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  • Author or Editor: Megan Holmes x
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Food waste is one of the most abundant materials contributing to landfills in the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates 96% of uneaten food ends up in landfills. Food and other organic wastes generate potent greenhouse gases in the atmosphere precipitating global climate change. College campus cafeterias generate a large amount of food waste and some universities are making efforts to capture and compost food waste. The purpose of this study was to measure the relationship between participation in a university composting program and students’ environmental attitudes, environmental locus of control (refers to the belief that an individual’s actions play a direct role in the result of any affair), compost knowledge, and compost attitudes. Undergraduate and graduate students were given a survey, which included an environmental attitude scale, an environmental locus of control inventory and sections where students reported their composting habits, knowledge of the composting process, and how composting made them feel. A total of 660 surveys were collected from two universities, one that acted as the treatment and the other as the control group. The results indicated a statistically significant difference between the school with a composting program and the school without a composting program on the variables of environmental attitudes, environmental locus of control, and composting knowledge. Furthermore, composting attitudes were positively related to environmental attitudes, environmental locus of control, and compost knowledge at the university with a composting program. Demographic comparisons found differences within the treatment group on the composting attitude and knowledge and environmental attitude inventories but not locus of control.

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The average cost of housing a single inmate in the United States is roughly $31,286 per year, bringing the total average cost states spend on corrections to more than $50 billion per year. Statistics show 1 in every 34 adults in the United States is under some form of correctional supervision; and after 3 years, more than 4 in 10 prisoners return to custody. The purpose of this study was to determine the availability of opportunities for horticultural community service and whether there were differences in incidences of recurrences of offenses/recidivism of offenders completing community service in horticultural vs. nonhorticultural settings. Data were collected through obtaining offender profile probation revocation reports, agency records, and community service supervision reports for one county in Texas. The sample included both violent and nonviolent and misdemeanor and felony offenders. Offenders who completed their community service in horticultural or nonhorticultural outdoor environments showed lower rates of recidivism compared with offenders who completed their community service in nonhorticultural indoor environments and those who had no community service. Demographic comparisons found no difference in incidence of recidivism in comparisons of offenders based on gender, age, and the environment in which community service was served. In addition, no difference was shown in incidence of recidivism in comparisons based on offenders with misdemeanor vs. felony charges. The results and information gathered support the continued notion that horticultural activities can play an important role in influencing an offender’s successful reentry into society.

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