An exploration of the impact of the Green-Schools programme on the development of sustainable behaviours in the home

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O'Neill, Claire
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University College Cork
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Concern for the sustainability of our planet is widespread. The ever-increasing economic activity and large scale industralisation our consumer society requires has increased concerns among academics, politicians, and consumers alike on natural resource depletion, waste management, dangers of toxic chemicals, and climate change. Human consumption is causing major issues for the space we inhabit. Much work has been done over the past four decades to remedy human impact on our environment at corporate, policy and consumer level. But concerns on our ability to progress the sustainability agenda remain. Consumer behaviour plays a pivotal role in sustainable development. In light of this, we need to explore and understand the ways in which consumption occurs in consumers lives, with an aim to changing behaviours that do not support the natural environment. Questions on how to change consumer behaviour dominate much of the literature on sustainable consumption, but substantial behaviour change among individuals has not occurred as predicted. Some focus has shifted to look at upstream interventions, such as education. The Green-Schools Programme (known internationally as Eco-Schools) is one such intervention. The aim of this thesis was to explore consumption in the context of the Green-Schools Programme. The main research question asks: in the context of the Green-Schools, how are sustainable behaviour practices developed in the home? The findings presented in this thesis show that sustainable behaviour has developed in the home from both internal and external factors, the Green-Schools effect being one such factor; the programme does influence behaviour in the home context to some degree. One of the main findings of this research indicates that schoolchildren are imparting ‘positive pester power’ on household behaviour practices and the majority of households are passively practicing sustainable consumption. These findings contribute to knowledge on sustainable consumption in the home context.
Sustainability , Marketing , Sustainable consumption , Consumer behaviour , Sustainability marketing , Behaviour change , Green-Schools programme
O'Neill, C. 2015. An exploration of the impact of the Green-Schools programme on the development of sustainable behaviours in the home. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.