Renew. Energy Environ. Sustain.
Volume 4, 2019
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||29 March 2019|
Assessment of knowledge and awareness of “sustainability” initiatives among college students
Health Kinesiology Department, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX 77705, USA
2 Department of Psychology, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX 77705, USA
3 Health and Environmental Education Corps, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX 77705, USA
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received in final form: 28 December 2018
Accepted: 7 January 2019
Campus sustainability is essential for any university. Campus sustainability denotes the potential of the university to develop new ideas regarding sustainability through research, teaching, and practices. It necessitates improved academic infrastructures, setting right faculty priorities and practices that ensure that the university community is aware of sustainable practices, and that its practices reflect sustainability. This study assesses college students' knowledge and awareness of sustainability issues. After IRB approval, data were collected using the campus sustainability questionnaire. Students from a university in the southeastern part of Texas in the United States were selected and asked to participate in the study voluntarily by answering a self-report questionnaire. Findings indicate that only a minority of the students knew what sustainability was, but 95.8% indicated it was important. Although the university has committed to climate and sustainability agreements, majority of the students were not aware of it and only about 17% knew that the University's Strategic Plan has a sustainability component. Nearly 36% of the students reported receiving information about sustainability during their campus orientation. In terms of recycling, majority of the students indicated unawareness of e-waste recycling on campus; however, more than 70% reported that the library limited free printing in computer labs. More than half of the students also indicated that sustainability issues were not infused into curriculum courses or programs, and they had no knowledge of any alternative power source for the university. We concluded that a majority of the students were not conversant with sustainability issues and were largely unaware of campus sustainability initiatives. We recommended more effort to increase sustainability initiatives on campus by involving faculty, staff, and students in such endeavors. Educational programs should incorporate sustainability into their curriculum to increase students' knowledge and consciousness regarding these issues.
© I. Msengi et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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