• Environmental awareness is considered an important condition for environmental protection with a positive impact on the consumer's attitude. This study aimed to determine the level of environmental awareness in higher education students, to verify if there are differences between gender and to analyze the impact of environmental awareness on students' green attitude. To achieve these objectives, a quantitative and cross-sectional study was carried out based on a non-probabilistic sample of 422 Portuguese students of higher education. The margin of error was 4.77%. To collect the data, a questionnaire online was applied to the students, from February to May 2020. Students’ participation was voluntary and the anonymity and data confidentiality were guaranteed to all participants. The questionnaire includes socioeconomic variables, the environmental awareness scale and the green attitude scale. The environmental awareness scale [1] includes five items and the answers were coded by a Likert scale ranging from 1 (Strongly disagree) to 5 (Strongly agree). The green attitude scale [2] includes three items and the answers were coded by a Likert scale ranging from 1 (Strongly disagree) to 5 (Strongly agree). Both scales were adapted and validated in Portugal [3]. Students were aged between 17 and 58 years old, registering on average 22.7 years old (SD = 6.247). About 55% of the students were male and a minority also worked (2.4%). The overwhelming majority of students were users of green products (78.9%), also known as environmentally friendly products, as they minimize the environmental impact throughout the product's life cycle while respecting the environment. The results showed that students registered a higher level of environmental awareness (Mean = 4.1; SD = 0.791). There were no gender differences on students’ environmental awareness (p = 0.356 > 0.05). It was found that environmental awareness has a statistically significant and positive impact on students' green attitude. Moreover, the value of adjusted R2 shows that green attitude of students was explained in 54.8% by environmental awareness. The consumer's green attitude reflects environmental awareness. The ability to understand the world around us and the changes that may occur in the environment is essential to minimize the impact of human activities on the environment.
  • The authors are grateful to the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal) for financial support by national funds FCT/MCTES to CIMO (UIDB/00690/2020).

publication date

  • November 1, 2020