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| Last Updated:: 18/05/2015

You and the Environment

  • What is the environment?
  • Why the environment needs your help
  • Making changes
  • How you can help the environment


  1. What is the environment?

When we talk about our environment we mean everything in the world around us which can affect our lives. When we talk about the environment we mean everything in the world around us that surrounds and affects all life on earth, including the air, food chains, the water cycle, plants, animals and other humans



      2. The environment needs your help

Five basic needs of human beings from the environment are oxygen, water, food, shelter and warmth. We get these from the planet on which we live.

  • We breathe oxygen from the air
  • We get water from the rain which fills our lakes, rivers and creeks and which we store in dams, reservoirs and water tanks.
  • We get food from the plants, animals, fish and birds.
  • We get shelter from the materials we take out of the earth and from plants that grow in the earth (trees) to make our homes.
  • We get warmth from the sun, fire, power (electricity, gas, oil) and our clothing.



This impact has caused changes which have affected our atmosphere

  • by polluting it (too much smoke, carbon dioxide and other 'green house gases' such as methane),
  • by making holes in the ozone layer which protects us from some harmful rays of the sun


       3.      Making changes

A lot of people have worked out ways that are likely to help our environment and we are already starting to make a difference. We all need to try to change our ways to help the environment and ourselves.



          4.      How you can help the environment

       Use less water


  • Have showers rather than baths. Short showers use less water and also there is less use of energy to heat the water. Have 3 minute showers by wetting yourself, switching off the water while you soap all over and shampoo your hair, then turn the water back on and rinse under the shower, and then turn it off. (Not keeping yourself clean in NOT an option.)
  • Clean your teeth by putting water into a glass. Use the water for wetting your toothbrush, rinsing your mouth and cleaning your brush.
  • Help your family save water by using a watering can to water plants and vegetables in the garden rather than using a hose. Maybe you could help recycle the water from the washing machine.
  • Use a bucket of water to wash your bike, or the dog.
  • Help your school save water by switching off taps properly and using the water fountain for drinking water.


Use less power

  • Things to do so you won't need to run the air-conditioner:
    • Keep doors and curtains or blinds closed in summer during the day to keep out the heat.
    • Open doors and windows on summer evenings to let cooler air into the house.
    • During winter open curtains and blinds during the day to let in any sunshine, then close them in the evening to keep in the heat.
  • Don't switch on lights during the day.
  • Switch off the computer, tv or radio if you are not using it.
  • Use the new light bulbs. 15 watts in a new bulb is equal to 75 watts in an old one. They last longer too.
  • Switch lights off when you leave a room.



  • Turn your TV or computer off at the wall rather than use power by leaving it on standby.
  • At school remember to switch off lights when the room is empty.
  • Walk or use your bike whenever it is safe to do so.


Make less rubbish

  •  Help make a compost heap or start a worm farm to use up food scraps.
  • Sort out the garbage into what can be recycled and what can't. Use the recycle bin. You can find out where to recycle what by looking at this site. 
  • Save computer paper by printing on both sides.
  • Recycle clothes, toys, books and games by giving them to another family, charity shop or putting into a charity recycle bin at the supermarket.


At school you could 

  • recycle the uniform you have grown out of at the uniform shop
  • use the recycle bin for paper and cardboard
  • may be start a school compost heap or a class worm farm.