Politics, the Environment and USF St. Petersburg Students


  • Ana Maria Quintero USF St. Petersburg
  • Christopher Meindl USF St. Petersburg


The Republican and Democratic parties have long had different agendas that have changed through time. The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between political party platforms, the political leanings of college students at the St. Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida and their perspective on selected environmental issues. How do college students feel about the environment? Are Republican college students more or less supportive of environmental issues? What about Democratic college students? There are many environmental issues, but this study focuses on organic food consumption, recycling and solar energy. This research contains an examination of 2016 Republican and Democratic party platforms on the environment; a literature review of organic food consumption, recycling and solar power; and it features results and analysis from an online survey of more than 100 USF St. Petersburg students. The most important finding is that although most of our student respondents claimed to be supporters of organic food consumption, recycling and solar energy use—larger percentages of supporters of all three of these environmental/sustainability activities came from those identifying with the left side of the political spectrum (moderate Democrats, progressive Democrats and Socialists).