Solutions to environmental problems

The following vocabulary is useful for understanding and discussing solutions to environmental problems.

Addressing environmental problems

  • Recycling – converting waste into something that is reusable
  • Conservation – to keep something safe / protected; preventing damage or injury
  • Biodegradable – packaging or a product that decay (break down) naturally and harmlessly, therefore avoiding pollution
  • Preservation – this is similar to conservation. The main difference is that conservation does allow changes that are not dangerous – preservation aims to maintain the present condition without changes.
  • Sustainable development – economic development where natural resources are used in a limited way and can therefore continue (e.g. planting new trees after cutting down existing trees)

The people involved

  • Activists – people who campaign for the environment / environmental protection (Greenpeace, for example)
  • Conservationists – people who acts to protect the environment. NOTE: we do not use the word ‘preservationist’


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