Exploring the Moderating Role of Environmental Education in Promoting a Clean Environment

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Ma L., Shahbaz P., Haq S. u., Boz İ.

Sustainability (Switzerland), vol.15, no.10, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/su15108127
  • Journal Name: Sustainability (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Aerospace Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: climate change awareness, eco-friendly lifestyles, environmental education, environmental knowledge, PLS-SEM, pro-environment behavior
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Environmental education plays a significant role in improving environmental knowledge and shaping the eco-friendly lifestyles of young people. Young people’s daily actions and habits will determine the future of the Earth as a planet. The literature regarding youths’ environmental knowledge, climate change awareness, environmental attitude, and their impact on pro-environmental intentions and sustainable household consumption practices is very scarce. Therefore, this study explored the relationship between environmental knowledge, climate change awareness, environmental attitude, and the pro-environmental intentions of university students. The study also assessed the moderating effect of environmental education on pro-environmental behavior and sustainable household consumption practices, providing a comparative analysis of students with and without environmental education, which is unique in the literature. The data were collected from 2137 Chinese university students selected through a purposive and random sampling method through survey questionnaires. Descriptive statistics and partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) were used to analyze the collected data. The findings revealed that environmental knowledge, climate change awareness, and environmental attitudes of the students positively affected their pro-environmental intentions. Moreover, pro-environmental intentions also positively affected the adoption of sustainable practices. The result also showed that the impact of pro-environmental intentions on sustainable consumption practices was greater for those whose education included environmental courses than for those whose education did not. Therefore, it is suggested that environment-related courses be incorporated into the study plans of each discipline as a compulsory subject for promoting green intentions and shaping eco-friendly lifestyles for environmental sustainability.