Date of Award

Summer 2012

Degree Type

Professional Project

Degree Name

Masters in Leadership Studies


College of Professional Studies


This phenomenological study explored the level of concern regarding issues of sustainability, for individuals residing within one mid-sized Midwestern urban community. Ultimately, this research sought to determine those factors that increase the sense of urgency for some individuals to do more to reduce our global footprint and to create a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. The participants were chosen via purposeful sampling and the interview process was used for data collection. Several themes uncovered in the study findings were similar to those in the literature review, which include: caring for the environment, making connections within the community, recycling, gardening, and sharing gifts (assets) of each individual. Participants shared their journey in sustainability, which provided insight into what they currently do on a daily basis to care for the environment. To increase their knowledge of sustainability they use the library, television, Internet searches and social media sites. They may also learn from others. In addition, these sustainable practices, when shared, may set the example for others to do more in reducing their global footprint. To support sustainability, community mapping can be a valuable tool to identify recycling centers, farmer’s markets, local suppliers of green products, and other essential locations. Whether hard copy maps, Internet sites or applications (apps) for Apple I-devices or Android devices; community mapping can serve individuals who want to conserve the earth’s resources.