Grade 7: Eco-assignments
1) Explain the role that poor environmental management plays in contributing to natural hazards such as drought, floods, and tropical cyclones. Mention preventative measures that could be taken such as improving the quality of catchment areas, vleis and wetlands or more suitable farming practices.
2) Explain the role that poor environmental management (shrinking tropical forests and expanding desertification) and energy-generation practices (use of fossil fuels for transportation and industry) play in contributing to natural disasters such as global warming.
3) Explain why some people are more at risk when natural hazards/disasters occur based on the position of their houses and the material that it is constructed with.
4) Explain the how the present population growth (explosion) affects the environment and how this could be dealt with by governments.
From various examples of rock paintings, implements dating from the iron age and remains of settlements and monuments in Southern Africa, we know that early civilizations practiced a hunter-gatherer existence. But as trade on the continent increased and the subsequent settler occupation of land followed, that way of life was no longer easy to maintain.
1) Explain the effects that indigenous culture as well as the pristine nature of the environment suffered as capitalistic ruling structures and settlement features became dominant.
2) Explain the dilemma that exist to satisfy both the mad pursuit of comfort by means of technical advancement, and maintaining balanced ecosystems.
1) Toxic air can come down in the form of rain (acid rain). Explain how this has already affected much plant life as well as the fertility of fish and bird eggs.
2) Explain how air pollution can adversely affect the circulatory systems of both animals and humans.
4) The variety of life that contributes to the proper functioning of ecosystems is so huge that we have to use a certain ‘classification system’ based on the appearance and functions of organisms. The two main categories of animals are vertebrates and invertebrates. Please explain and also name the 5 classes of animals that sort under vertebrates.
5) Explain the role of sustainable development to maintain various interdependent food-webs of ecosystems in South Africa.
6) Because of the earth’s global position towards the sun, some areas receive more sunlight than others. The areas that receive more sunlight are obviously warmer – like the tropical regions than the colder polar region that receive less sunlight. Explain this principle.
7) Explain the important role that the atmosphere is playing to protect the earth from the harmful effect that the rays of the sun would have had on the earth if it was not there.
8) Write a paragraph explaining how certain plants and animals are adapted to live in extreme climatic conditions.
9) Based on fossil records we today know that various other forms of life existed on earth before. These prehistoric animals roamed the earth for millions of years. In comparison, humans have been on earth a very, very short while. Do you think that we would be able to survive on earth for as long as they did? Please explain.
1) Our long-term survival on earth will finally depend on the way in which we have treated the natural world. As long as natural air circulation and water circulation are functioning effectively, we and the ecosystems will have good health. But unfortunately the opposite is true. Due to an excess of CO2 and other harmful gasses that we release into the air and due to an excess of chemicals (fertilizers and industrial waste) that we release into the natural water systems, the natural cleansing mechanisms are unable to cope.
Please mention the activities (such as transportation, power generation and agriculture) contribute to harmful ingredients being released into the water and air. Explain if the consumable products that are produced in this way would be termed as needs or wants.
Find out if there are not other methods of producing the products considered as needs.
2) If you invest money through a financial institution, you will only be able to reap the rewards at a later date – most likely the reward will be considerably higher than the initial investment. Only if we invest in nature will we be able to keep it in proper condition for future generations.
Explain how the principle of investment applies in nature if it is given the opportunity to reproduce. Make clear which human actions will cause the natural world not to
a) reproduce efficiently
b) renew its basic elements (water, soil, air) efficiently
Explain the importance of investing in technologies that will not harm the present state of the environment
2) If you save money, it means that you are not using it right away. You keep somewhere safe for a time in the future when it might be very crucial to cover costs that you may or may not be aware off now. We need to save our non-renewable resources in nature at all costs, not only because it is harming the environment, but also because it will some day be depleted – at a time when we need it most.
Explain how the principle of saving applies to
a) Having a reserve of energy resources available in times of possible crisis
b) Having sufficient good quality land available for future food production
Compare the various products you consider to invest in to replace environmentally-damaging products at your house and in your neighbourhood.
1) Is it indeed environmentally-friendly? Was there for instance produced with minimal waste resulting? Was it made locally or has it been imported from places abroad which would have necessitated land as well as sea or air transport to bring it to the shops.
2) Do they guarantee the product?
3) If you are required to assemble the product yourself, is there a help-line or some form of after-sale service that you could call for assistance when you encounter difficulty to get it to work?
Compile a document where-in you list the advantages and disadvantages of various products that you have researched. Also include the advantages that these products have compared to products traditionally used for this purpose.