Awareness vs Intentionality: Exploring Education for Sustainable Development in a British Hindu Community

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ABSTRACT

This aims of this community education initiative is to foster sustainability consciousness and behavioural change in the UK's minority Hindu community and determine how awareness affects behavioural intentions. This report compares the effectiveness of an educational experience designed for the congregation at the Janmashtami Festival organized at Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple with its effectiveness at two external events. The experience involves a series of exhibits that link environmental themes with spiritual lifestyle choices through an Ecological Footprint questionnaire, a consultation session, and a pledge tree where respondents vow to make one lifestyle change. Despite the differences in religious context and audience demographic, results are similar. Participants recognized a wide range of lifestyle-related sustainability issues but were persuaded to pledge changes that were small, easily achieved and tightly specified. They avoided issues that involved major impacts on their lives and were most positive to changes considered to be aligned with the majority values of their community. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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