7400.362 - Family Life Management
School of Family and Consumer Sciences
Instructor: David D. Witt, Ph.D.
Topic 12 - Managing Environmental
This chapter reviews the current state
of our natural environment with emphasis, as is the expressed goal of
Family and Consumer Sciences, on the near physical environment -
home and community. We are all a little more sensitive to environmental
issues as a result of some issues becoming part of our political
dialog. The challenge for the future is have products that make
people’s life healthier and more convenience, while also contributing
to the environmental cause of cleaner earth, sky, water and so on.
Substainable Development is the slogan
a form of growth wherein societal needs, present and future, are met”.
This requires the input and cooperation of all segments of society,
producers and consumers.
Your text offers the advice of including
concerns in our daily lives by studying the 3-Rs solution:
reducing, reusing and recycling
It is increasingly being accepted
worldwide as means of combating negative effects on the environment.
Study life cycle of household product,
which includes their manufacturing, distribution, disposal, energy use
and human resources. Environmental problems are intertwined with
trends, practices, preferences, and variations in human behavior.
Theme of the chapter is to think about
others and the future of this planet. Building on the chapter on
resources and managing human resources, time stress and fatigue, this
chapter gives practical examples about to manage the environment and
global well-being.· Stewardship:
the responsibility to preserve what we have inherited.
THE ECOSYSTEM AND ENVIRONMENTALISM
The Systems approach emphasis the
and interaction between different systems. Systems are composed of
and nonliving things.
Environmentalism is the concern for the
Using environment friendly products is one of the ways of showing the
Major aim of environmentalism is to retain existing environmental
- Living Systems (e.g., plants,
are open systems that react to the feedback and are prone to stress in
which the living cannot survive.
- Family ecosystem is the subsystem of
that emphasizes the interaction between families and environment.
- Ecology is the study of how living
to their natural environment
- Ecosystem is the subsystem of human
emphasizes the relationship between organism and their environment.
- Habitat is the place where an
organism lives and
the external condition that surrounds and influences the life of an
an individual, a family, or a population constitutes its environment.
Resources can be divided into two
1. Social Environmental Resources -
array of societies, economic and political groups and community
In each of these, people are united in
cause, such as saving the manatees, or in more general concern, such as
reducing global warming.
2. Physical Environmental Resources -
natural tangible (e.g., trees, soil, and ocean) and less tangible)
air, sound, and light) surroundings.
Ecoconsciousness refers to the
and actions given to protecting and sustaining the environment.
Conservation is the act or process
preserving and protecting natural environments from loss or depletion.
The degree of ecoconsciousness varies, as
below in the figure. Each person and each family fall somewhere on the
Problem Recognition: Seeing the need for
changes that improve the environment occurs when an individual or a
perceives significant differences between their lifestyle and some
or ideal lifestyles. The discrepancy must be large enough to push the
to action Such a problem can arise in one of the two ways
1. Need Recognition: Here, the person
how much he or she needs a certain product, service, or condition. For
example, suppose the price of gasoline soared to over $ 10 a gallon.
everybody needs gasoline but then who can really afford it?
2. Opportunity Recognition: Here, the
realizes that she or he may have limited or no access to a product,
or condition. For example, this shortage forces gasoline stations
to close for few days. Now the situation arises where if the drivers
gasoline they cannot purchases it.
Many environmental problem involve both
opportunity recognition. Communication plays a large part in
problem recognition. The Federal government communicates environmental
information through news releases, press conferences, warnings and
Other sources of environmental communication are Television, Magazine,
newspapers, radio and families, which communicates news about the
condition and behavior. Parent model littering and recycling behaviors
for their children. Once the environmental problem has been recognized,
the individual involved engages in an information search in order to
Each day 50-100 animal and plant species
being extinguished somewhere in the world. One of the chief causes of
extinction is the loss of habitat that is primarily caused by human
encroachment. As humans use more resources (fuel, land,
etc.), fewer resources are available for the other life forms.
ethics helps us to decide which species will be saved and which will be
not. Ethics are system of morals, principles, values, - but not always
good conduct or behavior.
Individual And Family Decision Making
Individuals and families are taking on
share of responsibility of their environment and are relying less on
Environmental problems are too widespread
be remedied buy one group. Boundaries of the problems are often
and blurred to discern. For e.g., consumption and disposal practices of
individuals and families, as well as those of businesses and industry,
contribute to waste stream (all garbage produced).
A difficult aspect of environmentalism
is to determine
what is a real, acute problem or shortage and what is not.
Critical thinking skills and cross-
the information at several different reliable sources is required
arriving at the truth of a situation. Environmental decisions made by
individual or the family members are complicated enough considering the
range of values, resources, goals, and decision-making steps involved.
Within the same family there may be vast
in types, styles and levels of environmental awareness. Differences are
even more evident between families and between communities. For
some communities have an active recycling programs that makes it easier
for people to recycle, and ease is significant factor in the success of
ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND SOLUTION.
Is a general term referring to undesirable
in physical, chemical, pr biological characteristics of air, land, or
that can harm the health, activities, or survival of living organisms.
Common to all environmental problems is the widespread growth of
The two main problems associated with
are a. Shortage and Water Pollution
Since 1900 there has been a six-fold
in worldwide water use. According to the Environmental Protection
(EPA), approximately 50.000 water contaminants have been identified,
more than 100 of these are regulated in U.S.
The five main types of contaminants in the
water supply are:
a. Chlorinated solvents
d. PCBs (or
e. Pathogenic bacteria
Each year, U.S. residents spend over a
dollars on home purifying equipment and water filtration. Before
in any equipment or services, consumers should first have their water
by legitimate testing services that are not selling a product.
of drinking water is not the only water-related issues.
There are many others, including the
Water Consumption and Shortage
- Drinking water: supply and
and health consideration.
- Groundwater: Availability and
and contamination, consequences to public health, detection, and
- Seawater: Quality and quantity;
preservation of sea
- Water for agricultural use:
Conversation and supply
- Water for industrial use: Supply and
- Water for household use: Supply and
and water efficient products
Estimated per capita in-house water use
from 20 to 100 gallons per day and staticstic illustrate, the greatest
water use is in the bathroom. Water used to be cheap, clean, and
but in many metropolitan areas in the dry Southwest and southern
water has now become a limited resource. Many areas are regulating
use through rules and legislation. The amount of water available varies
by Region, Season of the year, and Climate.
As the population grows, the need for
and the present system of dams and adequate will have difficulty
the demands. At some point, all individuals and families will have to
their lifestyles to effectively mange the supply that is available to
Practical Ways to Reduce Household
Following are the low-cost or free ways to
Energy & Fuels
- Do not leave the water running while
brushing teeth, or shaving
- Run full loads in the washing machine
New front loading washer use 30- 40 % less than top-loaders
- Install water-saving shower heads or
instead of baths
- Fix leaky faucets and toilets
- Landscape with native plants that do
- Use only the water necessary for
cooking and rinsing
- Water the lawns and garden early in
the morning to
avoid loosing too much water to evaporation in the heat of the day.
soil with compost or mulch to reduce evaporation
- Use buckets of water to wash car
rather than running
water continuously from the hose.
The main problems with energy are Energy
Energy wastage, Pollution from the use of dirty fuels.
Fossil Fuels, the naturally altered
dead animal and plant life results in fuels such as coal, oil, and
gas, whch are burned to release energy. When burned, unconsumed
are released into the atmosphere by the ton. For example, the unburned
components of gasoline that are causing much of the trouble in the air
and water are:
Another problem with overdependence on
is the conflicts that result from the geopolitical elements that profit
from crude oil production.
- Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas - 5
pounds for every
gallon of gasoline burned- a greenhouse gas that is contributing to the
"warming" of the earth - leading to shrinkage of ice and
more water in the environment, flooding, and weather pattern changes
- Nitrogen oxides, the main source of
urban smog -
causes respiratory ailments and infections and, when coupled with high
temperatures and humidity, is particularly hard on young children and
Unburned hydrocarbons, the main source of
ozone - Stratospheric ozone has been called "good" ozone because it
the Earth's surface from dangerous ultraviolet light. Tropospheric
(often termed "bad" ozone) is man-made, a result of air pollution from
internal combustion engines and power plants and produces nitrogen
gases and volatile organic compounds.
Electricity is the main form of
used in today’s homes. In and of itself, electricity is a clean form of
energy. The problem with electricity use has to do with the way it is
- burning coal generates most of the electricity, followed by
from nuclear reactors. Electricity is also produced by generators
by steam, from other fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas.
power, which comes from generators turned by falling water, is another
current source of energy.
Other alternative sources are solar
geothermal power stations.
Obviously, the cleaner the source of
produces electricy, the healthier we all will be.
Energy Consumption and Home Energy
The United States uses more energy per
than all other countries - about 20% of the worlds population, the U.S.
consumes about 50% of the enery produced worldwide. An
conventional house uses 20,000 to 30, 000 kWH (kilowatt hours) of
each year. Depending on the climate and the home’s insulation,
· 60 % of energy
space heating and cooling
· 20% to hot water
· 20% to
· 10% to lighting
· Remaining to
charges and maintenance
Quick Ways of saving the energy
· Making a few
in a home (e.g., adding storm windows, adding overhangs, shutting
· Mend cracks in
windows, and doors
Practical Ways to Reduce Household
Improved Insulation reduces energy loss.
There are several forms of insulation.
value (R stands for resistance) means less energy loss.
Sources of Insulation:
The climate will influence the best site
or situation of a house) and orientation (the location or situation of
the house relative to points on a compass). Homeowners and builders
take care of the natural environment into account. For e.g., in states
with hot climates, most houses should have few windows on the
side to avoid the afternoon sun. States with cold climate, houses
have few windows on the north side to reduce the cold drafts.
- Rigid panels or sheets of insulation
- Batts (fluffy fiberglass rolls of
- Blown Insulation (mainly chopped
- A vapor-proof barrier of strong
- Double – or triple glazed windows to
loss or heat gain.
- Weather-stripping around windows and
doors will seal
- Window awnings reduces heat in summer
- Drawn insulated drapes will reduce
heat loss in winters.
- Warmth and shelter can be enhanced if
winds, water and the sun are considered.
Landscaping can also affect heat loss
Deciduous trees, such as oaks and maples lose their leaves in winters.
The leaves will shield the house in the summer, but let sunshine
in the winters.
Other energy saving steps:
- Install a computerized thermostat
- Turn the thermostat down on water
heater. Each 10
– degree reduction cuts water heating energy bills by 3-5 %.
- Keep the temperature setting in the
between 38 and 42-degree Fahrenheit and the freezer between 0- 5 degree
Fahrenheit. Clean refrigerator coils at least once a year. A filled
and freezer is more energy efficient than an empty or partially filled
- Use small appliance, as they require
than large ones. A microwave, ovens and toaster ovens uses less energy
than conventional ovens.
- Replace old, inefficient appliances
with new ones.
To help consumers select low energy
The Appliances Labeling program administered by the Federal Trade
requires major household appliances- those using the most energy-to
an Energy- Guide label. Even small savings helps and consumer can
home energy consumption by:
- Installing dimmer switches
- Lighting areas for specific needs
- Installing fluorescent lights, which
uses 80% less
energy than candescent lights
- Using light color on ceilings, wall,
floors and furniture
as they reflect, more light and brighten a room
- Replace old lamps with new, more
- Turning off lights when not in use
- Checking Energy- Guide or Energy Star
- Efficient appliances and lighting and
of human behavior (e.g., shutting windows when the air conditioning is
on) can substantially affect the energy use in the home.
Noise is measured in decibels (dB) - The
or loudness, of sound is the amount of acoustic energy transmitted
the air. The lowest sound humans can hear is 1dB. Homes, offices, and
environment should strive to offer a comfortable amount of noise. Too
sound makes a person feel uncomfortable or lonely. Too much nose is
common problem too little. Often the noise itself is not irritating,
the continuous nature of noise or the combination of noise (e.g., the
of the vacuum cleaner, the blender, the television, and children
doors occurring at the same time) Poorly constructed buildings add to
Practical Ways to Reduce Noise
Waste and Recycling - A typical
4.4 pounds of garbage a day. United States is running out of ways to
of garbage. Historically landfills were cheap and readily available,
vacant land is no longer cheap and is becoming increasingly scarce
cities Recently a new method of waste disposal has come up which is
as integrated waste management. In this system:
- Find housing away from noisy traffic,
- Plant barrier trees and hedges to
reduce noise. High
walls and earth mounds also cut noises
- Place bedrooms in quieter parts of
the house. Put
the garage on the noisy side of the site
- Buy “quiet” appliances – these have
- Keep the volume on radios and
- Draw heavy drapes and close blinds to
shut out neighborhood
- Weather-strip windows and doors to
noise from entering. Inside solid-core doors will reduce noise between
rooms. On busy street, use double- or triple-pane windows.
- On common walls between apartment,
and concrete reduce noise better than wood or aluminum sidings
- Use soft, porous surfaces that
absorbs sound rather
than hard, smooth surfaces that reflects sounds.
According to Environmental Protection
the break down of U.S. garbage is as follows:
- Waste product are sorted
- Recyclable items are reused
- Rest is burned cleanly in a furnace
that also produces
steam to generate electricity
- Remaining ashes goes to landfills
In recent years, recycling has become
examples:Plastic (Used for fiberfill for pillows, flowerpots,
bristles, fence posts, insulation and docks), Paper (used for game
puzzles, stationary, newspaper, toilets paper, paper towel, egg carton,
boxes, books and tickets), Glass (Used for bottles, street paving,
and bricks), and Aluminum (Used for cans, lawns furniture, windows
and car parts).
- Paper and paperboard 38.6%
- Yard waste 12.8%
- Food waste 10.1%
- Plastic 9.9%
- Metals 7.7%
- Glass 5.5%
- Wood 5.3%
- Other (rubber, leather, textile,
Practical Ways to Reduce Waste
Children can be taught the value of waste
in their families, schools, or in organization such as Boy Scouts and
Scouts. Households can adopt the 3-Rs solution to the waste problems
methods all involve management. Each requires time, energy, and
decision plan must be carries out.
- · Avoid buying products with
- · Use coffee mugs at work
(avoid using Styrofoam
- · Buy in bulk (fewer packages)
- · Use lunch boxes instead of
paper or plastic
- · Buy recycled paper and
- · Use both side of sheets of
- · Reuse old envelops for
message and list
- · Reuse wrapping paper and
- · Reuse cardboard boxes and
- · Take recycling material to
- · Hand downs clothes from
child to child
- · Alter and reuse existing
- · Donate clothing to charities
- · Refinish, sell, or donate
Clean air has to be given high priority in
of environmental concerns as humans can only survive few minutes
Air quality is threatened by too much
Airborne particles, Sulfur dioxide, Lead, Nitrogen oxides, Carbon
Sources of air pollution
· More than half of nations air
comes from mobile sources such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes,
trains, buses, and boats - other culprits are Factories, Drycleaners,
Air pollution contributes to health
ecological problems such as decreased quality of aquatic life and
damage. More than 90% of air pollution deaths occur in developing
and 80%of these deaths are caused by indoor air pollution Pollution
is sometimes worse than outdoors. Sick building syndrome is caused by
presence of pollutants in the air compounded by inadequate ventilation
system. harmful indoor pollutants comes from Building materials,
Space heaters, Gas ranges, Wood preservatives, Aerosols, Cleaning
According to American Lung Association
10 indoor pollutant in United States are as following
Practical Ways to Reduce Air Pollution
- 1) Second-hand smoke.
- 2) Biological contaminants (bacteria,
dander, pollen, dust molds, fungi etc) these attach themselves to dust
that is then inhaled.
- 3) Particulates (solid particles and
such as dirt, dust and smoke)
- 4) Household products (cleansers,
personal care products,
- 5) Carbon monoxide (odorless and
colorless gas, a
product of combustion of fossil fuels and burning woods)
- 6) Radons a naturally occurring
of the uranium in the earth- can enter the house through holes and
in the foundation. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that
10,000 and 40,000 lung cancer deaths years in U.S. are caused by radon.
A radon level of 4 picocuries per liter or more is considered dangerous.
- 7) Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)-
the “new smell”
from carpets, wood cabinets, plastic, etc
- 8) Pesticide
- 9) Lead (paints and lead pipes)
- 10) Asbestos (microscopic mineral
fiber that are
flexible, durable, and do not burn.
The air quality index ranges from a low
of 0 to
a high of 500
1) Use roll-on or solid deodorants
2) Keep the car engine tuned. Use public
and bicycles when possible
3) Don’t smoke
4) Air out house and workplaces. Open
at least once a week
5) Clean heaters and air conditioners
regularly. Use air conditioner or dehumidifier to maintain an indoor
humidity below 65%
6) When building or remodeling a house, use
building materials and installation methods.
7) Put green plants in home and workplaces.
kinds of green plants are particularly effective in filtering out
People who incorporate several
to conserve limited resources into their daily life management are
positive ecology. Some of the ways of practicing positive ecology are