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The Garbage Gospel: Using the TPB to Explain the Role of Religious Institutions in Affecting Pro Environmental Behavior

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The Garbage Gospel: Using the TPB to Explain the Role of Religious Institutions in Affecting Pro Environmental Behavior

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The Garbage Gospel: Using the TPB to Explain the Role of Religious Institutions in Affecting Pro Environmental Behavior

  1. 1. The Garbage Gospel: Using the Theory of Planned Behavior to Explain the Role of Religious Institutions in Affecting Pro Environmental Behavior Among Ethnic Minorities Journal of Environmental Education (IN PRESS) By: Dr. Calvin Lakhan http://wastewiki.info.yorku.ca/ lakhanc@yorku.ca
  2. 2. Overview • Study used the Theory of Planned Behavior to examine how pro-recycling and pro-environmental messaging delivered by religious leaders affects stated recycling behavior among ethnic minorities • 12 religious institutions in 3 provincial communities • Partner with religious organizations to develop and deliver recycling P&E messaging that: 1) Increase awareness about recycling 2) Describe what materials should be recycled 3) Highlight the importance of recycling, and 4) Make a direct appeal asking households to participate in their region’s recycling program
  3. 3. Methods • Three municipalities in the GTA (Toronto, Peel and York Region) • 12 Religious Groups, across 5 ethnicities, and 4 faith groups • Phase 1 assessed attitudes towards recycling and self reported recycling behavior prior to implementation of P&E campaign • Phase 2 assessed attitudes and self reported recycling behavior post implementation of P&E campaign • Religious institutions were given full discretion over how to deliver P&E materials
  4. 4. Results and Conclusion • Significant increases in positive attitudes towards the environment and self reported recycling behavior • Religious groups demonstrably more effective at improving recycling among ethnic minorities relative to the municipality • Normative influence and perceived behavioral control most significant predictors of behavior • Municipalities should consider partnering with local religious and community organizations to deliver P&E materials (Municipalities come up with the “ingredients list” and religious/community groups develop the recipe)
  5. 5. Conclusions • Municipalities need to rethink existing P&E materials, and potentially explore alternative methods of engagement when targeting first generation ethnic minorities • What works at a programs onset, does not necessarily work as the program matures, and the city’s demography changes • P&E is still important, but municipalities need to be able to consider engaging 3rd parties (i.e. churches, community organizations) to help deliver P&E materials
  6. 6. Conclusions • Municipalities need to rethink existing P&E materials, and potentially explore alternative methods of engagement when targeting first generation ethnic minorities • What works at a programs onset, does not necessarily work as the program matures, and the city’s demography changes • P&E is still important, but municipalities need to be able to consider engaging 3rd parties (i.e. churches, community organizations) to help deliver P&E materials

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