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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Green ESL Students

My Lower Footprint blog was chosen for an ESL learning activity at a local university. It's a chance to practice English and learn about something green. What follows is the background information for the instructor's activity. Enjoy!

I understand. When you came to Halifax to study English, saving the world wasn't exactly a priority. Your goals were to find your way around, try to understand your teacher, and to get into a routine. Meeting new people and doing your homework took precedence over being environmental. Besides, Canada isn't your country. Why should you bother to recycle at all? You buy bottled water, you throw your Coke cans and paper into the garbage and you complain when the teacher double-sides any copies she gives you, because it's harder to read.

However, eventually, you settle into a pattern and you become more comfortable with your surroundings. Things outside of your classrooms start becoming more important to you. You notice that St Mary's University has recycle bins, and there are even divided garbage and recycle bins on Spring Garden Road! Interesting? Maybe not, but taking the initiative to follow the recycling rules of your new city is your responsibility. While choosing to put a pop can into a recycling bin downtown may not directly affect you or your grandchildren, it will be one small puzzle piece in the bigger picture.

What can you do, then? Where do you start?

Here's some food for thought:
  • Talk to locals and learn what they do
  • Drink water from the kitchen tap (it's safe - honest!)
  • Buy some containers to carry your lunch instead of using plastic bags
  • Bring your backpack when you go shopping, or buy re-usable bags from your supermarket instead of using plastic
Now return to the worksheet Arleigh gave you and follow the instructions! Learn stuff! Have fun! Be green!
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