Cutting down on waste

Reduce, reuse and recycle! Join Sophia as she talks about 'the three Rs' and shares some tips on how we can all cut down on waste and help the environment.


Watch the video and use the subtitles and the transcript to help you understand.


Hello, everyone, and welcome back. This video is for the British Council’s LearnEnglish Teens website and their YouTube channel.

In today’s video I wanted to talk about a very important topic and that is cutting down on waste. As a species, we are very wasteful of materials and resources, and it’s not doing our planet any good at all. We’re actually destroying it.

Our decisions and consumption can affect our environment in a negative way, and no matter what scientists say about moving to Mars – this is our only planet that we get to call home, and we need to start respecting it and treating it correctly so that we don’t just completely destroy it and ruin ourselves in the process.

So, that said, here are some simple tips and some simple actions that you can add or incorporate into your lifestyle to help look after our planet. Before I talk a little bit about some actions that you can take into changing your lifestyle to help the environment and to help cut down on waste, I just want to jog your memory about the three Rs, which are always important to remember and that is ‘Reduce’, ‘Reuse’ and ‘Recycle’.

Reducing waste actually helps to prevent waste being produced in the first place, and it’s probably one of the best ways to start off with because if you don’t have waste in the first place, then we don’t have the problem of disposing of it.

An example of how you can do this is perhaps by choosing loose fruit and vegetables at the supermarket rather than fruit and veg which is packaged in plastic. Also, using a reusable plastic or metal bottle and reusable plastic containers are a great way to reduce the amount of plastic you accumulate. In my family, we use a lot of ice cream tubs, you know, the big ice cream tubs. We use them to keep our leftover food and it works perfectly fine.

The second R is to reuse items. Instead of throwing things straight into the rubbish bin, why don’t you see if you can reuse them again? I like to do this a lot with gift bags, which I get when I receive a present for a special occasion. I usually keep the gift bags or the boxes and reuse them when I’m giving a gift to someone else. You can also do the same thing with plastic bags. Instead of getting a new bag every time you go food shopping, just bring your old ones along, and that way you’re cutting down on the amount of plastic that you accumulate.

And finally, recycle. Recycling turns waste products into a new item, or, as I like to say, it gives them a second life. I’ve recently been clearing out my wardrobe and throwing away some clothes that I no longer like or perhaps don’t fit me any more – and the money from selling them goes towards helping a charity, so it’s a win-win for all. 

Always remember to check the back of any type of packaging for details about whether the materials can be recycled, and make a conscious effort to make sure you’re both buying products that are recyclable and you’re actually recycling.

So, that’s it for today. These are just a few starter tips on how you can make changes in your own, everyday life to help cut down on waste and to help out our planet. Of course, feel free to go online because there are loads of great, fun, exciting ways that you can also cut down on your waste and energy consumption really.

Also, comment below and let me know what you’re already doing to cut down on waste and if you have any great recommendations on how other people can cut down on their waste as well. I hope you have a lovely day and I’ll see you in the next video. Bye!


What do you do to reduce, recycle and reuse your waste? 

Average: 5 (3 votes)
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Submitted by Andrius on Sun, 05/02/2021 - 13:18

I use a reusable water bottle. It benefits the environment, your health, and your finances by using the tap water and reusing your water bottle. When shopping I use my own reusable bag and buy foods with little or no packaging. It helps to reduce waste.
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Submitted by Kostantinus on Wed, 03/31/2021 - 05:48

I use a fabric bag for purchases. It helps to environment and it keeps our planet safer and cleaner. I also keep vegetables and fruits in plastic boxes instead of plastic packages. It's pity that there are no recycling bins near my living place. Maybe goverment of my country doesn't care to much about recycling.
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