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The impact of general and carbon-related environmental knowledge on attitudes and behaviour of US consumers

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Abstract:

Global warming and carbon emissions have gained international attention. However, it would appear that consumers are still unclear about what it encompasses and how it relates to their individual behaviour. Using the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) as a guiding framework, this study presents a structural equation model that tests the relationships between carbon and environmental knowledge, environmental attitude and behaviour using a sample of US consumers. The findings of the research suggest that a positive relationship was found between general and carbon-specific knowledge, attitude towards the environment, and general and carbon-specific behaviours. Therefore, general and carbon-specific environmental behaviours are related and may be driven by general attitudes and knowledge (i.e. both carbon-specific and general environmental knowledge). The implications of the study would suggest that marketers, working in tandem with government policymakers, need to focus efforts on developing consumers' knowledge about specific sub-issues, such as global warming. However, additional research needs to be undertaken to develop marketing communication that accurately reflects the environmental impact of consumption behaviour, thereby allowing for considered consumption.

Keywords: carbon offsets; environmental knowledge; green; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2012.659279

Affiliations: 1: Deakin University, Australia 2: Texas Christian University, USA 3: Victoria University, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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