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Our Environment Book 2: Water and Air

Explores various environmental aspects with a strong emphasis on school environmental concerns with a community focus.

Our Environment Book 2: Water and Air by Sharon Szczecinski
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The Our Environment Series is a set of photocopiable activities that has been created to assist teachers in the implementation of an outcomes-based approach to the teaching of Social Studies. This series deals with the five elements that make up the environment: Land (Book 1) Water and Air (Book 2) Waste and Energy (Book 3) Environmental problems have been a hot topic in classrooms for several years and students have become familiar with the issues that are of greatest concern. It is necessary to educate students about the ways in which some environmental problems can be minimized and/or managed. This series endeavours to equip students with the knowledge and skills for acting locally; implementing environmental management practices at school level that care for our natural resources. Students need to realise the importance of the need to preserve the environment for future generations. Series Objectives  to promote effective school environmental management strategies;  to identify areas of need in the school environment;  to determine ways in which the amount of pollution can be reduced in the local area;  to foster an understanding of how people working together can make a difference on the greater environment.

About Water Water is our most precious resource and makes up approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface. It is vital to all forms of plant and animal life. The two main sources of drinking water – groundwater and surface water – are becoming increasingly scarce for a number of reasons. Environmental Impact The environmental concerns with water include salinity, water pollution, water erosion, algal blooms in local areas, water wastage and the destruction of ecosystems. Conserving Water Water is used for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes. To minimise water waste, students should be aware of the unnecessary waste that occurs around the school as a result of leaking taps and irresponsible use of water fountains, etc.

Students need to be educated in the ways in which water use can be minimized. For water conservation to work, everyone needs to follow the guidelines and maintain efficient water usage. Good habits and positive actions need to be reinforced at school before students can be expected to practise water saving strategies at home and in the community.

About Air

The quality of our air is a major environmental concern. Issues such as air pollution, greenhouse gases and the hole in the ozone layer have been brought to our attention for a number of years. Already, students will have learned that modifying the use of aerosols and reducing the burning of fossil fuels, can have a positive impact on the quality of our air.

Ready-Ed Publications; April 2004
44 pages; ISBN 9781865975375
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Our Environment Book 2: Water and Air
Author: Sharon Szczecinski; Melinda Brezmen
 
Excerpt

The Ozone Layer and Us

You may well have heard of the "ozone layer". It is often talked about and blamed for many things, but, what is it exactly?

Ozone is a form of oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere. The ozone is way above the earth, about 20 - 25 kilometers up, in an area known as the stratosphere. Ozone is very important in shielding the earth from harmful rays of the sun called ultraviolet radiation. If the radiation does get through, it can be very dangerous to people and causes such things as sunburn and skin cancer.

Some countries such as, Australia and New Zealand, are particularly affected by ozone because scientists believe that the amount of ozone has been reducing, and there is a hole in the ozone layer somewhere over Antarctica.

Why is there a hole in the ozone layer? People’s actions have resulted in the ozone reducing, or depleting. A group of chemicals, called CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) break down ozone. These chemicals are found in things like aerosol sprays, refrigerator gas and polystyrene hamburger containers.

Now that people know about the effects on the ozone layer, many governments in the world have banned a lot of the products that cause the problem. As a result of these products being banned scientists believe that the hole is starting to fix itself.

Use this information to help you answer these questions.

1. What is ozone?

2. Why is ozone important?

3. How is the United States affected by the hole in the ozone layer?

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4. What has caused a hole in the ozone layer?

5. Why have some countries not banned products that cause the ozone layer

problems?