From external to internal locus of control–identifying attitudes among adults and teens to foster environmental responsibility towards the trash in the public domain

Nimrod Batzon, Michal Zion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Awareness of the individual’s harmful impact on the environment has been rising in recent years. One example of harmful impact is the littering of public spaces–which is significantly hazardous to ecosystems. A possible solution to the problem is a shift of emphasis. Rather than reinforcing external responsibility embodied in bins, cleaning staff, inspectors and authorities, emphasis should be placed on fostering the personal responsibility of citizens to collect the garbage they produce and transport it for safe, organized disposal. This approach is at the heart of a new initiative–Take the Garbage with You. This qualitative study examines how adults and adolescents perceive environmental responsibility–in general and, more specifically, regarding the littering of public spaces. We interviewed 24 participants divided into four groups: environmentally inclined adults, indifferent adults, environmentally inclined teens, and indifferent teens. Both inclined and indifferent, adults and teens alike, believe that others litter because there is someone in charge of cleaning and that the greater a person’s sense of social belonging, the greater the efforts they take to protect the environment. Our findings also show that only environmentally inclined adults believe that Take the Garbage with You stands a good chance to succeed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Environmental motivation
  • environmental responsibility
  • locus of control
  • sustainability education
  • take the garbage with you

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