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Sustainability 2015, 7(10), 14133-14152; doi:10.3390/su71014133

Understanding Attitudes and Pro-Environmental Behaviors in a Chilean Community

1
Engineering Sciences Department, Universidad Andres Bello, Avenida República 237, Santiago 8370146, Chile
2
National Research Center for Integrated Natural Disaster Management, CONICYT/FONDAP/15110017, Santiago 7820436, Chile
3
Interdisciplinary Psychology Research Center, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Pico de Orizaba No. 1 Col. Volcanes, Cuernavaca, Morelos 62350, México
4
Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
5
Public Policy and Management Department, Administration and Economics Faculty, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago 8370146, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 10 August 2015 / Revised: 13 October 2015 / Accepted: 14 October 2015 / Published: 20 October 2015
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Abstract

Environmental protection and restoration are some of the major challenges faced by our society. To address this problem, it is fundamental to understand pro-environmental behaviors in the population, as well as the factors that determine them. There are, however, very few studies conducted in Latin America that are focused in understanding the environmental behavior of its citizens. The main goal of this research was to study the environmental behaviors of a Chilean community and identify the factors that determine them. To that end, a diverse set of environmental behaviors (power and water conservation, environmentally-aware consumer behavior, biodiversity protection, rational automobile use and ecological waste management) and sociodemographic and attitudinal factors—based on the VBN model—were evaluated. Survey data was obtained from a statistically representative sample (N = 1537) in Santiago, Chile. Our results suggest that several participants displayed tendencies that favor more responsible environmental behaviors, with high environmental concern, and demonstrating their ample awareness of the consequences of failing to protect the environment. Nevertheless, the highest average scores of environmental behavior were related to low cost behaviors and those that imposed the fewest behavioral restrictions. In global terms, we concluded that the youngest subjects in the lowest socioeconomic group obtained the lowest scores across the pro-environmental behavior spectrum. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental behavior; pro-environmental behavior; environmental management environmental behavior; pro-environmental behavior; environmental management
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bronfman, N.C.; Cisternas, P.C.; López-Vázquez, E.; Maza, C.; Oyanedel, J.C. Understanding Attitudes and Pro-Environmental Behaviors in a Chilean Community. Sustainability 2015, 7, 14133-14152.

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