Listening task 1: Helping the environment

A Listen. Eric is talking to people about the environment. Where are they? Number the pictures from 1 to 5. (There is one extra picture.)

Answer & Audioscripts

(top row) X, 4, 2

(bottom row) 3, 1, 5

Audioscripts in B below

B Listen again. What does Eric recommend to help the environment? Circle the correct answers.

1   a. stop buying the newspaper

     b. recycle the newspaper

2   a. bring a cup

     b. buy a cup

3   a. use a cloth bag

     b. use a paper bag

4   a. take cold showers

     b. take shorter showers

5   a. take the bus

     b. carpool together

Answer & Audioscripts

1 b   2 a   3 a   4 b   5 b



Eric:   Are you almost finished with that, Liz?

Liz:   Almost, Eric. Here, you can take this. And the entertainment section’s in the living room.

Eric:   I just want to read the sports section.

Liz:   Uh-oh, I think I threw the sports section away.

Eric:   Threw it away? In the garbage? You know, you really should recycle it.

Liz:   We can recycle it?

Eric:   Yes, of course. It’ll save trees!


Eric:   Do you want a small or a large – I’m buying!

Woman:   Well, in that case, I’ll have a large – with cream and sugar!

Eric:   OK, I’ll go order them.

Woman:   Uh… You brought that from home?

Eric:   Yep, I don’t use paper cups anymore.

Woman:   Really? Why not?

Eric:   Well, some places recycle them, but others just throw them away. It’s a waste. If I bring my own cup, I can use the same one for years.


Salesclerk:   OK, sir. With tax, that comes to eight nineteen.

Eric:   Eight nineteen? OK, here’s ten.

Salesclerk:   Here’s your change. Would you like a paper or plastic bag?

Eric:   Neither, thanks. I brought my own.

Salesclerk:   Oh, is this nice cloth bag yours?

Eric:   Yes, I always bring it when I come here.

Salesclerk:   Good idea. I think I’ll start doing that myself.


Eric:   Ah! It feels great to get some exercise, doesn’t it?

Liz:   Ugh… I’m so tired. I think I did a little too much today. I’m going to take a long, hot shower.

Eric:   Oh… well, try not to make it too long.

Liz:   Why not?

Eric:   You know, I’ve just been thinking about all the water we use every day. I think we use too much. I’ve decided to take shorter showers to try and save water.

Liz:   Hmm, I guess you’re right.


Eric:   Good morning, Jack.

Jack:   Oh, hey, Eric.

Eric:   You’re here early.

Jack:   Yeah, I like to come in early, before everybody else gets here. I can really get a lot of work done when it’s quiet.

Eric:   Me, too. Hey, we should carpool, you know, drive to work together – save some gasoline.

Jack:   Hmm, great idea. We’ll save money, too!

Listening task 2: Recycling

A Listen. All of these materials can be recycled in the U.S. Check (✓) the ones the speaker mentions. (There are two extra items.)

Answer & Audioscripts

1 cans   2 office and writing paper

3 newspapers   4 glass bottles

5 plastic bottles

Audioscripts in B below

B Listen again. How much of these materials do people in the U.S. use or throw away each year? Number the sentences from 1 to 5.

People use enough ….

___ to build a wall from Los Angeles to New York

___ to fill a soccer stadium 45 times

___ to fill the two tallest buildings in Chicago every two weeks

___ to fill the Empire State Building 20 times

___ to circle the earth four times

Answer & Audioscripts

2, 3, 4, 1, 5



Woman:   Recycling saves money and the environment. If every person helps recycle, we can make a big difference. Americans are now recycling more than ever. But there’s still more work to be done. In one year, people in the U.S. still throw away enough cans to fill the Empire State Building in New York twenty times!


Woman:   Think of how much office and writing paper people use every day. How much paper is it? In the U.S. alone, people use enough paper to build a wall three and a half meters high from Los Angeles to New York. That’s a lot of paper.


Woman:   How many people read the newspaper every day? In the United States alone, in one year people read enough newspapers to fill a soccer stadium forty-five times. And many of those newspapers are not recycled. That’s bad news.


Woman:   Have you ever been to Chicago? Did you know Americans throw away enough glass bottles and jars to fill the two tallest buildings in Chicago every two weeks? Think of it. Chicago’s tallest buildings filled up, like trash cans, every two weeks.


Woman:   The next time you buy juice or anything in a plastic bottle, just think about this: Every year, Americans throw away enough of them to circle the earth four times! And every one of those bottles could be recycled.

It’s amazing when you think about it, isn’t it? Little things help. Just one person really can make a big difference.

Listening task 3

A Listen. Circle the correct answers.

1  Earth Day is

    a. April 2nd.

    b. April 22nd.

    c. April 12th.

2  The man

    a. knew about Earth Day.

    b. didn’t know about Earth Day.

    c. thought Earth Day was a bad idea.

3  On Earth Day, people

    a. do things to help the environment.

    b. celebrate the earth’s birthday.

    c. don’t use any water.

4  The woman is going to save

    a. water and electricity.

    b. trees and gasoline.

    c. water and gasoline.

5  The man is going to buy

    a. the woman’s car.

    b. a bus pass.

    c. a new car.

Answer & Audioscripts

1 b   2 b   3 a   4 c   5 b


Woman:   Hey! Today’s April twenty-second!

Man:   Oh … uh … yeah. Happy birthday!

Woman:   No. It’s not my birthday. It’s Earth Day.

Man:   Earth Day? What’s that?

Woman:   It’s a special day for everyone to think about what they can do to help protect the earth’s environment?

Man:   Huh. That’s a great idea. So, what are you going to do to help the environment?

Woman:   Well, I decided I’m going to start taking shorter showers to save water. And this morning I bought a bus pass, so I can start taking the bus to work instead of driving my car.

Man:   Great! That’ll help save gasoline. You know, I think I’ll join you. So, … where can I get a bus pass?

Woman:   Just go over to the transportation office …

Listening task 4

A Listen. People are talking about the environment. What are the topics? Circle the correct answers.

1  a. saving water

    b. saving gasoline

    c. saving trees

2  a. recycling cans

    b. saving electricity

    c. recycling paper

3  a. making less garbage

    b. saving gasoline

    c. saving electricity

4  a. recycling paper

    b. making less garbage

    c. saving water

5  a. recycling garbage

    b. saving gasoline

    c. saving electricity

Answer & Audioscripts

1 c   2 a   3 b   4 c    5 a

Audioscripts in B below.

B Listen again. Circle the correct information.

1   One tree can make 700 / 1,500 paper bags.

2   In the U.S., almost 120,000 / 112,000 cans are recycled every minute.

3   Thirteen / Thirty percent of gasoline is used for short distances.

4   Making recycled paper uses fifty-eight / ninety-seven percent less water than making new paper.

5   About sixty-five / seventy-five percent of our garbage can be recycled.

Answer & Audioscripts

1 700

2 120,000

3 Thirty

4 fifty-eight

5 seventy-five



Woman:   Many supermarkets use paper bags. Did you know that it takes one fifteen-year-old tree to make seven hundred paper bags? And one supermarket can use all of those bags in just one hour. Think about it. If everyone brought a cloth bag to the supermarket, we’d save a lot of trees.


Man:   If you buy something in a can, don’t throw the can away. If you do, it will remain a can even after five hundred years. However, if you recycle it, in just sixty days, it can be made into a new can, or something else useful. In the U.S. alone, almost a hundred and twenty thousand cans are recycled every minute! That’s good news.


Woman:   Gas is expensive, but there are some things you can do to save gasoline. For example, you can carpool to work, or for short trips, don’t drive a car at all. Experts say that thirty percent of gasoline is used for going short distances in the car. So for short distances, use public transportation, ride a bicycle, or walk instead.


Man:   Ninety-seven percent of the world’s water is in the oceans, rivers, streams, and lakes, and two percent is ice. That means that only one percent can be used for drinking. So, we need to be careful with our one percent. Did you know that recycling paper can help save water? That’s right. Making recycled paper uses fifty-eight percent less water than making new paper.


Woman:   We hear a lot of bad news about the environment. But there’s good news, too. For example, about seventy-five percent of our garbage can be recycled. And when we recycle, we save money as well as the environment. So let’s all work together to make less garbage and recycle.

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