Sustainability, environment, renewable energy

Unit 1: Waste Management 1

1. Vocabulary: Materials

a) Name the materials:


b) Can you think of any objects made of these materials? Write down as many as you can!

E.g.: paper – book, newspaper; glass – glasses, window, etc.

2. Vocabulary: Packages

a) Match the words with pictures:

bottle, bag, can, jar, cup, box, tray, tube



b) What materials can these packages be made of?

E.g.: Bottle can be made of glass and plastic. A box can be made of paper and wood.

3. Sorting Waste

a) Do you know what these containers are for? What objects can we throw into them?

b) Check the pictures below. What objects / packages do you see? Which containers would you throw them in?

E.g.: I see a soda can. Soda can go into a metal bin.

1. Reading: Do you sort waste?

a) We asked four people if they sort waste. Read their answers:


Sorting waste? No, I never do that. It is too
complicated for me. I don’t know how to sort it
correctly. I don’t have time to think about it.

Mrs. and Mr. Novak
In our family, we always sort waste.
We have special bins for paper, glass and plastic. We do
it because sorting waste is good for nature.

I rarely sort waste. I want to do it, but the
recycling bins are very far from my house, and
they are often full. I think that we need more
recycling bins in our town.

I usually sort paper and plastic, sometimes also
glass and metal. I don’t think it is difficult, but
some people need help, because they don’t
know how to sort waste correctly.

b) Now decide if the following statements ARE true or false
1. Ella never sorts waste.
2. The Novak family doesn't sort paper.
3. Petra sorts waste every day.
4. Petra thinks that her town needs more recycling bins.
5. Thanh thinks sorting waste is easy
c) Read the stories again and find the adverbs of frequency. What is their meaning? Try to sort them from the least frequented to the most frequented.
2. Speaking: I do/don’t sort waste because…

Time to share your story! Answer the questions:

  1. Do you sort waste? How often (always/usually/sometimes/rarely/never)?
  2. Why? Or why not?
  3. What materials do you sort (paper/glass/plastic/metal)?

Unit 2: Waste Management 2

Listening: Sweden is Now Recycling 99 % of its Trash. Here’s how.

Match the words with the definitions:

1. Unnecessary or unwanted materials and objects

2. A house and people who live there

3. A place where the garbage goes from your house

4. A building which generates heating, usually for whole town or country

5. Destruction of waste by burning

6. Processing waste into new, useful products

7. Putting recyclable waste into separate bins1

b) Guess the answers to the questions:

How much waste is produced each year by one Swedish person?
What percentage of waste is being recycled in Sweden?
How much of the waste incinerated in Swedish plants comes from other countries?

Watch the video:

d) Did you answer the questions correctly? What are the correct answers? Watch the video again, if needed.
e) Put the steps into correct order:

1. Convert incinerated waste into energy.  2. Take the sorted waste into a local plant.  3. Incinerate the waste.

4. Produce waste.                                          5. Sort waste.                                                 6.  Prepare the waste for incineration.

Speaking: Household Waste Production

Look at the charts and answer the questions:

1. What is the most common type of waste in each region? And the least common (if we ignore “other”)?
2. What countries produce the most plastic/paper/glass?
3. What are the differences between China and the USA? And the UK and Kenya?
4. Describe what is “organic material” ?  
5. What do you think a chart for your country would look like? Try to draw it.

Unit 3

Project to be developed: Get to Know your Garbage

We usually go by our day without even realizing how much waste we produce.
Write down all your  waste for a day. After the day is over, have a look at the list, and say:

  • How much waste did you produce?
  • How much of the waste was paper, plastic, metal, glass or organic?
  • How much of this waste did you sort properly?
  • Is there anything you can do to decrease the amount of waste you produce?
  • Do you shop in the market or in the supermarket? How is waste reduced if you buy in the market?

Unit 4

What is a Carbon Footprint?

a) Match the words to the definitions: 

1. carbon footprint
2. climate change
3. environment
4. fossil fuels
5. pollution
6. reduce

b) Watch the video:

c) Watch the video again and create a  mindmap  with the main information.

Carbon Footprint Calculator

Calculate your own carbon footprint. Save the results for later.

Unit 5

Discussion: My Carbon Footprint

How big is your carbon footprint?

How much percent of your carbon footprint comes from transport/food and drink/housing/health and education/holidays..?

Compare your results with the others.

Group project: How to Reduce Carbon Footprint?

Divide into groups and choose one of these topics:  

  • transportation
  • food and drinks
  • clothes
  • house
  • work
  • holiday

In the groups elaborate a set of do’s and don’ts to reduce carbon footprint in your selected area. Try to come up with as many ideas as possible. You can use the internet.

After you are done, present your findings to the rest of the class.

Unit 6

Listening: Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy Sources

Listen to the audio and mark the words you hear:

Discussion: What do we know about energy resources?

  • What resources do we use for energy?
  • Explain what is:
      – renewable resource/ nonrenewable resource/  fossil fuels
  • What nonrenewable resources do you know? And renewable?
       – What resources do you use at your home?

Renewable Energy Sources

Matching Pictures with Description

Now we will learn about renewable energy sources. Match the types of resources to their description and the pictures: 

1. Solar energy
2. Tidal energy
3. Biomass energy
4. Hydro energy
5. Geothermal energy
6. Wind energy

a) b) c)
d) e)   f) 

b) Pros and Cons

Read following arguments and decide whether they are advantages (pros) or disadvantages (cons) of renewable energy resources: 

“They are healthy for us. They don’t create pollution, so we can breathe clean air.”

“Their carbon footprint is smaller, which is better for nature.”

“They are unreliable, as they mostly depend on the weather.”

“Installation of the facilities is expensive, we need a lot of money.”

“They are sustainable, which means that we will always have enough of them.”

“We can run them locally, so we won’t rely on imported energy anymore.”

“The facilities take too much space which could be used for something else.”
“They produce less energy than fossil fuels. We need much more facilities..”
“There are enough of them for everyone, so they don’t cause political conflicts.”

Group Project: Promoting Energy Provider

  • Divide into groups/pairs (max. 10 groups in total).

  • Each groups chooses random energy resource:

  1.  Biomass
  2.  Coal
  3.  Geothermal
  4.  Hydro
  5.  Natural gas
  6.  Nuclear
  7.  Oil
  8.  Solar
  9.  Tidal
  10.  Wind

  • Each group makes a poster/powerpoint presentation promoting this particular energy resource. The material should include:

  1. name of the resource
  2. picture of the resource
  3. short description of the resource
  4. list of advantages of the resource