Academic English

“Saving the Earth”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
intermediate recycling man – girl 01:07

Pre-Listening Exercise

[ Randall created this listening activity on saving the environment in 1999, featuring his daughter, Aubrey. She has appeared in many conversations on this site, including another one on saving the planet called, “Water Conservation,” produced in December 2016. ]


“be way out in left field” = be totally wrong
Some people thought the scientist was way out in left field when he suggested that cooking oil could be recycled to power car engines. In the end, the scientist was right.”

“scratch the surface” = only begin to deal with a small part of the problem
The government is only beginning to scratch the surface in dealing with serious environmental issues.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

The girl's name is _____.

Today, I'm interviewing nine-year-old Alex about her feelings on how people can help save the environment.

She says we should save water when _____.

By not using too much water when we wash dishes, take a bath, and when we do other things, like watering the plants outside.

The girl's second suggestion is about _____.

When drinking or eating something outside, you should keep the garbage until you find a trashcan to put it in because littering makes our planet dirty.

By recycling paper, we can ______.

Yes. We shouldn't waste paper because trees are being cut down to make the paper. By recycling paper, we save the forests where animals live.

What does the girl do once a month?

Now, the children in our neighborhood collect newspapers once a month to take them to a recycling center.

Post-Listening Exercise

Conduct research on how paper and glass are recycled and then report on the types of products that are produced from these recycled materials. Review how paper and other products are being overused at your home, school, or business, and propose ideas on how to reduce excess waste and promote recycling.

Online Investigation

What recycling programs are set up in your city to handle waste? What kinds of items can be recycled? What are the recycling guidelines?