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Addressing sustainable living using a collaborative approach and multi-disciplinary techniques

By Lee-Ann M. Wilson, Gavin Turrell, Esben Strodl and Katrina M. Giskes

Abstract

In order to achieve meaningful reductions in individual ecological footprints, individuals must dramatically alter their day to day behaviours. Effective interventions will need to be evidence based and there is a necessity for the rapid transfer or communication of information from the point of research, into policy and practice. A number of health disciplines, including psychology and public health, share a common mission to promote health and well-being and it is becoming clear that the most practical pathway to achieving this mission is through interdisciplinary collaboration. This paper argues that an interdisciplinary collaborative approach will facilitate research that results in the rapid transfer of findings into policy and practice. The application of this approach is described in relation to the Green Living project which explored the psycho-social predictors of environmentally friendly behaviour. Following a qualitative pilot study, and in consultation with an expert panel comprising academics, industry professionals and government representatives, a self-administered mail survey was distributed to a random sample of 3000 residents of Brisbane and Moreton Bay (Queensland, Australia). The Green Living survey explored specific beliefs which included attitudes, norms, perceived control, intention and behaviour, as well as a number of other constructs such as environmental concern and altruism. This research has two beneficial outcomes. First, it will inform a practical model for predicting sustainable living behaviours and a number of local councils have already expressed an interest in making use of the results as part of their ongoing community engagement programs. Second, it provides an example of how a collaborative interdisciplinary project can provide a more comprehensive approach to research than can be accomplished by a single disciplinary project

Topics: 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified, 111712 Health Promotion, 170113 Social and Community Psychology, Environmental Concern, Environmentally Friendly Behaviour, Theory of Planned Behaviour, Interdisciplinary, Public Health
Publisher: Common Ground Publishing
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:41362

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