English Reading Practice
Story Number 12:
Watch the video at the top of the page.
Read the story "Safeguard and Improve Your Environment" just below it.
Do the exercises at the bottom of the page.
Safeguard and Improve Your Environment
is the Safeguard
and Improve Your Environment video.
You can watch it in your own language at The
Way to Happiness Foundation
click the word "language" at the top right corner of that page.)
Way to Happiness is a common sense guide to
better living which has been distributed to more than 100 million
people in over 100 languages. It describes 21
principles to a better quality of life.
number 12 is "Safeguard and Improve Your Environment."
read the short story about this important principle.
Safeguard and Improve
and Alex live in a tall building in a neighborhood in the center of the
city. There are no trees near their building, but they are happy in
their home and it is close to their jobs.
In the part of the city where they live, there is not much fresh food
to buy. The stores only have processed foods in packages. Maggie and
Alex and all the other people in the building have to eat food that
they buy in boxes and plastic containers.
This makes so much garbage that no one knows where to put it. While
they wait for Fridays, when the city collects the garbage, all the
neighbors put their trash into bags and sometimes leave it in the
hallway or on the big, sunny roof. The whole building looks terrible.
No one can spend time playing on the roof because it is full of trash.
One day, Maggie and Alex decide to make a change. They go up to the
roof and separate all the recyclable garbage, like cardboard, plastic
bottles, glass, and aluminum cans. Then they take all of the garbage
down to the street for the garbage collectors.
But they do not carry down the plastic bottles! They cut off the tops
and use them as pots to plant tomatoes and carrots. They plant herbs,
Their neighbors get very excited when Maggie and Alex tell them about
their project. Whenever they have free time after work or on the
weekends, all the neighbors go up to the roof. They enjoy the sun and
help take care of the plants in the garden. They all cooperate, and by
working together, they soon have a big, beautiful vegetable garden!
Now the roof looks beautiful, and everyone eats much healthier food.
They spend time in their community garden, enjoy the sun, and create
much less garbage. In fact, they even save money because they do not
have to buy so much packaged food.
The garden is a real success, and the building in the center of the
city is a much nicer place to live because of it. All of the neighbors
safeguard their environment and improve it for themselves and for each
And now, practice:
1. What does "safeguard" mean?
a) to put a lock on a door
b) to take care of and protect
c) to watch carefully
d) to learn about
2. What does "environment" mean?
place where you live
b) a forest
c) the way you feel
d) a garden
3. What does "cooperate" mean?
a) to think about an
b) to ask for help
c) to work together
d) to do something for yourself
1. The roof is full ________ trash.
2. Now the building is a much ________ place to live.
d) more nice
3. The neighbors help take care ________ the plants
in the garden.
1. Why do the people in the building eat packaged food?
2. What benefits do all the neighbors get from the garden?
3. In your opinion, why is it important to safeguard and improve your