Perceptions of Sustainability and the Environment Based on Socioeconomic Status

Gustavus Adolphus College

Rachel Weitz (16)

Sponsor: Joaquín Villanueva, Geography

Celebration of Creative Inquiry Poster: Heritage Room, Session B

Friday, May 6, 2016

This study will look at the relationship between different socioeconomic statuses- income, race/ethnicity, education level, gender, age, and presence of children- and perceptions of the environment and sustainability among people in Minnesota. The study will first use focus groups to help determine perceptions, concerns, and interests about the environment and sustainability options. Questionnaires will then be used to look for trends among groups of people on their views of the environment and sustainability. It will look at present and future perceptions of the environment and sustainability generally and focus on topics such as energy consumption, renewable energy, pollution, recycling, and deforestation. Upon the completion of the study, education and sustainability initiatives can be better targeted to the public based on what people already do, what topics they are concerned with, and what they want to be more involved with in terms of making environmental changes. The hope of the study is to find trends among people to allow for people to more active in sustainability initiatives that they care about to make for healthier communities.