The environment is a relatively common topic used in the IELTS Speaking section.

This topic has been used since May 2021 and will continue to be used in the real exam until December 2021.

Please read the full post carefully, take notes of the useful vocabulary, and try to apply the structures I use in other topics, too.

For the full list of current IELTS Speaking topics (September to December 2021) click here.

For the full list of previous IELTS Speaking topics (May to August 2021) click here

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IELTS Speaking Part 1 Environment
How would you talk about the environment in the IELTS Speaking part 1? September to December 2021


Here are some things to consider when you prepare to speak about, Environment IELTS Speaking topic 2021 September to December: 

  • What kind of things do you already know about the environment? 
  • Are you currently doing anything to protect the environment?
  • How is the environment like where you live? 
  • Are there any laws in your country that help to protect the environment?
  • Are there any differences in the environment in your hometown?

Take some time to think about the above before you read the model answers and suggested language below.

Possible questions

  1. Do you worry about the environment?
  2. Tell me about the environment where you live.
  3. How about in your hometown?
  4. Do you do anything in order to protect the environment?
  5. Do you think enough people care about the environment?
  6. Did you learn about the environment at school?
  7. Would you like to change anything about your life in order to protect the environment?
  8. Was the environment better when you were younger than it is nowadays?
  9. How has the environment changed since you were younger?
  10. Should the people of (country) do more to protect the environment?
  11. How could they do that?


Model answers

  • Do you worry about the environment? 

I do, yeah. Although I’m not much of an eco-warrior, I am concerned about it. Actually, back when I was in college, I wrote an article to raise fellow student’s awareness of global warming. Even to this day, I actively think about the effect my lifestyle has on the environment.

  • What do you do to protect the environment? 

Well, like most people, I try my best to reduce my carbon footprint as much as possible. Admittedly, not as much as some, but I genuinely believe that if everyone took small steps towards are more eco-friendly lifestyle, then we’d be one step closer to tackling climate change.

  • Do you think enough people care about the environment? 

Back home in the UK, definitely, there are even laws that require people to care. Every household’s waste across the country is separated into specific bins, which are collected weekly and shipped off to a nearby recycling plant. Sadly, the same can’t be said about the average person here in Vietnam though.

  • Did you learn about the environment at school?

Funnily enough, no. I think it was first mentioned when I got to College. You see, back in the late 80s and early 90s, people didn’t understand the impact their lives have on the planet. It wasn’t until the early 2000s when Britain turned green. I’m pretty sure these days schools are introducing the issue to students at a young age in order to promote a more eco-conscious, environmentally-friendly mindset when they grow up.  

  • Would you like to change anything about your life in order to protect the environment?

Yeah, quite a few things, actually. Right now, I ride a pretty beefy motorcycle, it’s a real gas-guzzler as the Americans say. I reckon if I downgraded to a more economical bike with a smaller engine, I’d drastically reduce my carbon emissions, and in turn, cut my carbon footprint by a mile. ( Pun intended 😛 )

  • Was the environment better when you were younger than it is nowadays?

I suppose it’s hard to say, right? For the most part, people’s efforts are definitely having a noticeable, positive effect on their immediate surroundings, yet something like this isn’t exactly seen everywhere in the world. As more countries adopt green policies, I’m sure, overall, the environment will improve even more than it already has.


Vocabulary list

Eco-warrior (noun) = A person who cares a great deal about the environment and actively campaigns to protect it.

Raise awareness (collocation V+N) = To make more people aware of something.

Global warming (noun) = The gradual increase of the planet’s temperature.

Carbon footprint (noun) = The measurable amount of an individual’s or organisation’s carbon emissions.

Carbon emissions (noun) = The amount of carbon that individuals or industries produce.

Eco-friendly (adjective) = Not harmful to the environment.

Environmentally-friendly (adjective) = Not harmful to the environment.

Eco-conscious (adjective) = Aware of the environment and the impact things have on it.

Recycling plant (noun) = A place, typically a factory, that recycles waste/refuse.

Green policy (noun) = A law, regulation, or rule that helps to protect the environment.

Economical (adjective) = Using no more of something than necessary. (e.g. an economical motorcycle won’t use as much fuel as other motorcycles.)

Gas-guzzler (noun, Americanism) = Not proper English, but it has been adopted by many English speakers throughout the world to describe a vehicle that uses a lot of fuel.

Downgrade (verb) = To reduce something to a lower grade, rank, or level of importance. “Downgrade” can also be used as a noun, which refers to the instance of downgrading something. For example, I ride a BMW 1200 GS motorcycle, if I bought a small scooter, the scooter would be considered a downgrade.

Beefy (informal adjective) = Something that is strong, powerful, bulky, impressive, and muscular 🙂

Immediate surroundings (noun) = What people are currently surrounded by, as in, their environment in the present moment.

Mindset (noun) = A way of thinking, or a process of thinking. For example, “he has a positive mindset” = similar to outlook.


Useful structures

Funnily enough” = Used in the same way as “Believe it or not,”. Check my other posts for an explanation 🙂

When I got to college” = An informal way to say “When I started studying at college” or “By the time I started studying at college” the word “get” in this instance means “arrive”, so by saying this, you will increase your range of natural idiomatic language.

These days” = My favourite way to talk about the present time in the IELTS Speaking section.

The average person” = An advanced and natural way to talk about “common people” as a group (we should never say “common people” though, there is nothing common about people, we are all unique and special). “The” can be used to refer to groups of people, for example, The rich and famous, The poor, The class of 1998, The disadvantaged.

Take small steps” & “One step closer” = To “take small steps” means to do small things that contribute to the progression of something. To be “one step closer” means that you are nearer to achieving something. I often recommend students to use these together, as combined, they show a greater understanding of them individually. Similar to a cause & effect clause (the cause is the action taken, the effect is that subject is one step closer to…).


Thank you for reading: Environment IELTS Speaking topic 2021 September to December

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