Developing a Questionnaire for Measuring the Importance of Campus Sustainability Initiatives

By Emma Corrine Parsley, Xiangping Liu and Tina Marie Waliczek

Abstract: The concept of sustainability has been gaining increasing attention worldwide, especially over the last 30 years. To foster sustainable development, education plays a crucial role. Higher education institutions have assumed the leading role in sustainability education and advocating sustainability. However, the literature that evaluates sustainability initiatives at higher education institutions is still fragmented and sparse, with existing studies often focusing on certain aspects of the sustainability initiatives. We designed a questionnaire that covers a broad spectrum of sustainability measures in the operation, curriculum, research, and outreach, which allowed us to investigate the perceived importance of those sustainability initiatives from the perspective of university community members including undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff at Texas State University in San Marcos. Our results indicated that the Texas State University campus community believes that the themes of Waste Management, Buildings & Infrastructure, and Water Use & Management were the most important themes. The campus community believed that Transportation and Academics are the least important themes. We also identified a set of action items under each theme the most and least important.

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Developing, Piloting, and Factor Analysis of a Brief Survey Tool for Evaluating Food and Composting Behaviors: The Short Composting Survey

By Jennie Norton, Becky Pearson, David Gee and Nicole Stendell-Hollis

Abstract: Household composting is a practical sustainable behavior which should be further investigated. The Short Composting Survey was developed for use during the Compost Project pilot study to measure the knowledge, values, barriers, and social norms surrounding composting (n=25). The purpose of this research was to describe the testing and refining of the survey tool for the pilot study. Statistical analyses included calculating the Index of Item-Objective Congruence (IIOC) values and conducting a confirmatory factor analysis following administration of the survey. Nine respondents assisted with survey tool development by completing the IIOC, and values ranged from 0.29 to 0.66 which indicated that all of the survey questions matched more than one construct. The factor analysis resulted in a three-factor solution with a cumulative loading of 71.2%, meaning that these identified factors contributed 71.2% of the variance in responses. Factor 1 (“Values”) proved to be the strongest factor, explaining 36.6% of the variance, whereas Factor 2 (“Social Norms”) explained 20.04%, and Factor 3 (“Barriers”) had 14.6%. This survey may be useful for future food composting and sustainability-related research efforts.

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