How to Convince People to Stop Polluting

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The American Lung Association through its State of the Air Project reveals that the city of Bakersfield in California is the most polluted place in America as at 2013. In second place is Hanford-Corcoran, also in California, while Los Angeles comes in at number three. Such a scenario places people in danger of suffering from the effects of pollution such as health complications, environmental degradation and global warming. Various efforts are necessary to convince people in these places and the whole of America to discard practices that contribute to pollution.

Information and Education

Informing and educating the people around you on the dangers of pollution can sometimes trigger a behavior change. Creating public awareness about pollution helps people to develop a desire to protect their natural resources for future generations. For example, you could enlighten people about how their personal actions contribute to stormwater runoff and the dangers of doing so. You can provide people with the necessary skills and information to stop pollution through educational classes, pamphlets or programs.

Waste Collection Initiatives

You can convince people to dispose of waste properly by instituting a waste collection program consisting of user-friendly recycling techniques. It involves selecting a place where people can bring their waste items for recycling or reuse, which saves them from the hassle of disposing these materials improperly. A waste exchange program could also be pivotal in convincing them to avoid pollution. The initiative allows individuals to surrender any hazardous waste they may have in exchange for a material they may need. For instance, one person may be in need of motor oil, while another one may need a fertilizer. Under the exchange program, the two individuals could trade off these items to each other and avoid dumping these materials in the environment.


As a person in leadership, you can provide incentives to people who take steps to stop environmental violations or report any cases of pollution to the relevant authorities. Such incentives motivate people to uphold environment-friendly practices and encourage others to follow suit. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency provides compliance incentives to government facilities, industries or businesses that discover, disclose or rectify their environmental violations. Incentives may come in the form of reduced or waived penalties and extended periods to rectify violations. Furthermore, you could provide incentives to people who adopt green infrastructure to control stormwater runoff.

Issuing Complaints

Reporting people who commit environmental violations to the relevant authorities can deter others from polluting the environment. Such persons would avoid pollution for fear of incurring the wrath of the authorities through penalties. For example, the Air Resources Board of the California Environmental Protection Agency encourages people to submit any complaints about air pollution they notice. People can call a hotline to register their complaints about any vehicles that are emitting excessive smoke.


About the Author

Mike Stephen began writing professionally in 2004. He specializes in articles related to science, health and nutrition. He served as an editor for online special-needs magazines and currently writes about science, nutrition and music for several publications.

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