Science and Environment

WeCycle: A Greener Outlook

Student Researcher: Tylla Halley, Katy Stuart, Amelia Brown and Claire Fahey

Faculty Supervisor: Meghan Sanders

For a Complete Report of this Research, See: Halley, T., Stuart, K., Brown, A., & Fahey, C. (2013). WeCycle: A Greener Outlook.

Abstract: This project’s initial interest focused on sustainability; it measured the success of the LSU recycling program. The project aimed at 1) understanding the awareness of the LSU community, specifically to gain insight on their knowledge of the services LSU recycling provides; 2) to gain awareness of the LSU community’s willingness to participate in further recycling efforts; 3) to gain an alternative perspective, from the participants in the focus group, on ways to improve the LSU recycling system.

The secondary research findings showed that most people do not know what is recyclable and what is not. Also, changing the appearance of recycling bins is not successful in raising recycling rates; the amount of bins present is the factor that changes the recycling rates. Age is a consistent factor in who recycles and how often; college age people are less likely to recycle from home than faculty.

The survey results of this project revealed that although most participants have recycled on LSU’s campus in the past, most of the recycling only involves paper and plastic products, not glass. Many people do not have a recycling bin in his/her residence, and few people know where to get one if he/she wants one. In addition, many people do not recycle at his/her workplace.

Two focus groups were conducted to better understand our key audience’s understanding and knowledge of LSU’s recycling efforts. While there was a mutual agreement among participants on both nights that recycling is a positive thing, many of the participants agreed with this saying that LSU’s recycling efforts are very unenthusiastic and at best average. In terms of the knowledge of what can be recycled, respondents showed a very limited knowledge. When it came to game day recycling, it is important to people how the campus looks on game day and that LSU should a better job of promoting recycling on those days.  When asked to make a collage on topics pertaining to recycling, “do it” and  “spare me the guilt trip” were frequently used.

Responses to Environmental Issues: The Effects of Framing on Public Attitudes about Climate Change

Student Researcher: Zeynep Altinay, Paige Brown, and Francis Piccoli

Faculty Supervisor: Meghan Sanders

For a Complete Report of this Research, See: Zeynep, A., Brown, P., & Piccoli, F. (2012). Responses to Environmental Issues: The Effects of Framing on Public Attitudes about Climate Change. This paper was based on a project as part of “the Introduction to Research Method in Mass Communication” graduate course .

Abstract: This study investigated the effects of framing climate change as a personal issue, with individual impacts, on the attitudes of participants and their intentions to act on climate change. A mixed-methods experimental design incorporated a between-subjects design of stimulus material, which consisted of three differently framed videos (facts-only, global, and personal), and a within-subjects factor design for analysis that included a pretest-posttest attitudinal survey. Specifically, the study sought to investigate the effect, if any, that personalized climate change messages have on influencing public awareness and attitudes about global warming, as well as intentions to lobby and advocate positions in support of public policies on climate change while mitigating their own carbon footprints. Participants’ awareness of climate change, attitude towards climate change (cognitive/affective components of attitude), and intentions to act (behavior component of attitude) on climate change were measured before and after viewing three differently-framed forms of stimulus material. Results indicate that participants demonstrated a significant change in self-reported awareness, cognitive/affective attitude, and intentions to act on climate change, regardless of the type of video viewed.