FSD2022 Environmental Attitudes and Behaviour of South-Western Finns 1999

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  • Kouvo, Antti (University of Turku. Department of Sociology)


attitudes, consumption, environmental conservation, environmental degradation, environmental quality, human behaviour, life styles, natural environment, social problems, sustainability, traffic

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The survey is part of local Agenda 21 programme for southwestern Finland. The programme is a global plan of action for sustainable development. The study charted environmental behaviour of southwestern Finns and different forms of, preconditions for and obstacles to environmentally friendly action.

The respondents' actions and habits that affected the environment were studied with questions about traffic, consumption, nutrition, energy, garbage disposal and hobbies in nature. The respondents were asked distances to their workplace or school and shops as well as their mode of travel. They were also requested to identify various eco-labels. The respondents described their household's waste paper, glass and bio waste recycling practices and evaluated how environmentally friendly their consumer behaviour was.

The survey examined the respondents' concern regarding social problems relating to, for example, mass unemployment, inequality and the global economy. It also charted how concerned the respondents were about environmental problems at the global and local levels. The global problems included ozone depletion, genetic engineering and population growth, while the local ones included over-enrichment (eutrophication) of the Baltic Sea and lakes, demolition of old buildings and degradation of drinking water quality. The survey also covered the respondents' opinions on the difficulty of recycling, responsibility issues relating to the environmental impacts of products, environmental legislation, private motoring, industrial emissions, the relationship between economic growth and the environment, and the importance of consumption choices made by regular people.

The respondents were asked which party they would have voted for if the parliamentary elections had been held the following day. They were also asked to state whether they had supported some environmental group or organisation in the past five years. Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, basic and vocational education, municipality, type of region and accommodation, household size, number of household members aged under 15, and household's monthly income.

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