There is no doubt that people on Earth are using more resources than they can take care of or dispose of properly. Environmental Science is a subject that can be easily brushed to one side, but is an essential topic concerning humanity. People all around the world are running into problems when it comes to waste and environmental issues. The planet can only hold a certain amount of waste before the soil, water, air quality, and climate are affected (Saladie & Santos-Lacueva, 2016). “We are depleting our natural resources and generating waste at a per capita rate unprecedented in human history”(Osman, Isa, Othman, & Jagathan, 2014) Reusing and recycling used goods is a popular waste management technique. However, recycling programs are not always the best utilized. Approximately 33 percent of United States college students claim to recycle (Izagirre-Olaizola, Fernandez-Sainz, & Vincente-Molina, 2014).
It is an important topic because college students are the future leaders of the world, and how they decide to use resources will impact the world on a large scale. Determining what positively and negatively impacts a college student’s recycling behavior is crucial to increasing recycling rates and informing the public on the status of the environment.
Past studies have shown that knowledge, gender, nationality, ethnicity, morals, program of study, and external incentives may affect a college student’s recycling behaviors (Heyl, Diaz, & Cifuentes, 2013; Lang, 2011; Lee, 2008). Students with more knowledge about the environment will be more likely than others to recycle and try to preserve it (Heyl, Diaz, & Cifuentes). People of ethnicities other than Caucasian are also more likely to recycle because on average they are closer to unsafe environments such as polluted areas (Lee). Gender and morals go hand in hand as women are socialized to be caregivers of a family, they are more likely to take care of the Earth as well (Lang). In order to save future children from a devastated landscape, the world must be cared for now. This study will attempt to solidify these results as well as put them in a medium that will actually reach those whom it concerns. Since college students are more likely to interact with a website than read a paper, the recycling statistics will be more likely to affect recycling behavior. Past research may not have been able to efficiently reach its target audience to cause change, but a website may be able to help.
On the positive side, it is incredibly easy to start recycling and help save the planet. All you have to do is change the bin that you throw away certain items in! Though your recycling options vary according to where you live, on UNK's campus it is extremely easy to recycle paper, plastics, and cardboard. Down below, you can test your recycling skills by dragging each item to the correct bin.