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Collocations For IELTS Writing Task 2 – Topic: The Environment

Collocations For IELTS Writing Task 2 – Topic : The Environment


In the previous post, we have learnt a wide range of  academic collocations about Crime. Today, I am going to show you the next topic that is about the Environment.

Damaging the Environment

The environment is always a common topic in IELTS Writing Test, especially in Task 2. Therefore, if you can make use of the collocations below, you will easily impress the examiner with your vocabulary and thus improve your writing IELTS score to band 7+.


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1. Serious environmental degradation: The process in the quality of environment changes to a worse condition.

“In some industrial zones, the production processes may result in serious environmental degradation.”

2. Irresponsible disposal of industrial waste: Discharge industrial waste without concern about the environment.

“Global warming stems from the irresponsible disposal of industrial waste.”

3. Waste treatment systems: The way to treat wastes without harming the environment.

“If factory installed waste treatment systems instead of discharging chemical wastes into rivers, water pollution could be controlled.”

4. Discharge chemical waste: to dispose of chemical waste.

“Nowadays, more and more company and industrial zones have been discharging chemical waste into rivers, causing death to many fish and other aquatic animals.”

5. Litter the street: To leave the waste paper, cans, etc. on the street.

“Residents will consider newcomers dirty and ill-mannered if they litter the street or spit gum in public places.”

6. The emission of greenhouse gases: The act of sending out gas, especially carbon dioxide or methane, that is through to trap heat above the Earth and cause the greenhouse effect.

“If countries all over the world could decrease their energy consumption, this will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

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7. Chemical fertilizers/weed killers: Poison used to kill unwanted plants.

“Organic farmers do not pollute the water or the soil which result from the application of chemical fertilizers and weed killers.”

8. Eco-friendly: Not harmful to the environment.

“Countries such as Japan are leading the way, for example, in developing more eco-friendly cars, buses and lorries.”

9. To be spoiled by: To be received a bad effect that it is no longer attractive, enjoyable, useful, etc.

“Several famous beaches in Vietnam have been spoiled by this lack of respect for the local environment.”

10.Contamination of land, air or water: To make land, air or water dirty or harmful by putting chemicals or poison in it.

“Contamination of land, air and water has reached alarming levels.”

11. Illegal logging and deforestation: the work for cutting down trees for commercial purpose in an illegal way

“It should not be forgotten that illegal logging in the Amazon Basin is still a major factor in climate change.”

12. Burning fossil fuels: Burning a fuel such as coal or oil that is produced by the very gradual decaying of animals or plants over million of years.

” Individuals can make a small contribution by not burning wood and other fossil fuels.”

13. long-term consequences: something that happens in the distant future as a result of a particular action or set of conditions.

“The effects of our use of fossil fuels today may last for generations, and it is almost certain to have long-term consequences for humanity.”

14. Renewable energy: Renewable energy comes from sources that can be easily replaced naturally so that there is always more available.

“Wind farms and other sources of renewable energy will help to reduce CO2 emission to an acceptable level.”

15. Environmental protection: The act of protecting the environment.

” Environmental protection is one of the most important challenges almost every country is facing.”

16. Sustainable development: The development without damaging the environment.

” The government should commit to sustainable development and the protection of the environment.”

17. To deplete natural resource: To reduce the amount of natural resource.
” Depleting natural resource is become a serious concern for the government to get deal with.”

18. Fight climate change: To prevent a permanent change in weather

“International cooperation is necessary to fight climate change.”

19. Conserve energy: To protect and prevent energy from reduction.

“Scientists in many countries are cooperating to find a method to conserve energy.”

20. Sort the daily garbage: To arrange garbage in groups according to size, type daily.

“One thing that individual can do to protect the environment is sorting the daily garbage.”

21. Dump waste: To dispose of waste in an irresponsible manner

Example: Disposal of household waste is a daunting task for local authorities. Towns and cities cannot just dump such waste and hope it will go away.

22. Toxic waste: Poisonous waste

Example: Efforts to recycle waste are only a partial solution. Meanwhile, the problem of toxic waste remains.

23. Offset carbon emissions: Pay for an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide to be saved elsewhere

Example: Some airlines have schemes now for offsetting carbon emissions.

24. Introduce green taxes: Taxes which relate to the protection of the environment

Example: Politicians should not be afraid of introducing green taxes and incentives to encourage eco-friendly design in architecture.

25. Reduce carbon footprint: reduce amount of carbon dioxide created by an activity/person/business

26. Food miles: Distance food has to travel between where it is grown or made and where it is consumed

Example: We can all reduce our carbon footprint by flying less, and reduce our food miles by buying local produce.

Climate Change and Its Consequence :

27. Searing heat: extreme heat

Example: Parts of Europe which used to be cooler now experience intense, searing heat, and temperatures soar above the average every summer

28. Widespread flooding

Example: Most areas in Europe suffer widespread flooding on a regular basis.

29. Alternative energy sources

30. Hybrid car

Example: To protect the environment, people can buy a hybrid car, develop alternative energy sources for homes, solar heating for instance. and build more offshore wind farms.

31. Combat climate change

Example: It is absolutely vital that every civil plays their role in combating climate change.

32. Environmental catastrophe

Example: We may have less than a decade to avoid an environmental catastrophe on a global scale.

Other useful expressions/phrases for the Environment Topic :

  • The deterioration in the air quality
  • To curb environmental deterioration
  • To destroy/degrade the environment
  • To lower the demand for energy in every household
  • Exhaust fumes from vehicles
  • To raise the public’s ecological consciousness
  • To promote environmentally-friendly technology
  • To reduce the dependence on the traditional energy resources/on fossil fuels.
  • To suffer from adverse effects of environmental problems
  • To burn fossil fuels to generate energy
  • The growing demand for fossil fuels in the world
  • Renewable energy from solar, wind or water power
  • Gas emissions from factories
  • To alleviate environmental problems
  • To contaminate the environment
  • The protection of wildlife
  • The biology will be seriously affected

Exercises :

Exercise 1. Come up with Answers for the following topics and post it in the comment section or on forum to be checked and scored by other IELTS learners and our IELTS experts.

Topic 1: Some people think that in order to prevent illness and disease, governments should make efforts in reducing environmental pollution and housing problems. To what extent do you agree to disagree with this statement?

You can read Sample Answer here.

Topic 2: Development in technology has brought various environmental problems. Some believe that people need to live simpler lives to solve environmental problems. Others, however, believe technology is the way to solve these problems. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

You can read Sample Answer here.

Topic 3: The best way to solve the world’s environmental problems is to increase the cost of fuel. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

You can read Sample Answer here.

Topic 4: Reducing global environmental damage should be handled by governments rather than individuals. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Exercise 2. Here is an interview with Gary Prime, the American rock star known for his support of environmental campaigns, who is visiting London.

Fill in the blank with one of the following collocations:

Searing heat
Temperatures soar
Widespread flooding
Irreversible climate change
Food miles
Carbon footprints
Renewable energy
Green taxes
Carbon emissions
Solar heating
Run dry
Dire consequences
Hybrid car

Interviewer: Would you agree that climate change is the most urgent issue facing us today?

Prime: Definitely. You only have to look at the changing weather patterns in many parts of the world. It’s absolutely vital that we change our ways before it’s too late. Parts of Europe which used to be cooler now experience intense, ____(1)_____, and _____(2)______above the
average every summer. Other areas suffer ____(3)_____on a regular basis. We can’t continue in this way without there being ____(4)_____ .

Interviewer: So what can people do in the face of this ____(5)_____?

Prime: Yes, there is. We can all reduce our ____(6)_____by flying less, and reduce our ____(7)_____ by buying local produce. Some airlines have schemes now for offsetting ____(8)_____ .

Interviewer: Flying’s only one part of it, though. Most of the problems come from vehicle emissions and power stations.

Prime: True, but there are things we can do about that too. Buy a ____(9)_____, develop alternative energy sources for homes, ____(10)_____for instance, and build more ____(11)_____wind farms. Oil supplies will ____(12)_____ within 50 years. ____(12)_____ can make a real difference. And politicians shouldn’t be afraid of introducing ____(13)_____and incentives to encourage ____(14)_____ design in architecture. With sufficient will, we can find a solution.

Interviewer: Gary Prime, thank you for giving up your time for this interview.

Prime: No problem, I’ve got just enough time to catch my flight to Los Angeles.

Exercise 3 : Complete each sentence using a word from the collocations above.

1 It’s absolutely…………… that we all do something to reduce global warming.
2 Oil supplies are likely to……………..dry within the next 200 years.
3  We looked out to sea and spotted some………………………………..wind farms.
4  The airline has a scheme where you can……………………..your carbon emissions.
5 Continued use of fossil fuels will have……………….consequences in the long term.
6 As a green organisation we only use architects who specialise in…………………design.

Exercise 4 : Correct the collocation errors in these sentences.

1  We need to find alternative energy origins for private homes.
2 The desert experiences soaring heat during the day but is cold at night.
3 They now have a sun heating system in their house; it’s very economical.
4 Temperatures expanded during the summer months and reached a record high.
5  The government must present green taxes so people who damage the environment pay more.
6 He has one of those mixed cars which alternates between petrol and battery power.
7 The weather designs have changed in recent years: winters arc milder, summers are hotter.
8 Vehicle transmissions are the main source of pollution in big cities.
9 We must change our way before it is too late.

You can go to United Nations Environment Program website to learn more useful collocations related to the environment.

What do you think of today’s lesson?

Leave us a message in the comments section below!

Don’t forget to use these useful expressions on a daily basis to boost your IELTS writing score.

See also:

Written By

Syed Monif is a professional content marketer and IELTS Trainer by day, and a bookworm by night, and sometimes during the day too! He currently works on creating extremely user-friendly and engaging content for the online portal His work involves creating and editing content while making sure they're super interesting and easy to read! And also as a master procrastinator, right now he's probably googling something so arbitrary like 'How rich is Scrooge McDuck?' without realizing that his lunch break is almost over.


Please find below my essay on the topic number 4. Please help me in evaluating this. Thanks in advance.

Reducing global environmental damage should be handled by governments rather than individuals. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

It is no exaggeration to say that the environmental pollution has reached its peak in the last decade and major steps have to be taken to keep a check on this. While some people might argue that only government should be responsible to take action on this, I do not agree with this completely. It is a responsibility of both Government and individual to take corrective actions.

The environmental pollution has been one of the biggest global issues that we all are currently facing. Industrial plants have been dumping its residual waste in the water and also toxic gases are being released in the air. Government has to take some strict measures in this regard. The rules and regulations have to be made more stringent and law need to enforce that the people follow them judiciously. Any non-compliance to these should be severely punished. Government has to take the bull by the horns and tackle this with utmost importance.

It is also the responsibility of every individual to contribute towards environment protection. They need to follow the instructions set by government towards saving the environment and at the same time they also need to do their bit at an individual level. Making more use of Public Transport can be one of the very good action to save air pollution. Also they can encourage the conserving of energy as much as possible at home or work place. Using products that has renewable energy sources like, solar water heater etc.

In conclusion, the environmental pollution is undoubtedly the most critical global issue and has to be addressed immediately. It is the responsibility of both government and individuals to do their bit for protecting our environment.

Hi Here is my essay on topic 2. Please evaluate.

Development in technology has brought various environmental problems. Some believe that people need to live simpler lives to solve environmental problems. Others, however, believe technology is the way to solve these problems. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

It is an undeniable fact that with the technological advancement, there have also been increase in the number of environmental issues. Some of the environmental problems are directly related to the technical development. Some suggest that living simple life might help in reducing the environmental degradation while others have an opinion that to put a check on the environmental problems we should use advanced technology.

Although we say that because of the Technology our life has become simpler, in my opinion it in fact has become more complicated which is not directly realized. The lavish lifestyle that all of us are desiring to live at the minimum include a huge bungalow, best car and international destination holiday every year. All these have a huge impact on the environment around us. There has been exponential increase in de-forestation in last decade. All the industries dump their toxic waste into the surrounding air and water which also has an adverse effect on the environment. Carbon Footprint for each of us has gone up because of the frequent domestic and International travel.

Leading a simple life will definitely have a huge impact in helping environment recover from the damage that has been done by us. Also scientists all over the world have developed some great products which will help in putting a check on the environmental pollution. There are lot of products in the market which works on natural source of energy. They also conserve lot of energy. If we switch bring such products in to our day-to-day life then that we will help in environmental recovery.

To conclude, I think both the simple living life and the advanced technology can help us in reducing the carbon footprint and global warming. We should be smart enough to use the best possible from both the ways of life and save our only earth so that this planet will be well preserved for next generations.

This is my essay for topic 1. Please make time to help me assess it! Thank you in advance.

Some people think that in order to prevent illness and disease, governments should make efforts in reducing environmental pollution and housing problems. To what extent do you agree to disagree with this statement?

Recent years have witnessed a proliferation of measures targeting to combat diseases and improve the well-being of global citizens. One of the most feasible proposals suggested is a governmental initiative to mitigate environmental and housing issue. As a personally point of view, I totally agree with this for a number of reasons.

First of all, in many parts of the world, especially industrial areas, issues associated with the environment are ever-increasing, threatening the lives of local residents. In the modern age, the promotion of fast-growing industries has become the major focus of various nations, leaving them in blatant ignorant of environmental consequences. To illustrate this, thousands of factories operating worldwide not only discharge a huge amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere everyday but also dump unprocessed chemical waste into water sources illegally. This will be the catalyst of the booming of innumerable diseases among the citizens of the modern world. Should the law makers impose severe punishments and fines against these unlawful acts, the risk of people contracting pollution-related illnesses will be substantially reduced.

Furthermore, by making concerted efforts to improve housing quality, the government can eradicate the existence of many contagious diseases from the root. Since the advent of urbanization, inundated influxes of immigrants have come to city in hope of better job employment and higher living standards. This has come with greater demand for city resources to accommodate these people and as a result, housing prices has been rocketing. Low income individuals are therefore succumbed to poor quality houses with limited facilities and unhealthy environment, subjecting themselves to numerous health issues. The most effective answer lays in the government’s endeavor to supply its underprivileged citizens with low priced accommodations to help improve their life quality and above that their health condition

To sum up, I am convinced that the authority should be held accountable for its people’s well-being both mentally and physically by means of enhancing ecological quality and housing standards. However, it is also imperative for each and every one of us to exert a joint effort so as to rid our society of detrimental threats such as diseases and illnesses

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