Zero-Waste Lifestyle

The popularity of living a healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle is rapidly growing these days. People try to recycle, reuse, reduce. The word sustainability plays a quite important role. 

So, as the topics related to the environment, ecology, recycling are really popular, it might be a good idea to use one during the lesson. It will help you personalize your lessons (if a student’s opinion/lifestyle is in alignment with the environmental philosophy or they decided to go green) or just jazz up the usual routine of classes, raise awareness and have a good time discussing essential topics. 

Here is the lesson plan and tasks on a video from Ted Talk where a speaker discusses her decision to lead a zero-waste lifestyle.

Level: Intermediate-Advanced (may be adapted accordingly)

Duration: 50-60 minutes

Settings: online lesson one-to-one (easily adapted for offline lessons)

Aim: increasing vocabulary on topics Environment/Ecology/Lifestyle, making students use the new phrases in speech and developing speaking skills 

— Warm-up 

Listen to the song (0:00-1:10 minutes) and answer the questions below:

1. What associations have you had while listening to the piece?

2. What is the song about in your opinion? 

3. Does music help you to get the right mood for doing things/starting some activities?

— Lead-in

lifestyle


Describe the picture and explain how it makes you feel. What might be the topic of the lesson and what is the connection with the picture?

— The video «Why I live zero waste lifestyle»

1. Before watching the video 

Answer the questions:

— What does the title of the video tell you?

— Do you recycle your waste? Why/not?

— What can you say about your lifestyle?

2. Working on a new vocabulary:

Task 1. Check the meanings of the words below:

— to wipe — 

— a landfill — 

— sustainable — 

blow one’s mind — 

— empowering —

— gross — 

— to downsize — 

— to clutter — 

— processed food — 

— in alignment —  

Task 2. Try to find synonyms and antonyms of the words above and make up your sentences. 

Task 3. Complete the sentences using an appropriate word in a correct form from Task 1. 

— Optimism is ……….., uplifting, and inspiring.

— The government should raise awareness among people on ecological topics…………with its plans for this year. 

— The new generation was the first to be raised on ……………

— An example of ………………….. is the practice of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

— The company chose to………….by laying off half of its workers.

— The floor also was…………………….with papers and books of every kind.

3. While watching

Look through the questions, watch the video and answer them. Make notes while watching (0:00-07:00, it is ok to break the extract into two) to discuss details:

— How does a speaker start her monologue?

— Why and when did she decide to change her lifestyle?

— What was her first step and what she did later?

— How is she feeling now? Why?

— What are the steps she suggests to start with and how do they affect a person’s life?

— How is she describing herself?

4. After watching. 

Discuss the questions below:

— What do you think about such a lifestyle?

— If you needed to change your routine, would you choose to go zero waste?

— What values were mentioned in the video and do you agree with them or not? What are your values?

— Is it possible to downsize the amount of trash having a family, a busy job?

— Comment on the quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

Cooldown

Play a game 40 seconds. A student has 40 seconds to talk on topics below: share his/her opinion, make up a story, describe ideas/thoughts/associations:

— Ecology in the area I live

— Nature 

— Throwing rubbish ….

— Life is …..

Homework 

Watch the rest of the video and prepare a summary of 100-120 words describing the video and your attitude to the information mentioned in it. 

Maybe you will want to live a zero-waste lifestyle as well. A new day — new beginnings and challenges — let zero waste be one of them. 

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