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Goal setting, education and sustainability: Living smart in the city of Fremantle

Sheehy, L. and Dingle, P. (2003) Goal setting, education and sustainability: Living smart in the city of Fremantle. In: International Sustainability Conference, 17 - 19 September, Fremantle, Western Australia

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By providing community based environmental education programs, regional governments can play an important role in enabling communities and individuals to contribute to sustainability. To be effective these programs must create positive lifestyle and behavioural changes. A new approach to community based environmental education that includes goal setting as a behaviour change technique, is presented here. Goal setting is a concept that is now widely accepted in society and has been proven in many fields as a successful strategy for increasing motivation and sustaining effort. It is proposed that the use of goal setting in environmental education programs will increase the adoption of sustainable behaviours through increased motivation, commitment and direction.

The City of Fremantle used this new approach to develop an innovative community based environmental education program, called ‘Living Smart – for a sustainable community’. Evaluation of the program demonstrated that the Living Smart program was effective not only in increasing participants environmental knowledge but also in creating positive environmental behaviour change. The Living Smart program showcases the challenges and benefits for regional governments in using this environmental education framework, when implementing community based environmental education programs for sustainability.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
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