Are we counting what counts? A closer look at environmental concern, pro-environmental behaviour, and carbon footprint

  • Huddart Kennedy E
  • Krahn H
  • Krogman N
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Three parallel lines of inquiry regarding individuals’ support for the environment have developed within the environmental social sciences. These include individuals’ concern for the environment, research on private sphere pro-environmental behaviour (PEB), i.e. household actions seeking to improve the environment (e.g. buying better light bulbs), and more recently, ecological and carbon footprints. Researchers have noted that the correlates of this third form of support for the environment are not necessarily the same as the predictors of the first two forms. Using Canadian survey data, this study examines the relationships among, and predictors of, all three forms. Evidence that there is not a link between private sphere PEB and household carbon footprints, and that measures of socio-economic status (education and income) have different effects on different types of support for the environment, invites a discussion of whether environmental social scientists are really counting what counts.

Author-supplied keywords

  • carbon footprint
  • environmental concern
  • environmental impact
  • pro-environmental behaviour

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  • Emily Huddart Kennedy

  • Harvey Krahn

  • Naomi T. Krogman

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