CSP #39 - Why do some people feel less personal responsibility for protecting the environment

CSP #39: Why Do Some People Feel Less Personal Responsibility For Protecting The Environment?

Hello, dear listeners!

Welcome back to the C1 Speaking Podcast. I’m Kristian, and this is episode 39.

Today, we’re diving deep into a crucial topic: our responsibility toward the environment. We’ll uncover why some people might not feel as compelled as others to protect our planet.

Ready to discover more? Let’s jump right in!


Why do some people feel less personal responsibility than others for protecting the environment?


Well, I reckon there are several reasons why some people feel less responsible than others. Firstly, I believe that upbringing and education play a significant role. If individuals grow up in families or educational systems where environmental consciousness isn’t a priority, they may not understand the dire consequences of neglecting our environment. This lack of awareness might carry into their adult lives.

Secondly, the influence of friends can’t be underestimated. If people are constantly surrounded by others who trivialise environmental issues, they might adopt a similar mindset, thinking it’s not their problem to tackle.

Finally, socio-economic factors come into play. For instance, someone struggling to make ends meet might prioritise immediate survival over long-term environmental considerations. In such cases, buying cheaper, non-eco-friendly products might be a more feasible option for them than spending extra on sustainable alternatives.

So, in a nutshell, I’d say that a mix of upbringing, friends, and personal circumstances shape an individual’s sense of responsibility toward the environment.


1) Content:

  • The answer addresses the question directly and provides a clear structure by dividing the reasons into three main points.
  • The candidate demonstrated a good understanding of the topic and the factors affecting an individual’s sense of responsibility towards the environment.

2) Cohesion and Coherence: 

  • The answer is well-organised, with each point introduced logically, making the entire response easy to follow.
  • The use of transitional phrases like “Firstly,” “Secondly,” and “Finally” adds clarity and coherence to the progression of ideas.

3) Vocabulary:

  • The answer displays a strong range of vocabulary appropriate to the context: “environmental consciousness,” “trivialise,” “socio-economic factors,” and “feasible option.”
  • There’s effective use of idiomatic expressions, such as “in a nutshell” and “make ends meet”. 

4) Grammatical Range and Accuracy:

  • The sentences are varied in structure and length, showcasing a good mix of both complex and simple sentences.
  • The answer is free of glaring grammatical errors, and the chosen sentence structures aptly convey the intended meanings.

5) Suggestions and Observations:

  • Overall, this is a comprehensive answer that adequately addressed the prompt. 
  • For improvement, I could have mentioned media influence, but more importantly, I probably should have added a real-life example, to create a more gripping answer. For instance, I could have mentioned a real-life example of people who leave their rubbish on the beach or in the park. 

5 Chunks of Language:

1️⃣ Environmental consciousness

  • Meaning: An awareness and concern about the environment and ecological issues.
  • Usage: Companies with a high level of environmental consciousness often implement green practices in their operations.
  • Context: The term refers to the knowledge and proactive mindset regarding environmental preservation and sustainability.

2️⃣ Dire consequences

  • Meaning: Severe, serious, or extreme results or effects.
  • Usage: Ignoring these warning signs can lead to dire consequences in the future.
  • Context: This phrase is used to underscore the serious outcomes of neglecting the environment.

3️⃣ Carry into

  • Meaning: To continue or extend from one period or realm into another.
  • Usage: The skills learned in school often carry into our professional lives.
  • Context: It highlights how attitudes formed early in life can persist into adulthood.

4️⃣ Trivialise environmental issues

  • Meaning: To make environmental concerns seem less important than they actually are.
  • Usage: We shouldn’t trivialise environmental issues by making jokes about climate change.
  • Context: The term expresses the act of downplaying or diminishing the significance of environmental concerns.

5️⃣ Make ends meet

  • Meaning: To have enough money to cover one’s basic expenses.
  • Usage: Jane took up a part-time job to make ends meet.
  • Context: It illustrates the financial struggles that might force someone to prioritise their immediate needs over the environment.

Speaking Practice

Phrase: “Carry into”

🗣️ Repeat

  • Your turn: “Carry into.”

Say the opposite

  • Original: “The lessons from childhood often carry into adulthood.”
  • Possible answers: “The lessons from childhood often don’t affect adulthood.”

🔄 Change tense

  • Original: “The habits we form now will carry into our older years.”
  • Possible answers: “The habits we formed then carried into our older years.”

👥 Substitute

  • Original: “Her passion for music would carry into her professional career.”
  • Your answer: “His dedication to sports would carry into his professional career.”

🟰 Synonyms

  • Original: “The discipline from training will carry into the main event.”
  • Your answer: “The discipline from training will transition to the main event.”

❤️ Say something true for you

  • Original: “The skills learned in school can carry into our work lives.”
  • Your answer: “The values taught by my parents carried into my adult decisions.”

Phrase: “Dire consequences”

🗣️ Repeat

  • Your turn: “Dire consequences.”

Say the opposite

  • Original: “Ignoring the signs can have dire consequences.”
  • Possible answers: “Ignoring the signs can have minimal effects.”

🔄 Change tense

  • Original: “If he doesn’t study, there could be dire consequences for his grades.”
  • Possible answers: “If he hadn’t studied, there would have been dire consequences for his grades.”

👥 Substitute

  • Original: “Overlooking these details will result in dire consequences.”
  • Your answer: “Neglecting these warnings will result in dire consequences.”

🟰 Synonyms

  • Original: “Driving recklessly can have dire consequences.”
  • Your answer: “Driving recklessly can lead to grave outcomes.”

❤️ Say something true for you

  • Original: “Eating unhealthy food for years may lead to dire consequences.”
  • Your answer: “Not maintaining a balance between work and rest can result in dire consequences for mental health.”


Phrase: “Environmental consciousness”

🗣️ Repeat

  • Your turn: “Environmental consciousness.”

Say the opposite

  • Original: “Companies now prioritise environmental consciousness.”
  • Possible answers: “Companies now neglect environmental consciousness.”

🔄 Change tense

  • Original: “He displays a strong environmental consciousness.”
  • Possible answers: “He displayed a strong environmental consciousness.”

👥 Substitute

  • Original: “The new policies reflect their environmental consciousness.”
  • Your answer: “The new strategies showcase their environmental consciousness.”

🟰 Synonyms

  • Original: “Promoting environmental consciousness is crucial.”
  • Your answer: “Promoting ecological awareness is crucial.”

❤️ Say something true for you

  • Original: “Rising pollution levels call for greater environmental consciousness.”
  • Your answer: “Consuming less is part of my environmental consciousness.”

And there we have it, our dive into the reasons some people might feel detached from environmental responsibilities.

As we wrap up this episode, I encourage you not only to think about your English, but also to reflect on your role and how you can contribute positively to a cleaner planet. Remember, change starts with awareness and discussion. And every small action counts.

And remember, for a deeper dive into improving your speaking abilities, the Ace C1 Speaking Course is available on my website.

The full 6-step practice is there for you to explore.
Just hit the PRACTISE FREE button and you're on your way.

All right, time to get off my soapbox.

Thank you for tuning in to the C1 Speaking Podcast.

If you found this episode enlightening, please leave a review and consider sharing with friends.

Stay curious, and see you in the next episode. Until then, take care and stay green!

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