How to save energy in your home and climate change


In the first class hour we’ve been doing a listening exercise with Annie, our visiting foreign English language teacher from Glasgow. She played a video clip which gave some good tips (ten steps) to save energy at home and reduce the bills payments and environment pollution at the same time. Saving energy is a very prominent topic in Britain at the moment. In this video, we were shown ways in which we can save energy in the house. We were also given a British web page to know more.

I’ve searched the web looking for the video clip we watched and I’ve found out some interesting videos that are similar but not the same like the one we watched. For example, I’ve found the American English version of that video clip which features the same content but with American English speaking.

After watching the video and listening carefully we answered some easy questions to check out whether we had understood the video content:

1. How do you test for draughts?

a. Hold the palm of your hand up against a window or door.
b. close your curtains
c. If you can feel cold air coming through
d. to test an area simply

2. If you turn down you thermostat by just one degree, you …

a. won’t even notice the difference
b. can increase your energy consumption by 5%
c. can reduce your energy consumption by 5%.
d. can improve your energy consumption by 5%.

3. Appliances left on standby mode

a. pump 1 million tones of carbon into the atmosphere each second
b. pump 1 million tones of carbon into the atmosphere every day
c. pump 1 million tones of carbon into the atmosphere every month
d. pump 1 million tones of carbon into the atmosphere each year

4. A third of your home heating escapes …

a. through the floor
b. through the walls
c. through the insulations
d. through the roof

5. Which of the following things are NOT energy efficient

a. leaving the fridge door open (electricity waste)
b. defrosting your freezer
c. turning your thermostat down
d. using your tumble drier (you should hang you clothes)
e. defrosting your fridge
f. washing your clothes at 40 degrees
g. insulating your roof
h. boiling more water than you need (heat waste)
i. having a bath and not a shower (water waste)

Here are some important words from the video which you will need to know:

  • draught = cold air
  • thermostat = controls the temperature released by the heating system
  • standby = the red light in your TV or stereo which tells you tha the device is not powered down but in a low power consumption mode
  • atmosphere = the air layers over the earth
  • insulate (verb) = stop hot air leaving your house through crevices and cracks with special sealing material
  • appliance = electrical machine

I’ve also jot down some terms I heard from the video clip which I deem interesting to highlight: tumble driers, cavity wall insulation, energy efficient appliances, eco-friendly energy/green energy.

After the listening we did also speaking and reading exercises . The reading exercise was about climate change concept matching. We’ve got some answers that had to be matched to some questions:

Climate change is closely linked to environmental issues. These are some specific terms used when dealing with climate change.

Match the questions to the answers about climate change.

1. What is climate change? -> c
2. What is the ‘greenhouse effect’? -> d
3. What is the evidence of global warming? -> a
4. How will the weather change? -> e
5. What is the international community doing? -> b

Answers:

a) Sea levels have risen by 10-20 cm. This is due to the expansion of warming oceans. Temperature records show that the average temperature has increased by about 0.6ºC (degrees Celsius) in the 20th century.

b) Th Kyoto Protocol (1997) commits industrialised countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It suffered a huge set back in 2001 when the USA, responsible for a quarter of global emissions, pulled out.

c) The planet’s climate is constantly changing but now scientists believe that the extreme changes taking place today are a result of human activity. The changes we see today may affect the stability of the climate on which much life on the planet depends.

d) The term refers to the role played by the layer of gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, which trap the heat from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere. We need the layer to keep in some of the heat but now the concentration of gases, especially CO2 is increasing and retaining more heat.

e) It is difficult to predict, but we can expect more extreme weather conditions lie floods, storm and heat waves. Scientists believe there will be more rain but also a higher risk of drought in inland areas.

Finally we discussed some eco-friendly ideas to help avoiding climate change. We were given a sheet with an idea (different for each one) and have to present the idea to a partner. My sheet of paper was:

Sun and wind pair up for radio show

Two radio presenters in Wales will be relying on eco-friendly power to keep their small community radio station going. Broadcasting from a small church in north Pembrokeshire, Preseli FM will use power generated from the wind and the sun to broadcast 24 hours a day for a month-long experiment. Preseli FM is designed for the local community with topics of interest for all ages, including ‘talk show’ spots. But, if all goes well, it is hoped that the signals may have enough puff to reach listeners in other parts of the UK.

There were some related questions:

– Which of these eco-friendly inventions do you think would be the most effective?
– Do you think that all 3 of the ideas would work? Why (not)?
– In what ways do people in Spain protect the environment?
– Do you think that we could try harder to save energy?

The other ideas were … the use of renewable energy (sun and wind) to power the Manchester United Football Stadium and 4.000 households around and the solar purse to be aobel to charge little appliances like iPods or mobile phones.

Un comentario en “How to save energy in your home and climate change

  1. I’ve found out the news that my eco-friendly idea was sourced from! It’s in a BBC News web site:

    Eco-friendly station on the air

    Wales’ first eco-friendly radio station is to start broadcasting via a hilltop transmitter powered by wind and solar energy.

    Preseli FM broadcasts bilingually for a month from Monday on 106.7. It has just two presenters based in a Pembrokeshire church vestry.

    […]

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