Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Naperville Composting

Hi Everyone!

Here is an article on Naperville restaurants considering composting left over food at restaurants. North Central College & Jewel are already composting. Whole Foods have salad bar containers which are compostable. They also mention Pepsi is coming out with a bottle made entirely of plants products.

Monday, February 6, 2012

This is Psychology: Climate Change

Hi Everyone!

I'm sooo excited! :-) I just received an email from the APA which is perfect timing for your Sustainability asgn! Check out this short video series called "This Is Psychology" discussing how Climate Change is in the field of Psychology & mentioning a special issue of the American Psychologist which came out this past May-June devoted to Climate Change. We do not have this publication in our LRC currently. The APA is sending it to me & I will let you know as soon as it is here & available for you to look at if you like. Here is a list of the articles in the issue.

The APA has a variety of resources I would like to offer you. The first is a brochure entitled Society's Grand Challenge: Global Climate Change. The brochure states, "most scientists recognize that human behavior is the main cause of today’s climate crisis. Understanding that behavior, and learning how to change it, is one of our best hopes for a solution. Whether the goal is to reduce carbon emissions or to help vulnerable populations deal with rising sea levels and changing weather patterns, it is clear that values, beliefs, thoughts, and social relationships are key." Further we discussed Altruism in our Social Modules. They state "for someone who holds altruistic values, the next step toward pro-environmental behavior is belief—the belief that nature is inherently fragile, interconnected, and threatened by human activity. The combination of altruistic values and an ecological worldview generates what Stern calls a personal norm—a sense of moral obligation to act. The combination of a person’s knowledge along with features of the social situation provide opportunities to act on those norms, resulting in behaviors ranging from turning off unneeded lights to buying energyefficient
cars and home appliances to signing petitions and voting for politicians who share one’s concerns." We have been discussing stress recently and they point out that "psychological research can provide insights into climate-change-related stress and coping that will help individuals and communities deal with changing conditions in healthy, productive ways.
The APA has a small article on "Changing Minds To Prevent Climate Change" and in it they describe a Task Force which was put together to "outlines ways psychology can help people adopt more environmentally friendly behaviors as well as ways policymakers can publicize such practices and, whenever appropriate, weave behavioral research into environmental laws and regulations to make them more effective." You may recall the video I showed you with Dr. Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University explaining how people error in estimating the odds of gains and the value of those gains. The task force points out "well-researched psychological principle that people tend to discount future gains and losses plays a large part in their unwillingness to take climate change seriously." This is exactly in line with what Dr. Gilbert explained. They state it is the field of psychology which looks into what motivates, or demotivates behavior, thus changing people's behavior related to climate change. In addition the task force discusses how ignornance of Climate Change & how effectively changing behavior hinders progress and the effects of not making changes will have be "psychologically devestating." It is for this reason the task force "suggests that information about environmental sustainability be infused into psychological curriculum so that budding psychologists are equipped with the right tools to encourage environmentally friendly behavior."

Though all subfields of psychology have interest in Climate Change, here is a short article on specific fields of psychology which are involved, in particular my degree Industrial Psychology. Here is an explanation about what Conservation Psychology is.

Hopefully, after looking at these materials you will understand even more why I have Sustainability as a part of this coursel. I also want you to realize this is will be very vital area of psychology in the future & one you might want to consider! Any questions let me know!