Date of Award

8-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Madeleine Orr, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Genevieve F. E. Birren, Esq.

Third Advisor

Dr. Mark Dodds, J.D.

Abstract

The current climate situation is placing our planet and future generations at risk, which demonstrates the urgency to combat climate change and conduct research to support this effort. Calculating the carbon footprint of active sport participation represents an important opportunity to conduct additional research. This study examined the environmental attitudes and practices of swim club members in Germany. The study had three goals: First, to calculate the total and partial carbon footprint of German swimmers; second, to understand how sport organizations induce participants to engage in pro-environmental behavior; and third, to analyze various factors associated with carbon footprint, such as age, environmental consciousness, gender, level of education, income, and famous athlete’s environmental behavior. An online questionnaire was conducted, which led to 470 complete responses of German swim club members, between the ages of five and 76. The results of this study showed that a club’s environmental practices increase athletes' internalization of the club’s values. Once this internalization takes place, athletes are likely to adapt their environmental attitudes to align with the club’s values, but not their behavior. Results also indicate that age, environmental consciousness, gender, and educational level influence environmental attitudes. The individual’s income had no effect. These results advance the research on environmental impacts of sport, particularly by focusing on active sport participants of all ages, including child participants, and considering the influence of pro-environmental behavior of swim clubs on the environmental practices and attitudes of their athletes. The results of this study may be used to incentivize sport clubs to adopt environmentally sutainable [sic] practices as a means of influencing the attitudes of their athletes, with a view of ultimately creating positive change.

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