| Published: January 27, 2017
Ethical Correlates of Environmental Consciousness among Members and Non-Members of Nature Club
The need and relevance of the concerns for nature and a pro-environmental attitude and behaviour is at its peak in the present world. It has been long recognized that ecological balance and safety of nature is central to human existence on earth. Despite this understanding, human activities are deteriorating the earth. If this situation is allowed to continue, the earth will soon turn out to be a useless and lifeless planet, along with marking the very end of human existence. One way to tackle this crisis is to reduce and prevent human actions that pose threats to nature and environment. A sustainable change in such actions is achieved effectively only by bringing about a change in ethics, values and attitudes of people. Ethics refers to a code of conduct. Values held by people contribute to their ethics. Since values are acquired, it can be instilled into people through different means; also implying that they are changeable. The concept of environmental consciousness refers to specific psychological factors related to individual’s propensity to engage in pro-environmental behaviors (Zelezny & Schultz, 2000:367). Environmental consciousness can also be addressed as the psychological dimension of pro-environmental behavior. Objectives: The purpose of the present study is to investigate the ‘ethical correlates of environmental consciousness among members and non-members of nature club’. Method: (a) Participants: The study was conducted on 54 high school students from various schools in Ernakulam district, Kerala. Participants included both members (n=21) and non-members (n=33) of any kind of nature club. (b) Materials: The Ethical Values Assessment (EVA- Jensen & Padilla, 2004) and New Ecological Paradigm Scale- Revised (NEP Revised-Dunlap, R. E., & Van Liere, K., Mertig, A., &Jones, R. E., 2000). EVA measures 3 categories of ethics, namely: Ethics of Autonomy, Ethics of Community and Ethics of Divinity. NEP scale assesses ecological worldview along 5 dimensions, namely: Reality of Limits to Growth, Ant anthropocentricism, Fragility of Nature’s Balance, Rejection of Exemptionalism and the Possibility of Eco-crisis. (c) Analysis: Analysis was done using ‘t- test’ and ‘correlation’. (d) Results: There is significant difference between members and non-members of nature club in the dimensions Ethics of community, Overall ethics, Overall ecological worldview and Awareness of the possibility of eco-crisis. Students with membership in nature clubs have higher Ethics of community, Overall ethics, Overall ecological worldview (significance at 5% level) and Awareness of the possibility of eco-crisis (significance at 1% level). Also, Overall ethics has a significant positive correlation with Overall ecological worldview. Conclusion: Membership in nature club is found to enhance better environmental consciousness and ethics. The study implies that making students part of nature clubs facilitate pro-environmental behavior and better ethics.
This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
© 2017 Shahina H, Ranjith N
Received: December 22, 2016; Revision Received: January 01, 2017; Accepted: January 27, 2017
Published in Volume 04, Issue 2, January-March, 2017