There are an exchange and a dynamic interaction between a person and its environment that changes over time. A person transforms the environment and in return, the environment transforms a person. This transformation takes place on many levels and when it comes to problems, as a result of this transformation, it becomes clear that multi-level solutions are needed. That is why the system-oriented approach that promotes a holistic perspective has become a standard approach in many sciences. This approach promotes the interdisciplinary collaboration between different fields. For example, full ecology is more relevant today than natural ecology. And full ecology is related to the social sciences, including also the environmental psychology.
The rising concern about the environmental problems has led environmental psychology to focus more on the study of man in relation to the natural environment. As a result of this focus environmental psychology has become today more relevant. Many practitioners in the field of sustainable development argue that promoting sustainable development is less a matter of applying environmental technologies and more a matter of changing peoples’ attitudes towards the environment. Peoples’ attitudes result in specific behaviors, which can be more or less sustainable or unsustainable. Therefore, it becomes evident that the study of the formation of environmentally relevant behaviors and attitudes, which belongs to the spectrum of environmental psychology, is very essential for promoting sustainable development.
Environmental psychology explores the transactions between people – both individuals and groups – and their physical setting; it gives a prominent place to environmental perceptions, attitudes, evaluations and representations and accompanying behavior. Environmental psychology focuses on both the effects of environmental conditions on behavior and how the individual perceives and acts on the environment.
To sum up, it can be said that, even though environmental psychology is a relatively new field of psychology, it has already contributed much to the improvement of many peoples’ quality of life. The holistic approach of environmental psychology in the research of human behavior and its implications on the natural environment is in sync with sustainable development. Environmental psychology can play an important role in the future as the environmental problems around the world escalate and the development of sustainable behaviors is becoming more pressing. Environmental psychologists and sustainable development practitioners could work together and create a better future.