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Analysing the Relationship between University Students’ Ecological Footprint and Their Connection with Nature and Pro-Environmental Attitude

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Department of Education, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Campus Sant Cugat, Josep Trueta, Sant Cugat del Vallès, 08195 Barcelona, Spain
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Department of Pedagogy, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Campus Sescelades, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
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School of Communication, Campus Barcelona, Inmaculada 22, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, 08017 Barcelona, Spain
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Department of Social Sciences, Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes, Calle del Padre Julio Chevalier, 2, 47012 Valladolid, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8826; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238826
Received: 2 November 2020 / Revised: 23 November 2020 / Accepted: 25 November 2020 / Published: 27 November 2020
In the last decade, universities worldwide have adopted various measures intended to promote sustainability in higher education and include it in the curriculum. However, although this paradigm shift appears to be contributing to students’ acquisition of the knowledge, skills and values necessary to fight for a more sustainable world, serious global crises such as the present SARS-CoV-2 pandemic oblige us to rethink our behaviour and spur us to accelerate the move towards a deep-seated commitment to the environment and people. Therefore, the aims of this study were (a) to explore consumption habits in students at four Spanish universities by analysing their individual ecological footprint (EF); (b) to develop indices of connection with nature and a pro-environmental attitude and to determine relationships between these indices and students’ consumption. Among other factors, our results showed that private university students have a higher EF than public university students; that food consumption has the greatest impact on individuals’ EF; and that those who consume more sustainably do not show a more pro-environmental attitude or feel a greater connection with nature. Therefore, we conclude that there was no apparent direct relationship between study participants’ convictions and their daily behaviour. There is a pressing need in education to demonstrate the connection between our actions and their environmental impact. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological footprint; sustainable development goals; sustainability; environmental education; consumption ecological footprint; sustainable development goals; sustainability; environmental education; consumption
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fernández, M.; Cebrián, G.; Regadera, E.; Fernández, M.Y. Analysing the Relationship between University Students’ Ecological Footprint and Their Connection with Nature and Pro-Environmental Attitude. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8826. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238826

AMA Style

Fernández M, Cebrián G, Regadera E, Fernández MY. Analysing the Relationship between University Students’ Ecological Footprint and Their Connection with Nature and Pro-Environmental Attitude. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):8826. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238826

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fernández, Mónica, Gisela Cebrián, Elisa Regadera, and M. Y. Fernández 2020. "Analysing the Relationship between University Students’ Ecological Footprint and Their Connection with Nature and Pro-Environmental Attitude" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 23: 8826. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238826

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