Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Amanda Carrico

Second Advisor

Dale Miller

Third Advisor

Michael Tavel

Abstract

This thesis focuses on factors that influence human behavior and how these factors can be leveraged to improve sustainable practices at the University of Colorado at Boulder and larger policy initiatives beyond the university. After a brief review of resource waste in the United States, this thesis goes on to explore different elements that influence human behavior and how these elements may be used to support sustainable policy initiatives, ending with an empirical study that explores recycling behaviors at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Recycling behavior was observed in dorms at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s campus in response to impact-based messages. Results showed an overall non-significant relationship between messages and recycling behavior. Instead, there is indication that there are other factors that are influencing recycling behavior in the dorms, including seasonal factors. I conclude that further research into the factors influencing recycling behavior in the dorms should be explored in order for recycling initiatives at the University of Colorado at Boulder to be strengthened.

Available for download on Sunday, April 11, 2066

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