Sustainability

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 20711050 / 20711050
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 25,944
Google Scholar h5-index: 50
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Latest articles in this journal

Sanmei Li, Mingda Wu, Linghong Lu, Jiabao Zhu
Published: 25 September 2020
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12197931

Abstract:
Humin is the waste residue from the process of preparing humic acid, which accounts for a large proportion of the raw material (weathered coal humic acid). Its Cd(II) adsorption performance is far inferior to that of humic acid. How to regenerate humin is of great significance to the low-cost treatment of Cd(II) pollution in wastewater. In this study, humin was modified by hyperbranched polyethyleneimine to enhance the adsorption capacity for Cd(II). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and the X-ray photoelectron spectrometer showed that hyperbranched polyethyleneimine was grafted to the surface of humin. Flame atomic absorption spectroscopy showed that the saturated Cd(II) adsorption capacity of the modified humin was increased to 11.975 mg/g, which is about 5 times than that of humin and is also higher than that of humic acid. The adsorption kinetics, adsorption isotherm, and thermodynamic properties of humic acid, humin, and modified humin were also studied. This study may provide a foundation for research utilizing natural resources to reduce heavy metal pollution in the environment.
Miguel Giménez García-Conde, Longinos Marín, Salvador Ruiz De Maya
Published: 25 September 2020
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12197968

Abstract:
There is a need to monitor the growing prevalence of childhood weight issues and obesity worldwide. Parents can establish a set of family rules regarding child behaviors, but parents’ favorable attitudes toward healthy nutrition are also necessary. Despite the importance of this issue, there has been very little research on the most efficient means of communication to improve parental intentions to give fruits and vegetables to their children. Social marketing plays a key role in formulating effective communication campaigns targeting parents. We focus on two elements of the communication process, the message endorser and the message framing, and run an experiment with a sample of parents. Results demonstrate that parental intention to provide fruits and vegetables to children will be higher when the related message is backed by an expert endorser (vs. a celebrity endorser), the message is positively framed (vs. negatively framed) and when the message is emotionally framed (vs. rationally framed). Moreover, there is an interaction effect between the influence of the expertise/celebrity characteristic of the endorser and the message framing on parental intention to provide fruits and vegetables, and the effect is higher when the rational message framing is endorsed by an expert.
José Luis Ortega Martín, Imke B. Hameleers, Juan-Manuel Trujillo-Torres, Antonio-José Moreno-Guerrero
Published: 25 September 2020
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12197959

Abstract:
The study refers to collaborative writing. The main objective of this study is to show the effects of collaborative writing in the acquisition of the English language upon students of non-compulsory secondary education. The applied study is grounded on a quantitative focus of correlational character and descriptive basis, while applying a quasi-experimental design with a control group (CG) and an experimental group (EG). The results show that there is a significant relation that favors the method of collaborative writing upon the dimensions of feedback, motivation, collaboration, satisfaction, and ratings. It can be concluded that the collaborative writing method is effective if compared to the individual learning method.
Sejung Park
Published: 25 September 2020
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12197948

Abstract:
This research adds to the growing body of literature on the role of celebrities as emergent spokespersons in climate advocacy using Twitter. This study investigates the effects of framing of celebrities’ messages (emotional framing and framing of celebrity involvement) on public attitudes and behaviors to address climate change. A sequential mediation process is examined with structural equation modeling. In addition, this study assesses the role of parasocial relationship (PSR) with celebrities as predictors and moderators of the impact of framing of celebrity involvement. The results indicate that fear appeals were more effective than hope appeals in driving participation in activism, but emotional framing did not affect any other variables. Framing of celebrity involvement appeals using first-person pronouns led to more positive attitudes, but had no effect on behaviors. In addition, PSR was a strong positive predictor of attitudes and behaviors.
Anqi Zhu, Bei Bian, Yiping Jiang, JiaXiang Hu
Published: 25 September 2020
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12197934

Abstract:
Agriproducts have the characteristics of short lifespan and quality decay due to the maturity factor. With the development of e-commerce, high timelines and quality have become a new pursuit for agriproduct online retailing. To satisfy the new demands of customers, reducing the time from receiving orders to distribution and improving agriproduct quality are significantly needed advancements. In this study, we focus on the joint optimization of the fulfillment of online tomato orders that integrates picking and distribution simultaneously within the context of the farm-to-door model. A tomato maturity model with a firmness indicator is proposed firstly. Then, we incorporate the tomato maturity model function into the integrated picking and distribution schedule and formulate a multiple-vehicle routing problem with time windows. Next, to solve the model, an improved genetic algorithm (the sweep-adaptive genetic algorithm, S-AGA) is addressed. Finally, we prove the validity of the proposed model and the superiority of S-AGA with different numerical experiments. The results show that significant improvements are obtained in the overall tomato supply chain efficiency and quality. For instance, tomato quality and customer satisfaction increased by 5% when considering the joint optimization, and the order processing speed increased over 90% compared with traditional GA. This study could provide scientific tomato picking and distribution scheduling to satisfy the multiple requirements of consumers and improve agricultural and logistics sustainability.
Sangjae Lee, Joon Yeon Choeh
Published: 25 September 2020
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12197952

Abstract:
The social engagement of eWOM (electronic word-of-mouth) can reduce the threat of adverse selection in e-commerce. As studies that examine the social influence of eWOM are rare, the present work suggests the moderating effect of review or reviewer helpfulness and product type (experience or search goods) on the relationship between eWOM and product sales. The volume of eWOM, which is defined as the multiplication of the average length by the number of reviews, is shown to be moderated by review and reviewer helpfulness and search goods to affect product sales. Review ratings are moderated by reviewer helpfulness, and review extremity is positively (negatively) moderated by search (experience) goods and review helpfulness to affect product sales. As previous studies of differentiated sampling strategies that consider review helpfulness for predicting product sales using eWOM are lacking, this study compares the prediction power of business intelligence methods for different subsamples of products created according to high or low review and reviewer helpfulness levels. The subsample with high review or reviewer helpfulness demonstrates greater prediction performance than the subsample with low review or reviewer helpfulness when eWOM variables are used as predictors of product sales. Hence, preliminary filtering data preprocessing should consider review or reviewer helpfulness as a crucial criterion of the data quality. This will contribute to the sampling or preprocessing strategy used to predict product sales using eWOM.
Elisete Diogo, Francisco Branco
Published: 25 September 2020
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12197942

Abstract:
There were 7032 children in out-of-home care in 2018 in Portugal. Of these, only 2.8% were in foster care, despite this being the recommended response according to legal regulations. It is critical that more families be encouraged to become foster carers and also that experienced carers stay in the system to create a sustainable programme. How is the will to foster a child maintained? What can we learn from foster families’ experiences to improve childcare and the child protection system? The methodology of this study was based on interviews with foster carers. The analysis was inspired by grounded theory. We found three types of foster families, classified according to their will to leave or remain in foster care—unconditional, hesitant, or retired. The results suggest that the key elements for foster carers to remain in the foster care system are (i) their level of satisfaction with how the previous placement concluded, (ii) keeping in touch with the ex-foster child, (iii) the feeling of acknowledgement by all the stakeholders, and (iv) the quality of social services as well as the support of the professional teams.
Xiao Ren, Bo Zhu, Hamidou Bah, Syed Turab Raza
Published: 25 September 2020
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12197947

Abstract:
Soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions are influenced by land use adjustment and management practices. To meet the increasing socioeconomic development and sustainable demands for food supply, forestland conversion to cropland occurs around the world. However, the effects of forestland conversion to cropland as well as of tillage and fertilization practices on soil N2O emissions are still not well understood, especially in subtropical regions. Therefore, field experiments were carried out to continuously monitor soil N2O emissions after the conversion of forestland to cropland in a subtropical region in Southwest China. One forestland site and four cropland sites were selected: forestland (CK), short-term croplands (tillage with and without fertilization, NC-TF and NC-T), and long-term croplands (tillage with and without fertilization, LC-TF and LC-T). The annual cumulative N2O flux was 0.21 kg N ha−1 yr−1 in forestland. After forestland conversion to cropland, the annual cumulative N2O flux significantly increased by 76‒491%. In the short-term and long-term croplands, tillage with fertilization induced cumulative soil N2O emissions that were 94% and 235% higher than those from tillage without fertilization. Fertilization contributed 63% and 84% to increased N2O emissions in the short-term and long-term croplands, respectively. A stepwise regression analysis showed that soil N2O emissions from croplands were mainly influenced by soil NO3− and NH4+ availability and WFPS (water-filled pore space). Fertilization led to higher soil NH4+ and NO3− concentrations, which thus resulted in larger N2O fluxes. Thus, to reduce soil N2O emissions and promote the sustainable development of the eco-environment, we recommend limiting the conversion of forestland to cropland, and meanwhile intensifying the shift from grain to green or applying advanced agricultural management practices as much as possible.
Jonathan R. Barton, Felipe Gutiérrez-Antinopai
Published: 25 September 2020
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12197935

Abstract:
Representations of sustainability and sustainable development, as images, figures, and models have received relatively little attention in the literature, compared with textual definitions. However, there has been a concerted effort by authors to communicate complexity to specialized and wider audiences over the past fifty years. The purpose of this article is to present a taxonomy of visual representations of sustainability and sustainable development that reveal the conceptual diversity and complexity of these metanarratives of the dynamics of socio-ecological systems (SES). Using an exploratory and interpretive methodology, the principal objective is to describe and interpret the core traits of 18 different representations, which reflect the hybrid nature of sustainability and sustainable development depictions, but also allow them to be categorized into six main types. This exercise is based on the review of images used in the secondary literature on sustainability and sustainable development, and also websites that have compiled sets of images. The shared roots or common traits of the six main types are to be found in the principles of complexity, nonlinearity, holism, projection, and praxis. These roots reflect not only the dynamics of SES, but also how these system representations change according to their purposes and etiologies which are, in turn, defined by the academic, public, and private actors who design them.
Dany A. Cotrina Sánchez, Elgar Barboza Castillo, Nilton B. Rojas Briceño, Manuel Oliva, Cristóbal Torres Guzman, Carlos A. Amasifuen Guerra, Subhajit Bandopadhyay
Published: 25 September 2020
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12197945

Abstract:
The Andean-Amazonian landscape has been universally recognized for its wide biodiversity, and is considered as global repository of ecosystem services. However, the severe loss of forest cover and rapid reduction of the timber species seriously threaten this ecosystem and biodiversity. In this study, we have modeled the distribution of the ten most exploited timber forest species in Amazonas (Peru) to identify priority areas for forest conservation and restoration. Statistical and cartographic protocols were applied with 4454 species records and 26 environmental variables using a Maximum Entropy model (MaxEnt). The result showed that the altitudinal variable was the main regulatory factor that significantly controls the distribution of the species. We found that nine species are distributed below 1000 m above sea level (a.s.l.), except Cedrela montana, which was distributed above 1500 m a.s.l., covering 40.68%. Eight of 10 species can coexist, and the species with the highest percentage of potential restoration area is Cedrela montana (14.57% from Amazonas). However, less than 1.33% of the Amazon has a potential distribution of some species and is protected under some category of conservation. Our study will contribute as a tool for the sustainable management of forests and will provide geographic information to complement forest restoration and conservation plans.
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