Development of the Consumption Journey Tool to Improve Awareness and Critical Thinking on Sustainability in Engineering Students

Jaime A. Mesa, Laura Ruiz-Pastor, Ivan E. Esparragoza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This innovation to practice full paper presents the Consumption Journey Tool for sustainability awareness. Sustainability and environmental issues are current topics that industries, governments, and academia have studied and embraced. It is known that depletion, scarcity, pollution, and global warming are latent threats to human activities as we know them. As a challenge, academic institutions have been including sustainability topics in their curricula through elective courses, project-based activities, and course modules. Commonly, these approaches aim to create more conscious thinking about and efficient use of resources, savings, environmental impact, lifecycle analysis, and the design and re-design of products or services with reduced resource consumption and higher sustainability performance. The existing approaches considering sustainability focus primarily on the external perspective through the lifecycle of the products, ignoring the internal habits of the consumers. They do not include an analysis of individual consumption. However, it is critical to understand individual behaviors and how those behaviors influence the decision-making process of the designers. This paper describes a practical tool developed to improve engineering students' sensitivity and critical thinking about their environmental impact in daily activities. The instrument is named the Consumption Journey Tool, and it is based on the Design Thinking framework. The tool was introduced in an elective course of Industrial Ecology for four-year engineering students. The authors developed and used an assessment instrument to evaluate the students' perceptions of sustainability issues before and after the Consumption Journey Tool implementation. The initial assessment shows students demonstrated higher engagement and self-consciousness about their impact on resources after using the tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2022 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2022
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665462440
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2022 - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: Oct 8 2022Oct 11 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference2022 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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