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Prevalence and Clustering Patterns of Pro-Environmental Behaviors among Canadian Households in the Era of Climate Change


  • Eun-Young Lee

    (School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
    Department of Gender Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada)

  • Asaduzzaman Khan

    (School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia)


This study examined the prevalence and clustering patterns of pro-environmental behaviors that are conducive to socially and environmentally sustainable living among Canadians. Cross-sectional data from the 2015 Households and the Environment Survey (HES) were used. Prevalence was calculated by province and each pro-environmental behavior. Observed/expected prevalence ratios were computed to assess clustering patterns and logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the pairwise associations. Among 8816 Canadian households, prevalence of engaging in pro-environmental behaviors ranked as the following: engaging in green consumer behavior (88%), composting food/yard waste (84%), being active outdoors (82%), gardening (72%), and recycling electronics (45%). While only 14% engaged in ≤2 pro-environmental behaviors, 25.1% of Canadians engaged in all pro-environmental behaviors. By province, British Columbia was the greenest province (81%), followed by Ontario (77%) and Nova Scotia (76.9%) while the least green provinces were Newfoundland and Labrador (62.9%), Saskatchewan (69.2%), and New Brunswick (68%). The most apparent clustering of behaviors was found between recycling electronics and gardening (Observed/Expected: 3.65, 95% CI: 1.98–5.32). Pairwise associations between any two pro-environmental behaviors were statistically significant for all possible combinations (Odds ratios ranged 1.23–2.24). Prevalence of engaging in different sets of pro-environmental behaviors varied greatly by province. Sub-optimal clustering of pro-environmental behaviors and varying pairwise synergetic associations were observed in Canadian households. To promote more holistic, sustainable lifestyles and create sociocultural environments that are conducive to the environment in the era of climate change, future work should investigate barriers and opportunities in adopting more pro-environmental behaviors in Canadian households.

Suggested Citation

  • Eun-Young Lee & Asaduzzaman Khan, 2020. "Prevalence and Clustering Patterns of Pro-Environmental Behaviors among Canadian Households in the Era of Climate Change," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(19), pages 1-14, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:12:y:2020:i:19:p:8218-:d:424180

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anna Justyna Parzonko & Agata Balińska & Anna Sieczko, 2021. "Pro-Environmental Behaviors of Generation Z in the Context of the Concept of Homo Socio-Oeconomicus," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(6), pages 1-18, March.
    2. Marian Garcia-Valiñas & Fernando Arbués & Roberto Balado-Naves, 2023. "Assessing environmental profiles: An analysis of water consumption and waste recycling habits," Efficiency Series Papers 2023/02, University of Oviedo, Department of Economics, Oviedo Efficiency Group (OEG).

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