Exploring Individual’s Experiences of Volunteering for a Pro-Environmental Organisation
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Social change is required in order to develop a solution to the environmental issues that the world is currently facing. One avenue where social change can occur is through pro-environmental volunteering. However, research on pro-environmental behaviour has largely focused on participants subjective accounts of their behaviour using pre-formulated standardised questionnaires. This study gained a more in-depth understanding of why some people are active in pro-environmental behaviours, by allowing individuals who are engaged in these activities to express their motivations in their own words. Therefore, the aim of this study was to use a qualitative method (semi-structured interviews) in order to gain an overall understanding of young people’s experiences whilst engaging in pro-environmental volunteering. The findings revealed that environmental awareness and childhood experiences with nature were motivations for volunteering. The findings also found that environmental benefits, being outdoors, social benefits and career enhancement were benefits gained from volunteering. Pro-environmental organisations could advocate these benefits in order to recruit new volunteers, in order to achieve social change. Future research could control for the sampling bias by sampling people who volunteer as well as those who do not engage in pro-environmental volunteering.
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