One enduring challenge of living sustainably on a finite planet is to craft a future in which we will all want to live. A materialistically simpler existence may soon be an ecological necessity. However, it is unlikely to be adopted by many people if it is promoted in the wrong way, as a form of sacrifice requiring compensation, rather than as a choice that is personally meaningful while also being good for the planet. The challenge becomes, then, how to promote sustainable living so that people accept and even embrace it.
This course explores the range of behavior change models that are up to this challenge. It focuses on environmental stewardship behaviors that individuals and small groups can adopt and it reviews the effectiveness of commonly used informational and motivational techniques.
Students taking this course often have no previous experience in conservation psychology. The course is useful to any field of study dealing with promoting sustainable living (e.g., environmental studies, education, and communication; health education and behavior; conservation psychology; sustainable systems; resource policy, planning, and management; organizational and institutional studies; urban planning; green and sustainable business; active living).