Environmental and climate education largely takes place in classrooms on college campuses, thereby limiting impact on the student body. Freshman students at a mid-size Midwestern university were exposed to a food-focused environmental and climate education intervention consisting of sustainability trivia and marketing materials displayed in dining halls. Prior to exposure, students completed a pretest, followed by a 5-week intervention, then a posttest. Comparing correct responses between pretest and posttest, we found a significant increase in environmental and climate impact knowledge. The intervention was especially effective for women such that knowledge increased significantly more among women than among men. Additionally, we found a significant decrease in red meat consumption post-intervention. There were no significant differences between major categories or race and ethnicity. Results indicate sustainability interventions implemented outside classrooms can be effective. Emphasizing connections between health and sustainable food choices is important in improving student and environmental health and climate awareness.
Higher Education, Climate Change, Environmental Knowledge, Campus Setting, Environmental Intervention