Student Sustainability Literacy Survey

The last month of the 2011 spring semester was a time full of studying for exams.  We used that time to send out our own test to ASU students, but this test wasn’t for a grade.  We posted a Student Sustainability Literacy survey that students could take from their MyASU page.  We asked students about their opinions, their values, their awareness of ASU programs, and we tested their knowledge of some fundamental sustainability terms and issues.

We were pleasantly surprised by the positive and knowledgeable response.  However, we plan to do the survey next Spring to aim for a response that is a bigger and broader representation of ASU students.

From our results we found that overall students feel that sustainable behaviors are important or very important.

Two-thirds of the students would like to know more about what efforts ASU is making toward sustainability and three-quarters would like to know more about tips for their homes or residence halls.

75% of students knew what the term “carbon footprint” means but only 45% knew what is meant by the term “triple bottom line.”

These interesting results show that conservation is a more commonly performed personal sustainability practice (water, waste, and energy), than conscientious purchasing of food and goods, even though the importance of both conservation and conscientious purchases is generally recognized.  This may be because information about conscientious purchasing is hard to obtain or because conscientious purchasing is not yet as entrenched in our culture as conservation has become.

If you would like to review the results and the survey, please download our Executive Summary and a copy of the survey below.

For the full report, email [email protected]

By Beth Magerman