Energy conservation as pro-environmental behaviour - a Hungarian case
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The solution of ecological problems requires the contribution of international organizations, national governments, civil organizations, companies, academic researchers, and individuals. The unsustainable buyer, consumer and user patterns have to be changed. Fortunately, nowadays there are more and more efforts on the part of consumers, according to results of consumer researches ecological consciousness of consumers is growing all over the world. Individuals have several opportunities to lower their own environment use; one form of it is energy conserving behaviour. Household energy use is a relevant question because producing energy burdens the environment, especially if it is not done in an environmentally conscious way. Households can conserve water, gas and electricity in many ways but every behaviour requires some kind of sacrifices. The motivations of energy-conserving behaviour can save money, together with environmental/moral considerations. Positive environmental attitudes, beliefs and values influence energy-saving behaviour favourably. According to our research, the Hungarian population has positive general environmental attitudes, and can be divided into five clusters: Unheeding townspeople, Environment sensitive people, Distance-keeper inquirers, Doubters, and Responsibilitytaker countrymen. People fundamentally try to save energy and expect it from family members, too. The main motivations are money saving and inner driving forces, but in the third place there is environment protection as energy conserving motivation. However, we have some doubts in connection with this result because respondents definitely want to meet some imaginary requirements, and this intention influences the answers. The Hungarian people are not environmentally conscious in their purchases, but their energy conserving behaviour is widespread. In demographics gender, age and education have a weak or possibly a medium effect, and property status and residence have a strongly significant influence. Positive attitudes increase while negative attitudes decrease the possibilities of such activities.
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