English Reading Practice

Moral Story Number 12:
Safeguard and Improve Your Environment

1. Watch the video at the top of the page.

2. Read the story "Safeguard and Improve Your Environment" just below it.

3. Do the exercises at the bottom of the page.

Here is the Safeguard and Improve Your Environment video. You can watch it in your own language at The Way to Happiness Foundation. (Simply click the word "language" at the top right corner of that page.) 

The 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.

Principle number 12 is "Safeguard and Improve Your Environment."

Now read the short story about this important principle.

Safeguard and Improve
Your Environment

Maggie 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, too.

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 other. 

And now, practice:


Vocabulary Questions

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?

a) the 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 important problem

b) to ask for help

c) to work together

d) to do something for yourself

Grammar Questions

1. The roof is full ________ trash.

a) on

b) to

c) with

d) of

2. Now the building is a much ________ place to live.

a) nice

b) nicer

c) nicest

d) more nice

3. The neighbors help take care ________ the plants in the garden.

a) to

b) of

c) about

d) for

Comprehension Questions

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 environment?

Get Updates, Special Offers, and English Resources

Download your FREE GIFT (the first two chapters of
English Short Stories Book and Workbook)
as soon as you join!

English Short Stories

By submitting your email, you consent to receiving updates and newsletters from us and to the sharing of your personal data with third parties for the purposes of sending you communications. We will not spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please see our privacy policy.