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When the earth is sick and polluted, human health is impossible…. To heal ourselves we must heal our planet, and to heal our planet we must heal ourselves.”
Bobby McLeod (Aboriginal Activist & Poet) http://ecoadmirer.com
Imagine a warm summer evening. You are going out with your friends in the local park area. But your good mood is often spoiled by the scenery which is very unpleasant to look at. There are a lot of empty plastic bottles and cans, dropped sweet wrappers and paper bags, seed peels and cigarette-ends all around. I think it’s bad evidence that our generation lacks good manners and cultural habits. To my mind, we can prevent simple land pollution if we stop throwing litter in the streets, at the river banks, in the forests or in the countryside after having picnics.
Everybody knows that the commonest air pollution comes from cigarette smoke. Moreover, it causes serious lung diseases. Some boys and girls start smoking being at school to seem grown-ups. Recently I’ve read in the newspaper that 1.6 million people die from smoking every year in Europe. To improve the situation not long ago our government introduced smoking ban in public places.
One more problem in our region, as well as in other rural regions, is burning of fallen leaves in autumn and dry grass in spring. When they are burnt, smoke is produced that makes the air dirty and difficult to breathe. To reduce air pollution local authorities introduced high fines for burning leaves and grass. But unfortunately, the law doesn’t work.
Another very dramatic problem of our region is that rubbish is thrown out into big piles on the outskirts of our towns and villages. If this trend continues, we will have to live in a landfill very soon.
In spring you may see crowds of people picking up beautiful tiny snowdrops in the park zone. This breaks the ecological balance. That’s why snowdrops are put down to the Red Book. From my point of view, to stop making the situation worse nobody should cut down the wild flowers anymore.
In comparison with other big industrial towns we haven’t got many plants and factories. Our village is situated in a picturesque area surrounded by chalk hills and thick pine forests. Not long ago we had fresh air the whole year round. But lately a combine fodder factory and a lot of chicken and pig breeding farms have been built in Volokonovka district. As a result, the air is not so clean now as it used to be. It smells disgusting. Moreover, the amount of people, especially children who suffer strong allergy, is constantly growing. I’m sure, the only way out is to use the antipollution equipment and purifying systems widely.
To improve the ecological situation in our region a tradition of so-called “clean Thursday” was introduced. That means that every Thursday all the inhabitants (dwellers) of our village sweep the streets and gather garbage near their houses, schools and buildings. In spring flowers, shrubs and young trees are planted on the flower-beds, slopes of the hills, in the parks and squares.
As for me, I try not to buy drinks in plastic bottles because they can’t be recycled. It is estimated that it takes 500 – 1,000 years for a single plastic bag to break down in a landfill. So, we replaced our plastic garbage bags with 100% biodegradable ones. When it comes to shopping, my family and I use only reusable cotton bags. I never cut wild plants and never throw litter in the streets and recreation places. Also, we use energy saving light bulbs at home. I think that such simple measures can slightly (a bit) improve ecological situation around us.
mood - настроение
sweet wrapper — конфетная обертка
seed peels - шелуха от семечек
lack - недостаток
habit - привычка
to prevent - предотвращать
pollution - загрязнение
to litter - загрязнять, сорить
river bank — берег реки
to cause — вызывать, причинять, способствовать
lung disease - заболевание легких
to follow - следовать
lead - руководство, пример
to introduce - вводить
ban - запрет
to reduce - уменьшать
fine - штраф
rubbish, garbage - мусор
landfill - свалка
heap, pile - куча
trend - тенденция
dustbin - мусорный ящик
crowd - толпа
snowdrop - подснежник
in comparison - в сравнении
picturesque - живописный
to surround - окружать
pine - сосна
disgusting — ужасный
to suffer - страдать
equipment - оборудование
inhabitant, dweller - житель
flower-bed - клумба
to recycle - перерабатывать
measure - мера
slightly - немного
biodegradable /ˌbaɪəʊdɪˈɡreɪdəbl/ — разлагаемый
outskirts - окраина
Reduce your impact on the planet!
Just do your best!
Holidays are very pleasant days because these are days when people don’t have to work, but have the opportunity to relax, meet friends, say many pleasant words and give presents to one another and everybody is in a cheerful and merry mood.
The major Russian holidays are: New Year’s Day, Christmas, Women’s Day, Easter, Victory Day, the Day of Sovereignty of Russia.
New Year’s Day
My favourite holiday is New Year’s Day. I think it is the most cheerful holiday of all. Some days before New Year we decorate a New Year Tree and send New Year e-cards to our friends and relatives. There are a lot of fairy lights in the streets, trees and buildings and everything looks magic! Schoolchildren have the New Year parties at school. I always stay at home with my family on New Year’s Eve. We lay a festive table and at midnight with the last stroke of the clock everybody raises a glass of champagne to see the New Year in. The President of Russia makes a speech on TV. He wishes happiness, health and prosperity (all the best) to the nation. Then we give presents to all members of the family. Kids believe that presents are sent by Father Frost and Snow Maiden. On New Year’s Eve lots of young people go to the night clubs where they sing, dance and have fun until dawn. I can’t imagine the New Year’s celebration without “Olivie” salad and tangerines. It is also a custom to light fireworks, fly Chinese lanterns and sing songs around a beautifully decorated New Year Tree. Last year some of my friends from Moscow enjoyed watching New Year’s Eve fireworks from the river cruise ship Also, I’m very happy that after New Year’s Day I have long winter holidays.
Christmas and Easter
Recently new national holidays – Christmas and Easter have been introduced. They are both religious holidays. Now they are officially marked throughout our country. In Russia Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January. Easter is the most important holiday for the Orthodox Christians. These holidays have become the days of family reunion and happiness.
On the 8th of March we celebrate Women’s Day. It’s a nice spring holiday when men give flowers and presents to their wives, daughters, girlfriends, sisters and mothers. Some men try to do all the domestic work about the house and in the kitchen on this day. Most families go out to have a nice meal at the restaurant.
But without any doubt, the most memorable date is Victory Day which is celebrated on the 9th of May to commemorate the victory of the Russian troops over the Nazi invaders in Great Patriotic War. On that day the veterans meet in the parks and squares of the cities to recollect the days of the war and exchange greetings. Wartime music is played everywhere. People lay flowers at the tombs of the soldiers who died in the war. Festive salute in the evening has become the culmination of the celebrations throughout the country.
Red Square in Moscow is usually the traditional place for a military parade on this day. The celebration starts at 10 a.m. As a rule, the column of veterans opens the parade.
During War our people fought heroically. The fascists were defeated near Moscow and Leningrad, near Tula and in Volgograd. The enemies suffered heavy losses at the walls of Kiev, Odessa, Sevastopol, Kerch, Novorossiysk. That’s why all these cities were named Hero Cities. I’m very proud that our regional centre, Belgorod, was named the town of the first salute.
In the centre of our village there is an Alley of Glory. Here you can see the monuments of Heroes of the Soviet Union who were born in Volokonovka district. Among them are Vetchinkin K. F., Bondarenko A. D., Kalinin N. N., Petrashov I. P., Lazarenko I. S., Novikov E. V.
The Day of Sovereignty of Russia (or Independence Day) is celebrated on the 12th of June. It is one of the youngest public holidays in Russia. It was established in 1992. Most major cities of the country organize large celebrations in parks and squares. Undoubtedly Moscow is the best place to celebrate this holiday. You can watch a huge performance of famous musicians in Red Square. The weather is quite warm at this time of year that's why there are crowds of people with kids strolling along the streets and taking part in sports activities, dancing and singing. In different cities, towns and villages lots of teenagers, wearing T-shirts of white, blue and red colours, form a tricolor, the National Flag of Russia.
At present this holiday is also used for giving state awards to prominent Russian personalities who made a significant contribution into the development of scientific and cultural life of the country.
A culminating holiday event is a colourful evening firework which is similar to Victory Day salute.
What is your favourite holiday?
How do you usually celebrate it?
Feel free to leave a comment under the article.
Thank you for reading me!