Examiner: Is the environment a big concern in your country?
Jorge: Climate change is a topic on everyone’s lips in my country but only in a theoretical sense. I don’t see citizens or the government taking steps to reduce the ravages of climate change.
Examiner: What steps do you and your family take to protect the environment?
Louisa: Well, we are looking into purchasing a hybrid car, for one thing. My partner uses the car quite a bit for work so it is important we do not have a large carbon footprint. It goes without saying that we recycle anything we can and we also use fabric bags when we go shopping to reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce.
Examiner: Has the environment in your region changed since when you were younger?
Dimitris: Every summer it feels like the sun is getting hotter and hotter and the climate is nothing like it used to be. My country relies heavily on farming and I know farmers are increasingly concerned about how climate change is affecting their growing season and their yields. It is predicted that regions that were once too cold to grow certain crops will soon be able to.
IELTS Speaking Part 2 (cue card)
Describe a person you know who is doing something to protect the environment
You should say
- Who this person is
- What this person is doing to protect the environment
- How easy/ difficulty it is for him/ her to do this
And explain how you feel about what this person is doing to protect the environment
Asha: I think everyone nowadays is doing their part to some degree to protect the environment but one person I know really does more than her fair share. This is my friend Eva, who is more eco-conscious than most people I think.
When we were in school, Eva campaigned to get a compost bin placed in our school yard so that the gardening club would have natural fertilizer. She was very concerned about chemical fertilizers contaminating groundwater. Students, parents and teachers brought their vegetable scraps to be composted and it worked! We had an endless supply of non-chemical compost for our garden. She started using reusable cups and bottles long before they were popular and I don’t think I have ever seen her carry a plastic bag.
Nowadays, she is part of a neighborhood clean- up group that removes rubbish from our local parks and beaches. She grows organic vegetables in her garden and commutes to work with her bicycle every day. Her house uses solar panels for heating and she even makes her own household cleaning products.
Eva never complains about these activities being time-consuming or difficult; she just feels she is doing what she can to be environmentally conscious. So, Eva is a person not doing just one thing to protect the environment, but in fact following a green lifestyle in order to live more sustainably. I admire her and her efforts and she is truly a role model for all of us to try to emulate.
What are some things ordinary people can do to protect the environment?
Andre: There are small and more significant actions people can take to protect the environment. Whenever there is a choice between a conventional product or more environmentally friendly one, we should always choose the latter. Light bulbs is one small example. The energy saving ones might be a little more expensive but the benefits are worth it. We also need to think about some of our other choices that contribute to fuel emissions. Switching to hybrid or electric cars is one obvious answer but what about air travel in general? What about the products we consume? We need to think about the food miles behind what we eat and make every effort to eat local food.
What are some ways in which industries damage the environment?
Sophie: Unfortunately, industries destroy the environment in a variety of ways. Factories use fossil fuels to run machines and the smoke and carbon monoxide released lead to air pollution. Factories dispose of their waste in nearby waterways, creating water pollution. This in turn affects the entire ecosystem as sea animals and the birds and other animals that eat them suffer as a result. Even the noise from industries affect the environment. Many animals abandon their natural habitat once a factory is built, creating an imbalance in the ecosystem.
Do you believe that international cooperation is necessary to solve environmental problems?
Emile: I think international cooperation is the only way to tackle environmental issues. It is meaningless if one country takes measures to protect the environment, but its neighbor does not. There must be a collective effort around the world where leaders agree to the steps that must be taken. While there are many companies globally that are trying to be more green to make true progress an international agreement must be forged.
Vocabulary List and Defintions:
- The ravages of something: destruction of something
- Hybrid car: a car that uses both petrol and electricity
- Carbon footprint: how much carbon dioxide is released as a result of one’s activities
- Recycle: breaking down products to create new products from the materials
- Growing season:– the time of the year when plants grow
- Yields: amount of a crop produced
- Crops: a plant grown in large amounts
- Eco-conscious: describes someone who shows concern for the environment
- Natural fertilizer: fertilizers that come from animal waste, animal matter or plant matter
- Chemical fertilizer: fertilizers that are made from synthetic materials
- Contaminate: to make something unpure, poisonous or polluted
- Groundwater: water that is below the earth’s surface
- Vegetable scraps: bits of vegetables that are discarded
- Non-chemical compost: decaying matter such as food, leaves or manure used to fertilize soil
- Organic: describes something that does not use chemical fertilizers
- Commute: travel to and from work
- Solar panels: panels that collect rays from the sun to be used as energy for electricity or heating
- Household cleaning products: products that are used to clean one’s home
- Time-consuming: describes something that takes a lot of time
- Environmentally conscious: when a person or business is aware of their affect on the environment and attempts to minimize this affect
- Green lifestyle: a way of living that attempts to reduce usage of water & power, waste and toxic substances.
- Sustainable: describes something that causes minimal damage to the environment
- Emulate: to copy someone’s behavior out of respect
- Conventional products: products that have been in use for a long time
- Energy saving: describe products designed to reduce use of electricity or other form of energy
- Fuel emissions: gases that lead to air pollution through the burning of fuel
- Electric cars: vehicles that run on electricity
- Food miles: the distance food travels from the time it is produced until it reaches its end customer
- Local food: food that is produced a short distance from where it is consumed.
- Fossil fuels: coal, gas or oil that is used in industry, homes and vehicles
- Carbon monoxide: a dangerous gas produced from the partial burning of fuels
- Dispose: throw away
- Waterways: lakes, rivers, oceans and canals
- Ecosystem: the geographic area where animals, plants and other organisms interact
- Natural habitat: the area where a plant or animal normally lives
- Tackle: to try to deal with a problem
- Collective effort: when a group of people try to do something
- Forge: to create something strong or successful