This episode's vocabulary
- Disposal (noun) - the act of getting rid of something, especially by throwing it away.
- Biodegradable (adj.) - able to decay naturally and in a way that is not harmful.
- Sustainable (adj.) - causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time.
- Recycling (noun) - the process of collecting and changing old paper, glass, plastic, etc. so that it can be used again.
- Pick up the slack - to improve a situation by doing something that someone else has not done or not completed.
- Frugal (adj.) - careful when using money or food, or (of a meal) cheap or small in amount.
- Environmentalism (noun) - an interest in or the study of the environment, in order to protect it from damage by human activities.
- Integrate (verb) - to combine two or more things in order to become more effective.
- Holistic (adj.) - dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory, let's talk about environmental protection. What can people do to protect our environment?
R: They could just be sensible in terms of waste disposal. Not littering is a good start by buying biodegradable and sustainable products, recycling. Small changes like that. I think that would go a long way to fixing a lot of problems.
M: Do you think we've done enough to protect the environment?
R: I don't even know how to begin to measure that. I'm pretty frugal, and I don't travel much. And when I do, it's by mass transit or public transport. So I think my impact on the environment is pretty minimal in comparison to some people. I could probably do more in terms of saving paper and recycling, though, if I really wanted to.
M: What can people do together to protect the local environment?
R: I don't think there's a limit in this sense. Sharing resources might be a good place to start and helping remind each other of different agreed ways to reduce our impacts, although not being complete Karen about at the same time, and picking up the slack wherever they see it.
M: What should be done to protect our environment?
R: Oh, more of everything, really. By making it more accessible and routine for people to do so. I'm not sure radical solutions, like banning cars or plastics are practical and relaxing restrictions isn't going to cut it. So we just have to keep going further with what we have, which is sort of environmentalism in a nutshell, really, isn't it?
M: What's the importance of environmental education?
R: Well, we could frame it in terms of financial importance, people save more by being less wasteful. Or you could think about it in relation to general education, which is like learning new ways of doing things hopefully more effectively and efficiently. There's a lot to be said for it from these perspectives already, actually.
M: Is there enough education about environmental protection at school?
R: In the mean, yes, though, I imagine there are ways of integrating more of it in a sort of more holistic way, rather than treating it as a separate subject.
M: Is it important to teach students how to protect the environment?
R: Well, insofar as it can give them a practical way to apply what they learn, I would say so, yes,. I mean, for example, we could talk about ways to save money using environmentally friendly energy saving methods in a math class. That's useful and helpful in equal measure.
M: Would you like to work in a company related to environmental protection?
R: Um, well, not me specifically, since my expertise lies elsewhere, however, we could have more environmental themes or elements in teaching. That might be a good compromise.
M: Rory, what do you personally do to protect the environment?
R: I do what you tell me to and I put my cans in the bin.
M: Well done, my boy.
M: So let's go over super grammar and vocab. First of all, the topic is environmental protection, right? We have the word, the environment, it's always the environment. Or we can say environments. If we say environments, there's no article, right?
R: Well, yeah, because it's multiple.
M: But usually like our environment, we should protect the environment or environmental protection. So we can use education on environmental protection related to environmental protection, something like that. So we protect we preserve our environment. Preserve the same as protect?
R: No, protect implies that you're saving it against a threat, whereas preserve is just like you're keeping it from getting older or from falling apart.
M: Here, you should use precise vocabulary, topical vocabulary about environmental issues. For example, Rory has used waste disposal years.
R: Which is just how you get rid of things once you've used them.
M: Yeah. So you should dispose of your waste, right?
R: Exactly. But improperly by putting in the bin. If you don't put your waste in the bin then you are littering.
M: Yeah. To litter - to throw your rubbish in the streets. No, no, no, no, no, we don't do that. No. Then you said something like biodegradable, sustainable products. Wow.
R: It sounds really complicated but it's not. Biodegradable just means something degrades into the earth when you finished with it, rather than staying there. So most plastic doesn't stay like it doesn't biodegrade, it just exists and it blows around and causes all kinds of damage. Whereas paper is biodegradable because if you put it on soil then it becomes part of the soil and the problem goes away.
M: Yeah, food, all this veges, so all the all the food that you don't eat is biodegradable.
M: And then you should buy biodegradable products or you should buy sustainable products.
R: So sustainable products are ones that, well, they are created, but the process of creating them doesn't harm the environment. It doesn't use resources unnecessarily, for example, it's not wasteful.
M: So what else can people do? People can do recycling.
R: And we have an episode on recycling.
M: Yeah, you can listen to our episode about recycling. We go over what kind of products you should recycle. And there are some really nice words there. Okay, you told us that I'm pretty frugal, frugal.
R: Yeah, frugal just means that you don't spend lots and lots of money on things.
M: So I'm pretty frugal. I don't travel much. So I don't think my impact on the environment is big.
M: So your impact - your influence on the environment.
M: They also use another one like carbon footprint, right?
R: Yeah, and we talked about our carbon footprint. I think also in the episode on recycling, actually.
M: Yeah. So like your footprint, whatever you do to our environment, is your footprint on the environment. Yep. Pick up the slack.
R: Yep. So the slack is just, well, general term for... To pick up the slack is like, if everyone makes an effort, some people will make less of an effort than others. And that means there's more to be done. So this extra stuff is called the slack. And if you pick up the slack means that you do the work the other people did not do.
M: Yeah, so you should reduce our impact on the environment and pick up the slack. Rory, then you've used this word. Environmentalism.
R: Yes. But environmentalism is just the movement to take care of the environment, basically.
M: Yeah. So you can use it as a noun, like environment, but also this movement, environmentalism, which is nice. A long word.
R: On the subject of long words, there are environmentally friendly energy saving methods. Which is just a really nice way of talking about solar panels, title power, all these other things. When you can't think of it you just say environmentally friendly saving energy methods. I don't know what they are right now, but that's how I describe them.
M: Yeah, it's not important. You can say I'm trying to be more environmentally friendly. I buy sustainable products, I buy... What do you call them, natural products? Oh, organic, there we go.
R: Yeah, so you'd be like environmentally friendly energy saving methods. Environmentally friendly food products, environmentally friendly stationary, probably.
M: Stationary, I recycle everything I can. I recycle cans, I carry my own bottle, when I drink water, I don't use single cups, right?
R: Single used plastics.
M: Single used plastic cups. So I carry my water bottle everywhere and go, for example. So when the examiner asks you would you like to work in a company related to environmental protection, Rory went like not really, since my expertise lies elsewhere. Beautiful. So not really since... Since means because. My expertise - my experience, right?
R: Well, no, it's like experience and knowledge of a subject you were trained in. So I have expertise in teaching English. Vanya has expertise in producing a podcast.
M: Yeah. Yeah. A cool word.
R: You have expertise in having gray hair. You can have expertise in multiple areas.
M: Yeah. So not really, since my expertise lies elsewhere. Elsewhere - somewhere else. Beautiful. So Rory, what do you really do to protect the environment? Now, like we finished this examiner questions, you can just tell the world like do you really do anything? Really? Do you even recycle?
R: I recycle paper, actually.
M: Really? Where do you take paper? Because in Russia, we have some issues with recycling.
R: Because papers double sided, if I have extra paper leftover from one class, I can just turn it over and use it.
M: Oh, that's nice. I also do it. Scrap paper we call it. That's all you do. Right?
R: Um, yes. Sorry.
M: Do you switch off the lights?
R: Oh, yeah. I am good at switching off the lights.
M: Or do you just let the water, you know, on?
R: I'm pretty good at switching the lights and turning the taps off and things like that. It doesn't help, though. We have a leak, well, we had a leaking tap right now, which is pretty wasteful of a lot of water. But that's not my fault. That's just the maintenance.
M:You should throw money at them.
R: I did and they fixed the problem.
M: So how do you fix it? Just throw money at them. Like all the problems will be fixed. Yes. So now the listener you can think of the things that you are doing or you would like to do to protect the environment and what other people can do. Alright, like such people as Rory.
R: But that's all from us for now.
M: Thank you very much for listening!
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