Watch the following YouTube video, about a woman who doesn’t make any trash:
Intro Discussion Questions:
- Do you think this woman actually produces this little trash?
- What would the world be like if everyone produced as little trash as she does?
- Could you live in a way that produced no waste?
Biodegradable (adj.) – a substance that decomposes (is broken down by bacteria) and becomes part of the soil.
- I like to use paper bags rather than plastic, because paper is biodegradable.
Compost (n) -fruit and vegetable scraps that you put somewhere to biodegrade and turn into soil.
- Put these banana peels in the compost.
Biodiversity (n.) – the variety of different life-forms in a given area.
- The rainforest has the most biodiversity on the planet; that’s why we have to protect it.
Ecosystem (n.) – a biological community of interacting organisms and their environment.
- Excessive waste from factories really disturbs the balance of the ecosystem.
Endangered Species (n.) – A species of plant or animal that is at risk of extinction.
- Panda bears are an endangered species; there are only 2000 left in the wild.
Renewable Resource (n.) – a resource, such as solar energy or wood, that will either grow back or recur naturally.
- It’s better to use solar energy rather than energy produced from coal, because solar energy is a renewable resource.
Smog (n.) – fog that has been mixed or polluted with smoke.
- There was so much smog in the air that we couldn’t see the stars at night.
Factory Farming (n.) – a system of raising livestock in factory-like conditions, where animals are confined in small areas indoors.
- Do you think factory farming is humane?
Free Range (adj.) – the opposite of factory farming, in which animals are given adequate space and allowed to roam outdoors.
- I think eggs from free range hens taste better than from factory farmed ones.
“Down-to-earth” – Someone who is “down-to-earth” is unpretentious, friendly, and realistic.
- Myra was a snob who looked down on everyone, but her best friend Katie was very down-to-earth, and treated everyone well. I wonder why they are still friends.
“Tree Hugger” – A “Tree Hugger” is an insulting word for someone who cares about the environment.
- My uncle called me a tree hugger because I didn’t want a factory built over our town’s wetlands. Sure, it would have created jobs, but it would have killed a lot of animals, too.
“Can’t see the forest for the trees” – When you “can’t see the forest for the trees,” you can’t see the big picture because you are focusing on the small details.
- Josh got so hung up on making each sentence sound good that he didn’t notice that his essay didn’t make sense. He couldn’t see the forest for the trees.”
“What/where/why on earth?” -The phrase “on earth” is added right after the question word to provide emphasis.
- Where on earth did you get that hideous hat?
- What on earth were you thinking when you let the kids make dinner alone?
- What springs to mind when you hear the word “environmentalism?”
- Do you consider yourself an environmentalist?
- Does your local government make it easy or hard to recycle?
- Can you think of any famous environmentalists?
- Do you think people treat the earth responsibly?
- Do you think taking care of the planet is the responsibility of individuals or governments?
- What do you think are the most serious threats to the earth right now?
- Do you think overpopulation is a problem? What do you think could be done about it?
- Do you think China’s “One Child Policy” was a good idea?
- Where does your city get its energy?
- What can we do to protect forests?
- Which countries cause the most pollution? Which countries are leaders in taking care of the environment?
- Do you think climate change is a big problem? What can we do about it?
- What do you think about people who don’t think climate change is real?
- If the earth could speak to us, what do you think it would say?
- Do you know about any anti-pollution programs in your community?
- What is the best way to teach children about the environment?
- What kind of technology could help the environment?
- What are some things that ordinary people can do to help the environment?
- Do you think buying organic or local food is important?