Raising effective awareness for domestic water saving: evidence from an environmental educational programme in Greece

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This paper looks into awareness of water saving amongst students and their parents, and how it interacts with their intentions to use water saving technology or to adopt water saving practices. To investigate this interaction, surveys were run through educational programmes aimed at eliciting both the intentions of students and the indirect effects of their parents; surveys were taken before and after the education programmes. The results show that parents have a more environmentally friendly approach towards water saving than their children. Furthermore, the educational programmes affected both students and their parents, though not for all actions investigated. Students and their parents seem to be willing to comply with water saving practices that require little effort, such as using an economy toilet flushing button, or fixing a tap when it leaks, but students were not willing to give up wasteful habits related to their body hygiene, such as leaving water running during a shower. The Mann–Whitney U test and Wilcoxon signed rank test were employed to show statistically significant differences before and after the intervention, comparing the stated attitudes of students and their parents. An active participation by parents in school programmes could encourage effective interactions amongst people in the community, facilitating behaviour change towards sustainable use of local natural resources.

Keywords: Environmental education, Local action, Public attitudes, Water saving

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