up their social resources.Current research shows that putting a more positive spin on pro-environmental issues may be more effective in promoting environmentally friendly action than doom and gloom messages that encourage concern and worry.

Findings of a recent study demonstrate that positive emotions, such as feeling happy, satisfied and excited, are associated with more environmentally friendly behaviours in the workplace.The study showed that when people are feeling more positive they try to do more for the environment, whereas negative emotions made no difference in behaviour.The study also showed that different types of positive emotions led to different types of pro-environmental behaviour. According to the study, when people are feeling active positive emotions, such as enthusiasm or excitement, they are more likely to take pro-environmental action at work, doing things that goes above and beyond expectations.An example is when an employee who feels enthusiastic, might set up a new recycling bin for everyone to use. Interestingly, this effect is especially strong for people who are generally not committed to the environment. People who normally care a lot about the environment tend to act in environmentally friendly ways no matter how they are feeling on a particular day.On the other hand, when people are feeling less active positive emotions, such as feeling relaxed or content, they are more likely to carry out environmentally friendly behaviours that are widely accepted and commonplace.So employees who are feeling relaxed or content are likely to use the recycling bin that is readily available as opposed to not recycling or setting up a new recycling system.What these findings mean for public policy and efforts to increase environmentally responsible behaviour and decision-making is that, the policy and programs aiming to promote environmentally friendly behaviour need to think about the emotions they invoke. By understanding the link between emotions and environmental behaviour, organisational practitioners, campaigners and government agencies can craft messages that create the appropriate emotions.This would allow them to more successfully promote environmentally friendly behaviours and changes.To support more commonly carried out behaviours, it might be best to create campaigns that make people relaxed and calm.On the other hand, when the targeted behaviour is something that involves a change, perhaps it is best to inspire feelings of enthusiasm and excitement.Human behaviour is complex and multi-faceted. Environmentally friendly behaviour is no exception. There is no simple button to get people to do the right thing.Instead, social change requires multiple approaches like information, regulation, voluntary change campaigns among others that appeal to diverse communities.From the current research whose copy i have, putting a positive spin on environmental messages may be the way to go.

Contador Harrison