Public concern for the natural environment continues to grow as complex environmental problems emerge. One avenue where concern for the environment has been expressed is through activism. However, research on environmental activism, often aimed at understanding the motivations behind activist behavior, has largely focused on older adults. In this study, we extend the state of knowledge on environmental activism further by focusing on college students. We use qualitative methods (in-depth interviews and observations) to examine the motivations behind student involvement in environmental activism on a state university campus. Our findings underscore that young people’s activist motivations are not stand-alone phenomena; they work in tandem with other processes and factors in a dynamic way and are influenced by an individual’s history, previous experiences and passion, a sense of community, existing incentives, and self-satisfaction derived from activist behavior.
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