Being green means doing things to protect and sustain the natural environment, and Britain is continually developing ways to do this. Watch the video to learn about some of the green projects taking place in the UK.
Before you watch;
Think about the following questions:
Do you care about the environment?
Are you concerned about the future of our planet?
Now watch the video and complete the activities.
▶Task 1 - gap fill
Watch the video from the start until 04:40 minutes.
▶Task 2 - complete the sentences
Watch the video from 04:40 minutes to the end.
▶Task 3 - comprehension
Watch the whole video.
Green issues are really important to Great Britain. The people here work really hard to protect the environment.
The nation is trying to reduce the impact their daily lives have on the planet, which in turn means reducing their carbon footprint. Let’s find out how…
Britain has the largest indoor rainforest in the world, which is used for environmental research. It’s also a world leader in wind energy at sea and on land.
And the London 2012 Olympics are the first truly sustainable ever, which means the environmental benefit of the Games will last for a very long time.
This is the Eden Project in Cornwall. It’s a place where green ideas are explored and built to try and reduce the impact on the environment and it’s been so successful that tourists visit from around the world.
The Eden Project started life over ten years ago as an old china clay pit; it was just a hole in the ground. The big bubble shaped area, or biome, is twice as high as Big Ben and works as a greenhouse home for some of the world's most important plants.
The Eden Project features a number of different biomes. These ecosystems are maintained to simulate different climatic conditions that are found in different parts of the world. I met up with Hetty Ninnis, who works here.
Richard: Hetty, what’s the idea behind the Eden Project?
Hetty: So, the Eden Project is here to show people how we can live with the planet without destroying it.
Richard: And tell me about this biome.
Hetty: So, this is the tropical rainforest biome. It's a garden and it's here to show people sort of where everyday products they might find in the supermarket come from, so they can see where bananas come from, where chocolate comes from.
Richard: And you recycle water here?
Hetty: Yes, we do. We collect water up the top of the pit and then we use that to water our plants 3 days a week in here. So do you fancy coming along and pollinating some plants?
Richard: Why not? Lead the way.
Richard: So, Hetty, what are we doing?
Hetty: We're going to be pollinating the jade vine, a very rare plant from the Philippines.
Richard: So, how are we going to pollinate it?
Hetty: OK, out in the wild it's fruit bats that do the pollinating, so today we're going to pretend to be fruit bats.
Richard: We're going to pretend to be a fruit bat? O... kay. How do we do that?
Hetty: We're going to do that by, if you can see here on these little flowers, when a fruit bat comes down, it hangs upside down from up here, and he pushes his face into that flower, and as he does, the pollen gets pushed out of here, so we take a little bit of pollen on the paintbrush and then move on to the second flower, taking that pollen with us and then hopefully it will set fruit in a few months' time.
Richard: And this is a very green and efficient way of doing things?
Hetty: Well, it's a really important job because this plant is so rare in the wild now that we need to make sure we've got seeds so we can keep it going in the future.
Richard: Well, since I'm up here, I'd better have a go, so can I pollinate it?
Hetty: OK, if you feel confident, please have a go.
Richard: I wouldn't say confident. It's a rare plant, right, alright? Let's be very careful.
Hetty: Be gentle.
Richard: I'll give it a go. Just dab that in there and pop that in there. Yes, yes. That's pollinated.
The Eden Project tries to be as self-sufficient with energy as possible. They are world leaders in green technology.
This is WEEE man and he’s a monster! He’s made entirely of the rubbish that one person will throw away in their lifetime; that's a lot of waste!
Much of the energy at the Eden Project comes from green sources, but there are also exciting developments in creating energy from sources of power that won't run out. Renewable energy.
It looks like something from outer space, but it’s a wind turbine and it’s revolutionary!
Wind power has been around for centuries, but this is something new. Big wind farms have managed to harness the power of the wind off-shore or on high ground where it’s windy, but what about places where there’s not so much space or wind?
Award-winning British company ‘Quiet Revolution’ have developed a turbine with an upright axis which can be put practically anywhere and is near silent.
Harnessing wind energy in urban areas and tight spaces is a challenge. As wind travels past buildings, it changes speed and is difficult to catch. That’s where this micro turbine is clever. The turbine is small and so catches small wind… But it surprisingly generates a lot of power.
And all that energy can be used on site, so it’s good for the environment and it saves money! Plus, I think it looks like a work of art; I wouldn’t mind one in my back garden!
The sun is another important source of renewable energy. Solar Century is a leading solar energy company. The panels use the sun's rays to generate power. This technology is becoming more efficient as a way of creating energy.
Behind me is the incredible Olympic Park where much of the action will take place during London’s Olympic Games.
This whole park has been designed to be the greenest Olympic Park in the history of the Olympic Games. Protecting and preserving the environment has been a priority during the planning, construction and building stages. The legacy of this ‘environmentally friendly’ park will last for a very long time.
David Stubbs is Head of Environment and Sustainability for LOCOG, the Olympic organisers.
Richard: This is really impressive. What was here before?
David: Polluted rivers, contaminated land, broken-down factories. There were a few small industries here, but largely speaking it was a vast area of emptiness.
Richard: David, give me some examples of why these are the greenest Games ever.
David: We put a lot of attention to the buildings, to the design, to all the materials used in them, to the energy that was used in them, so there's a lot of attention to making sure that we minimise waste upfront and then we recycle and reuse as much as possible. Across the board, I think we've done a lot of different things which add up to a sustainable Games.
Let’s find out what the people of London think about the world's greenest Olympics taking place right here, on their doorstep.
Man: I think that it's great that they've really taken into account the local area, the local people, that they've taken into account the environment.
Woman 1: I think the technology they're using here for the green... will be very good for the rest of London and the rest of the country once it's all going.
Woman 2: Well, I think it's a wonderful idea that other countries can take a lesson from and because... when you recycle and repurpose, then the waste, it doesn't become waste, it doesn't become garbage, and it sets an example for the rest of the world.
So the future for Great Britain really is green.
Think of a country you know well.
- Are people green (environmentally friendly)?
- What do they do to help protect where they live?
Why not leave your comments below – we’d love to hear from you!
In the video, Richard visits the Eden Project in Cornwall. For more information, or to pan a visit, go to http://www.edenproject.com/ .