We are constantly being warned about climate change and how much we contribute to the environmental problems our planet is facing but one thing each and every one of us can do to help is literally at our fingertips. [1 _______]
According to recent reports our obsession with buying and drinking bottled water significantly increases our carbon footprint. Apparently in America, the largest market in the world for bottled water, over eight billion gallons is consumed annually and in the UK the market is worth more than two billion pounds. [2 _____] What is interesting is that according to most experts, bottled water is no better for us than ordinary tap water. So, we have an alternative in our own kitchens.
[3 _____] They insist that their water tastes better, has added minerals and comes in handy plastic bottles that encourage us all to drink more water wherever we are Ė something that many medical experts consider to be good for our health. But does this all really compensate for the 600 fold increase in greenhouse gas that is put into the atmosphere by producing and delivering the product? [4 _____] And what about the damage caused by the 75% of plastic bottles that are not recycled but disposed of in landfill sites? It has been calculated that drinking one bottle of water has the same environmental impact as driving for one kilometre in a car!
Many people also question the morality of buying a product that is becoming so scarce in some parts of the world that many people (like a third of those in Fiji) do not have easy access to it. The moral issue aside, is it really worth buying something that costs 2,000 times more than an alternative we can already find in our homes? [5 _____]
Complete the text with sentences AĖF. There is one sentence you do not need.
A The bottled water industry of course refutes these findings.
B The popular Fiji water travels 10,000 miles from its source on the island of Fiji to the upmarket UK stores that sell it.
C And at what cost to the environment?
D However, not all bottled water has this effect on health.
E These figures may not be surprising if we compare them with other bottled drinks.
F Turn on the tap when weíre thirsty!
11 Read the text.
How do YOU use the net?
We asked members of one family to tell us what they use the Internet for and why. Here is what they told us.
A Grandad Peter
I might be over 80 but the Internet is invaluable to me. At my age itís not always so easy to get about and my friends and family are scattered all over the globe. Itís difficult to visit and have face-to-face conversations that often. Itís a bit pricy too! Phoning isnít that convenient because of the different time zones. I donít think my brother in Australia would appreciate being woken up at three in the morning just for me to say hello! So I keep in touch by e-mail and itís very important to me. It took me a while to get the hang of it but now itís no problem at all.
B Daughter Lynne
I must admit that Iím a spendaholic and Iím on auction sites all the time. I canít resist a bargain and I love the excitement of bidding against other people and never being sure whether youíre going to win or not. Itís quite addictive so I have to be careful or else I would be completely broke! I think itís incredible that whatever youíre looking to buy, someone out there has got it to sell.
C Mum Karen
I find the net useful for downloading information for my students. You can also access sites that give you free lesson plans and good, imaginative ideas for making lessons interesting. Thereís such a lot of knowledge out there too. To get the answers to the kind of questions I have, it would take hours with piles of books and I simply donít have the time. For me the net is a lifeline!
D Dad Oliver
My big thing is news and sports and Iím always online checking the latest scores. I work shifts too, so I often miss the regular news slots and with the net I can always watch news clips of programmes that were on earlier. It also brings you breaking news and with the more controversial issues if you want to, you can read peopleís comments and of course, make your own. I do that quite often. And there are also online newspapers. If I donít get a paper, I can always go online and click on to the newspapers website. Itís easier to choose what you want to read rather than leafing through the papers which can be so big these days.
Which person (AĖD) says Ö
1 I see the net as time saving? ___
2 I sometimes share my opinions with others? ___
3 I use it to get help with my work? ___
4 I donít always get what I want? ___
5 it took time to work out how to use the net? ___
12 Read the text.
Whatís on the timetable?
What should or should not be included in the National Curriculum for schools in the UK has always been a controversial issue. How much time should be dedicated to core subjects such as Maths, English and Science? Should a foreign language be started at primary school or should a foreign language be compulsory at all? Many people still question the validity of having a curriculum imposed by government in the first place and would prefer to see more control over what is taught given to the schools themselves. So, plans for significant changes to the curriculum over the next few years will undoubtedly provoke heated debate.
What are these plans? Well, firstly concern over the general health of the population has caused experts to call for five hours compulsory sports lessons per week. Increased rates of obesity in the population have been put down to our more sedentary lifestyle today and it is hoped that more exercise at school will put young people on the right path and encourage good habits for when they leave school. It is also hoped to offset the amount of their free time children spend in front of computers and TVs today.
Another health issue that is affecting the curriculum is food and nutrition. Changes in eating habits have meant that more and more fast food is being eaten and cooking proper meals seems to be going out of fashion. So, a minimum of an hour a week of compulsory cooking lessons for all eleven- to fourteen-year-olds is going to be introduced at secondary schools to ensure that students leave school able to cook at least eight nutritious meals!
As well as improving the health of the nation, the government also wants to improve its intellect. Up to five hours a week of compulsory Ďculture lessonsí are set to become part of the curriculum. This will include, amongst other things visits to cultural centres such as museums and galleries as well as more traditional lessons.
Most schools believe that the thinking behind these ideas is sound but are inevitably wondering how they are going to manage to timetable all the compulsory changes the government wants. A week is only a week and an increase in time allocated to one subject will mean less time for another. So which will go? The debate begins.
Choose the correct answers.
1 Many people think that
A controversial subjects shouldnít be taught.
B these matters need further discussion.
C schools should decide what they teach themselves.