Sustainability Knowledge, Barriers, and Motivations of UW-Eau Claire Students
Perrault, Evan K.
Clark, Scott K.
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The purpose of this study was to examine UW-Eau Claire students’ knowledge, barriers, and motivations toward sustainability. An online survey was distributed to 779 students asking four open-ended questions: First, they were asked to define sustainability, followed by why they perform sustainable behaviors, why they do not, and what would make them perform more sustainable activities. Formal coding of responses revealed that students are primarily motivated to perform sustainable behaviors because of environmental concerns. Students indicated they fail to practice more sustainable behaviors because they perceived them to be inconvenient, do not have the knowledge, or the time to do them. They indicated that if more information was provided to them about the efficacy of their efforts, or if sustainable activities were made more affordable to perform, that would increase their behavioral prevalence. Students most commonly defined sustainability as a means to “maintain.” Many definitions also related to “the environment,” while disregarding both social and economic factors. These results indicate that further refinement of campus sustainability messaging needs to take place. Definitions of sustainability on collateral material need greater explication, and barriers to students performing sustainable behaviors need to be removed.
Communication in organizations