Saturday, January 28, 2012
Environmental Signs About Pet Waste
These signs are both designed to clean up your dog’s waste for the sake of preserving the environment. In my opinion, the second sign does a more successful job of getting this message through to people because it explains two consequences from not picking up after your pet’s waste. These two aspects are: the possibility of transmitting disease and getting a fine of $25 - $200.
The first sign only states that pet waste destroys plants and pets are not permitted in that vicinity. This sign will probably not reason too many people to change their environmentally careless actions because not everyone cares about preserving the plants in front of a nearby apartment building. It portrays the pet being the problem, without explaining how humans can improve the environment. In fact, the sign attempts to eliminate this problem by not allowing pets in the area at all. Moreover, the main reason why I believe the second sign is more effective than the first is because it addresses how that person will be directly affected by their action by getting fined for breaking the law. In addition, the people who may witness a person disobeying the message on the sign would take more of an initiative to prevent them from leaving behind their pet’s waste because people are generally concerned about health and would not want transmitted diseases. I know that if my friend were walking her dog, the second sign would make her clean up after her dog because of the possibility of getting fined.
An interesting fact to consider is that I took a picture of both these signs at two neighboring apartment buildings in Brooklyn, not more than a hundred feet apart from one another. Both signs address the same issue about sustainability and cleaning up pet waste, however, each sign states different reasons to obey their message.
According to Susan D. Clayton’s article Conservation Psychology: Using Psychological Tools to Address Environmental Challenge, people identify with being environmentally friendly and it motivates them to conserve and sustain nature. Clayton reveals: “Research shows that people have significant emotional experiences in nature, often with close others… and nature serves to fulfill needs for esteem, connectedness, and autonomy.” After reading this statement, I expect that Clayton would choose the first sign as the more effective one because it enforces conserving nature, which she personally identifies with.
A question to leave you with: In a hypothetical situation where you are walking your dog, which sign would reach out to you if you were about to leave your pet’s waste behind?