BEST IELTS General Reading Test 22

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 22


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 22
BEST IELTS General Reading Test 22



You should spend about 20 minutes on Reading Passage – 1

Water Footprint

Water is the basis of life, and on this planet only a tiny share, less than one percent of all water, is available for nearly 7 billion people and a myriad of freshwater aquatic ecosystems. It’s that tiny share of freshwater that we have to use to meet all of our needs: irrigation, industry, drinking water, and sanitation, and the needs of thousands, if not millions, of other species that we share the planet with.

The average American lifestyle demands 1,800 gallons a day to support, with 70 percent of that going to support our diets. If each of us learned how to conserve just a little more water, it could add up to big savings. National Geographic’s Freshwater Fellow, Sandra Postel, thinks you should start with these simple changes:

A Choose outdoor landscaping appropriate for your climate. Native plants and grasses that thrive on natural rainfall only are best. (Read more in National Geographic Green Guide’s “Plants That Will Suck Your Yard Dry.”)

B Install low-flow shower-heads and faucet aerators. Because you’re saving hot water, you’ll also reduce your energy bill. (More at “Bathroom Revamp: Savings by the Gallon.”) 

C If you’re in the market for a toilet, buy a low-volume, ultra low-volume, or dual-flush model. (Read Green Guide’s “Toilet Buying Guide.”)

D Fix leaky faucets. All those wasted drops add up – sometimes to 10-25 gallons a day. (Learn more on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s, or EPA’s, WaterSense website.)

E Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when full. When it’s time to replace them, buy a water- and energy-efficient model. Remember, saving water saves energy, and saving energy saves water. (Read Green Guide’s “Dishwasher Buying Guide.”)

F Eat a bit less meat, especially beef. A typical hamburger can take 630 gallons to produce. (Learn more about the water embedded in your food with National Geographic’s “The Hidden Water We Use” interactive.)

G Buy less stuff. Everything takes water to make. So if we buy less, we shrink our water footprint.

H Recycle plastics, glass, metals, and paper. Buy re-usable products rather than throw-away, as it takes water to make most everything.

I  Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and washing the dishes. Shave a minute or two off your shower time. Millions of people doing even the little things makes a difference.

J  Know the source of your drinking water: the river, lake, or aquifer that supplies your home. Once you know it, you’ll care about it. You just won’t want to waste water. (Find out more about your water sources with the EPA’s “Surf Your Watershed” interactive.)

Questions 1 – 7

Complete the sentences below.
Choose ONLY ONE WORD from the text for each answer.

1 Currently we can only use a very small…………….of the total water supply.

The text has ten sections, A – J.
Which section contains the following information?

2 about washing up………….
3 how much to buy………..
4 bathroom habits………..
5 finding out where your consumable water comes from………….
6 buying a smaller sized product…………..
7 the types of plants you should buy……………..,

Read the text and answer Questions 8-14

How To Shop Green

Considering “going green”? You’re probably not the only one.

Enter almost any grocery store and you’re bound to find so-called green cleaning products next to traditional ones. Take Tide Cold Water detergent. Procter & Gamble claims it deep cleans clothes in cold water, cutting down on your energy use, not to mention your energy bill. Car buyers have plenty of environmentally friendly models from which to choose, and energy-efficient appliances get prominent placement on showroom floors. Even retailers are getting in on the act. Sweden-based fashion emporium H&M introduced a green line in spring 2007, offering frocks and tops made with organic cotton.

But while an ever-growing range of “green” consumer products are finding their way into our homes, there is very little in the way of industry standard. One manufacturer’s green product may have been produced in an entirely different manner than another’s. As a result, experts say it’s good to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism when choosing environmentally friendly products, and to rely on a select group of organizations monitoring the practices of certain industries.

Do Your Homework

Dig a bit and you’ll likely come across the word “greenwashing.” This, according to Julia Cosgrove, deputy editor of ReadyMade, a San Francisco-based magazine that focuses on do-it-yourself, sustainable projects, entails marketing a product as environmentally conscious without enough evidence that it really is. “Much of what we’re seeing now is just spin,” she says. “When you look further, many of these companies are still making a big environmental footprint.” Translation: Even if a retailer offers clothes made with organic cotton, chances are they are being shipped via huge, gas-sucking airplanes.

Another example is vinyl. It is used in a great deal of vegan shoes, but the production of the material can create dioxin, a known carcinogen. Clothing company Edun has experienced a case of greenwashing. Although some of its products are made of organic cotton, the company’s main objective is to produce ethical (fairly traded, socially responsible) – not green – clothing. Although both concepts are positive, they certainly don’t mean the same thing. Edun is an ethical clothing company, and although they take measures to protect the environment, they should not be categorized as green. How to tell one from the other? Look to several watchdog organizations for a real education.

Digging Deeper

Netherlands-based Made-By tracks a garment’s environmental footprint from the first thread on, and the International Forest Stewardship Alliance certifies wood-made products by ensuring that manufacturers collecting lumber are making the best use of forest resources, reducing damage and waste, and avoiding over consumption and over harvesting. You can find a complete listing of their findings on

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) labeling system, Design For The Environment (DfE), ensures that the chemicals in DfE-certified products–like Earth Choice’s new range of household cleaners–are environmentally preferable, which means such products are created with lower volatile organic compounds. High levels of these materials can damage soil and groundwater, and emit greenhouse gasses, contributing to global warming.

Kitchen appliances now possess one of the most widely recognized labels, EnergyStar, another EPA-run unit. These labels ensure an appliance meets energy-efficient guidelines set by the EPA and the Department of Energy. Criteria for each appliance differs and can be found on under the Products tab.

“It’s a fairly well-known metric that will reduce your energy use and save you money,” says Ron Jones, founder of Greenbuilder, a development, media and consulting firm dedicated to sustainable development and green building, of EnergyStar. Often, buying a new, energy-saving air conditioner will save you in the end since older models not only cost more to run but often don’t work as well.

Whether you’re buying one piece of green clothing or remodeling your entire home with energy-efficient appliances, Jones says it’s important to note how your everyday activities affect the environment.
“If you start to look at a person in terms of their individual footprint, which includes their transportation habits, eating habits, clothing and housing, it starts to get very complex,” he says. “Think through everything. Determine how it will affect your everyday living conditions, and your quality of life going forward.” 

Questions 8 – 14

Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.

8 In many car showrooms you can find
A ‘green cars on special offer
B ‘green cars’ are easy to notice
C green cars in short supply

9 These days like-for-like green products
A are manufactured in very similar ways
B must meet the requirements of a ‘standards’ organisation
C could be produced very differently

10 Julia Cosgrove believes that
A the majority of companies are producing genuinely green products
B many companies do not tell consumers the full story
C are doing the best they can to be greener

11 Made-By is able to monitor
A the carbon footprint for the manufacture of clothes
B the complete manufacturing process for all products
C the carbon footprint for the early stage of clothes manufacture

12 Earth’s Choice
A is an environmental protection agency
B produces cleaning products
C is an EPA partner

13 Ron Jones thinks that
A you should use your exisiting air-conditioner for as long as possible
B more modern air-conditoners will cost you less
C we should avoid using air-conditioners as much as possible

14 Jones also says that
A we should all calculate our individual carbon footprint
B it is too difficult to calculate an individual’s carbon footprint
C we need to be more aware of the carbon footprint we create


1 share
2 E
3 G
4 I
5 J
6 C
7 A
8 B
9 C
10 B
11 A
12 B
13 B
14 C

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