Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of secondary school students on renewable feedstocks/biomass: the case of Greece
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- Kapassa, M., Abeliotis, K. & Scoullos, M. Environ Dev Sustain (2013) 15: 101. doi:10.1007/s10668-012-9377-1
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Green Chemistry is a new approach of chemistry that aims to satisfy the global concerns and demand for sustainability. Green Chemistry is guided by twelve very specific principles of chemical practice. Among them, the seventh one promotes the use of renewable raw materials and feedstock, such as biomass. The widespread application of Green Chemistry principles in everyday life can be achieved by incorporating its paradigm into simple experiments and activities at regular school courses. Thus, an exploration of the students’ background is required. The aim of this study is to provide baseline data on Greek student’s knowledge, beliefs and attitudes related to the seventh Green Chemistry principle namely the use of renewable feedstocks, in order to facilitate introduction of appropriate provision in the school curricula and practice in Greece. Our results indicate that there is a serious knowledge gap among secondary school students regarding the main biomass formation mechanism and the connection of biomass to the global food supply in addition to the almost complete lack of knowledge of the main Green Chemistry principles. Regarding their attitudes, students are positive towards the use of biomass and express a very strong will to be environmentally informed. A logical conclusion of our research is that the development of relevant material that will focus on the application of Green Chemistry principles in everyday life in combination with a training of a core group of educators could be considered as the first steps towards the introduction of Green Chemistry principles in the secondary education system of Greece.