Evaluating environmental behaviour of the general public in Taiwan: Implications for environmental education

Jane Lu Hsu (Department of Marketing, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan)
Chih-Hung Feng (Department of Marketing, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan)

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development

ISSN: 2396-7404

Publication date: 12 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine factors influencing environmental behaviour of the general public and to develop educational implications that will enhance effectiveness in information dissemination for environmental sustainability in Taiwan.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey using personal interviews was administered in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung metropolitan areas following stratified sampling method based on age and gender distributions of the population between the ages of 18 and 59 in Taiwan. Total valid samples were 481. Probit model was applied to examine factors influencing environmental behaviour.

Findings

Based on findings in the study, environmental knowledge, pro-environmental attitude (emphasising balance of nature), altruism and habitual behaviour positively influence environmental behaviour. Humancentric (emphasising human domination) negatively influence environmental behaviour. The following educational implications are capable to enlarge a spectrum of environmental behaviour in Taiwan: including topics of waste avoidance and reduction in chemical usage for cleaning or for insecticides in lessons/curricula; and promote general public to live a life which causes fewer burdens on the environment.

Research limitations/implications

Environmental education plays fundamental role in educating the public with concurrent environmental knowledge, in an expectation that the general public would take the information into consideration and modify behaviour in an effort to sustain the environment. Research implications of this study are: environmental behaviour is multidimensional and can be examined using a comprehensive set of statements including domains of energy conservation, mobility and transportation, waste avoidance, consumerism and recycling; and habitual behaviour is an influencing factor to explain environmental behaviour and can be examined thoroughly in future studies.

Originality/value

The study provides insights into environmental education based on examining factors influencing environmental behaviour. It advances the field by exploring environmental behaviour in five domains and revealing habitual behaviour as an influential factor. This allows educators to comprehend gaps in environmental behaviour and the needs for environmental education in Taiwan.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study is supported by Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan (104-2410-H-005-056-).

Citation

Hsu, J.L. and Feng, C.-H. (2019), "Evaluating environmental behaviour of the general public in Taiwan: Implications for environmental education", International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 179-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCED-11-2018-0049

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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