Views #1084 | Intermediate (B2)

Eco Tips

Steven, a student from Costa Rica, talks with Rachel about how he tries to help the environment.

Rachel: You were talking about Earth Hour and that's switching the lights off is one way to save electricity and protect the environment. What other things do you do in your life to save for example water?

Steven: Well, as for me, I recycle all my waste. I also, as for water, before brushing teeth, I have a cup. I just fill the cup and then use it. I don't know if you do it. Do you do it?

Rachel: Actually, I have to confess, I don't save water very efficiently. I usually leave the tap running when I'm brushing my teeth, so I will try.

Do you have any other tips for saving water?

Steven: Well, start off buying a cup before you brush your teeth, and of course, try to close the tap. When you're trying to like throw trash or something, try to separate your trash, and of course turn off any electricity that you're not using. Unplug them because even if you don't use it, and you have a plug, it will use electricity.

Rachel: Thank you. So do you always unplug your laptop computer when you go to sleep or do you sometimes leave it running?

Steven: I actually plug my laptop. I will charge it fully and then I will unplug it and use it -- all the battery, so I guess I do, and especially I don't use my laptop. For my laptop I just use it for class, so pretty much yes.

Rachel: Well, my computers very old, and I'm always scared if I turn it off that it won't start up again, so I leave mine on all the time. I think I'm the worst environmentalist. But I do recycle a lot of our trash, and I also have never owned a car, so I take public transport everywhere. Do you have a car?

Steven: I do have a car. However I try not to use it, because if I use it I will just take the whole family: my parents and my sisters. And as for shopping, I will just take the public transportation because it's right almost really near to my house.

Rachel: In Costa Rica, do you actually need a car to travel between places or is public transport very good?

Steven: Compare Costa Rica with other countries, for example the United States or Japan, Costa Rica doesn't have the railroads. It doesn't have the subways. But we do have a good bus, transportation, and it's pretty much really cheap.

Rachel: So Steven you've inspired me to be more environmentally friendly, so I think I'm gonna go and buy a cup so I can brush my teeth and save water.

Steven: Great idea. Thank you Rachel.


Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

I have to confess


Actually, I have to confess. I don't save water.

When we confess, we talk about something negative we do or did. Notice the samples.

  1. I have to confess; I eat a lot of junk food and I never exercise.
  2. I have to confess; I hate studying English!

leave running


I usually leave the tap running.

We turn things on and off. When we forget to turn something off, we ‘leave it running’. Notice the following.

  1. She leaves her computer running 24 hours a day.
  2. He left his car running while he ran into the 7-11. When he returned, his car was gone.

leave on


I leave mine on all the time.

To leave something on and leave something running are very similar in meaning. However, things we leave on do not have moving parts. Notice the difference

  1. Our young son always leaves a light on when he sleeps.
  2. The theater was cold so I left my jacket on during the movie.

the whole family


I will take the whole family.

The 'whole family' means every member of the family. Notice the following.

  1. Let’s buy a DVD the whole family can enjoy.
  2. My sister came home from school with a cold. Soon, the whole family was sick.

You've inspired me


You have inspired me to be more environmentally friendly.

When we inspire someone, we make them feel like they want to do something. Note the samples.

  1. My mother immigrated to Australia two years ago and her English is great! She inspires me.
  2. Al Gore inspired me to be more concerned with the environment.

Vocabulary Quiz

confess • running • leave on
whole • inspired
  1. He left the car while he ran in the house.
  2. Be sure not to the lights.
  3. I had to to the police.
  4. My class is coming to the school party.
  5. The movie me to travel to South America.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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