Title: Raising environmental awareness through education

Authors: Dzineta Dimante; Tatjana Tambovceva; Dzintra Atstaja

Addresses: University of Latvia, Aspazijas Blvd. 5, Room 522, Riga LV 1050, Latvia ' Riga Technical University, Mezha Str. 1/7, Room 401, Riga LV 1048, Latvia ' BA School of Business and Finance, Kr. Valdemara Str. 161, Riga LV 1013, Latvia

Abstract: This paper presents a method for involving learners in awareness-raising and real changes in consumption. The described method is a teaching assignment comprising a self-audit of household chemicals' consumption, system thinking to find the main causes and consequences, finding solutions and taking action. Findings about students' household chemicals consumption patterns and their reactions one month and six months after the assignment are presented and analysed. We found that the students' households use considerable amounts of chemicals and in most cases do not pay attention to their health and environmental impacts when making purchasing decisions. When doing this, students were able to find good alternatives to reduce the environmental impact of their household maintenance and have changed their behaviour six months after the assignment.

Keywords: consumer behaviour; education for sustainable development; ESD; sustainability; environmental awareness; household chemicals; self-audit; sustainable consumption; system thinking; teaching methods; health impact; purchasing decisions; environmental impact; consumer behaviour; higher education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2016.078446

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2016 Vol.26 No.3, pp.259 - 272

Received: 15 Jun 2014
Accepted: 04 Mar 2015

Published online: 19 Aug 2016 *

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