We have written the following articles so you can practise your B2 reading in English. If you have an exam coming up soon then reading is often one of the most difficult parts, yet we don’t practise it as much in day to day life.
Here we have several small articles about problems we face today with the environment that you can use as part of your reading practise.
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Tips to help you practise reading:
- Read for understanding first and underline any words that are new
- Try and work our what the words mean from the context
- If you can’t work out the word, then look them up after you’ve read the text
- Try and use the words next time you practise writing or discuss the environment to commit them to memory
English B2 reading practise – the environment
The meat industry
The meat industry plays a major role in climate change, perhaps more than we had previously imagined.
Firstly, agriculture is no longer just limited to the fields and countryside in our own countries. Now to meet the needs of meat consumption, wealthier countries such as the USA have started to use land that was once forests and jungles. The production of meat is currently the leading cause of deforestation and has contributed to over 70% of the deforestation in the Amazon alone.
Rainforests are home to thousands of species of animals and deforestation threatens the existence of these species. By cutting down the rainforests to produce food, we are threatening the biodiversity of our planet. Deforestation is also one of the greatest contributors to climate change. If we want to fight global warming then we need to be planting more trees not cutting down the ones that we currently have.
You can help to alleviate this problem by switching to a more plant based diet. And no, don’t worry, you don’t have to become a vegan overnight. If everyone switched to a plant based diet twice a week, that alone would make a huge difference to our meat consumption and to climate change as a result.
Plastic is one of the greatest problems that we need to deal with regarding the environment and we need to deal with it quickly.
One of the main issues with plastic is that it enters our oceans and rivers. There is currently a mass of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean that is three times the size of France. This may not seem like a problem, given the size of the Pacific Ocean but it is having more impact than you may have realised. Marine animals are eating the plastic thinking it is food. Once they have eaten the plastic, they can’t digest it and the plastic stays in their stomachs. Slowly their stomachs fill up with plastic to the point that the animal thinks it is full and it dies of starvation. This is happening with whales, dolphins, turtles and many species of fish. Obviously this is a problem itself but it also affects us. The plastic that the animals eat stays in their bodies. So, when we eat the fish we are also ingesting plastic, which is incredibly harmful to us.
Plastic isn’t just a problem for marine life, it also affects many birds and small animals who can become trapped in plastic and die. Or similarly to marine life, these animals can eat the plastic or even feed it to their young.
Plastic waste can take anywhere from 450 years to 1000 years to decompose, so the plastic that we’re using now will still be on the planet long after we’re gone and the generations after us will have to deal with the consequences of our carelessness.
Things you can do to reduce your plastic consumption include:
- Stop buying plastic bottles of water and instead buy one bottle that you can refill with water
- Take bags to the supermarket to carry your produce home in, don’t get plastic carrier bags
- Don’t buy fruit or vegetables that comes in packaging
- And if you do use plastic, make sure you recycle so the plastic can be reused
Although not one of the leading causes of climate change, transportation still plays a role in the raising temperatures of our planet. Transportation accounts for approximately 28% of the greenhouse emissions that are released into our atmosphere. These emissions are caused by the burning of fossil fuels for our cars, planes, ships, buses and trains.
Our governments are taking measures now to reduce our production of harmful gases into the environment but relying on them alone isn’t enough, and there are steps that you can take as an individual to alleviate the effects of greenhouse gases.
What you can do to help:
- If possible walk or ride a bike to work
- Take public transport rather than travelling by car
- If you do travel by car, see if car pooling is possible
Of course, this is hard to do if our countries don’t have the infrastructure in place to allow us to cycle to work or to take the train and still arrive on time. To ensure that we have this option we have to show our governments that these are the changes we want. We have to start taking public transport more often, we have to vote for policies that promote increased public transport capabilities and we have to make the changes ourselves. Only then will we be able to save our planet.
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We hope you’ve found these B2 topics useful for your English reading practise. Reading is one of the lesser practised skills and it’s often one of the more difficult topics in an exam. Therefore if you want us to provide more texts to help you practise then just let us know.
Are there any other topics that you would like us to provide reading material for? What would help you?
If you want to improve your English reading with some fiction books then check out our English books here. Reading non fiction may be necessary to help you with your comprehension skills but reading fiction is always fun!