I refer to the extensive use of evaporative coolers in our city and the sad fact that some residents are switching on their coolers first thing in the morning, then going away for the day and leaving the unit running, with no one at home.
This is obviously a thoughtless waste of water.
I have found that by removing the unit's 'water bleed off' tube from the stack vent (stink pipe), adding an extension, so the tube reaches the ground, and then capturing the water bled off by the cooler into a barrel or similar, is much better than the water simply being fed into the sewer, which is the alternative.
On an typical hot day, I'm capturing about 80 litres of water which I use to keep a vegetable garden alive, together with numerous pot plants, refill the toilet system, and top up a couple of bird baths.
Ian McInnes, Tamworth
The spate of robberies occurring in the town of Armidale is of great concern.
Why are the police not doing foot patrols in the Armidale CBD and surrounds.
A presence in the streets at night would be a deterrent to these armed cowards stealing from businesses which are already struggling due to the drought.
Get out there and do the policing as should be required. Help protect our town before a fatality occurs.
Alan Gray, Armidale
Scott Morrison is another wishy-washy Liberal in the mould of John Howard and Tony Abbott.
Instead of mumbling on apologetically about 'lack of action" on (non existent) climate change he should come out with a baseball bat and hit the Greens and ALP right between the eyes with the accusation that their misguided radical policies of no backburning, no land clearing, no forest management and no dams have been the major cause of the bushfires.
Bob Vinnicombe, Sefton
Learning from disasters
The fires in Eastern Australia have caused so much destruction and loss of life that it is hard to imagine anything positive coming from this.
There is some wisdom to be gained from fighting these fires that will help in the future to prevent reoccurrences. There is a need to reduce the fuel load, as the aboriginal people have always done, by burning it when it is safe to do so.
There must be a number of ways of getting in and out of towns as escape by water using the navy is a last choice option. Information must be available which can be difficult when the electrical supply is down and mobile phones don't work. Preparation is vital.
The good that comes from this is the willingness of so many people to help from Politicians to Army reservists, who are basically volunteers. They will support the firefighters, most of whom are also volunteers, giving up their works and income to face danger supporting their neighbours and strangers.
The money offered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison will help to support the efforts of these volunteers and provide resources that they need.
The real worry however is that you will be reading more articles of fires in Australia over the southern summer period.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill
2020 vision through the smoke
2020 is not just a year; it's an expression, meaning clear or accurate vision. But our vision of the first few days of the year has been of bushfires turning day into night, and cattle, sheep and native animals dying by the hundreds of thousands.
Our vision is impeded by our watery eyes - tears of grief, or seeping discharges caused by toxic smoke. But crying doesn't help.
We know that climate change is making droughts and conflagrations far more catastrophic. Bureau of Meteorology stats show that 2019 was our hottest, driest year on record, and 2020 is not likely to be any better.
We donate to victims; we lobby for renewable energies and cleaner transport. But daily, most Australians contribute their money to the industries that cause a significant portion of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions: meat, dairy and eggs.
Cattle and sheep emit large amounts of methane, while forests are razed for grazing or to grow grains that are fed to factory farmed chickens and pigs. All these animals suffer tortuous treatments like castration, mulesing, debeaking and dehorning before their agonising deaths.
It's not only destructive, but also wasteful - more than 80% of farmland is used for animal agriculture, which produces just 18% of our food calories.
Eliminating meat and dairy and eating plant-based diets instead would free up land for reforestation. Researchers say that is the best way to store large amounts of carbon.
Let's use our 2020 vision, and head for the vegan food aisle.
PETA Australia's Special Projects Coordinator, Byron Bay