Indexing Behaviours Indicative of Eco-Citizenship Among the Canadian Population

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Hörsaal 41 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Matthew PERKS, Concordia University, Canada
Within our current environmental predicament, the behaviours of citizens and consumers is coming increasingly under academic and public scrutiny. In an effort to create a better understanding of the current situation in Canada, this work has aimed at creating an index of behaviours indicative of eco-citizenship in the Canadian population. To date, a project such as this has not been done on the Canadian population and this information provides a valuable snapshot in regards to levels of eco-citizenship in the population. Eco-citizenship in this context is defined as a transformative way to reshape the relationship between humans, nature, non-humans, and other humans. This work was based off of the data from the Households and the Environment Survey (HES) 2013 cycle run biennially by Statistics Canada. The index was created based on a number of different dimensions such as environmental conservation activity, waste management practices, and purchasing decisions. The goal of a project such as this is to examine the current situation in a total population in an effort to see where improvement can be made. These results are also analyzed alongside the contextual situation of the households – such as income, level of education, and location – in an effort to understand which groups of citizens may be more or less likely to be engaging in this type of behaviour. This work could ideally be used to encourage behaviour in populations, target specific programs at groups to increase accessibility and participation, and provide a framework for improvement and implementation in other contexts internationally. Overall, this work is a first-step examination of the situation of eco-citizenship in Canada with the hope of making recommendations and change in the understanding of our relationship to the environment in the population of Canada.