Last week I asked readers for ideas about solutions to pollution.
Thanks to those who responded. There were some great ideas including one from a readers who said, "It is unfortunate that we have seen two PM10 breaches this winter already in Hawke's Bay. These are dangerous levels that will negatively impact children, older people and people with pre-existing health conditions."
They said that "dangerous pollutants are a function of burning wet wood." I have heard this before.
The reader reckons that the strategy of implementing compliant wood burners only is wrong. They said burning compliant dry wood needs to part of the compliance.
It would be hard to monitor this, but if people were made more aware of the fact that burning green wood is not only bad for the environment but also the humans and animals in it, maybe it could make a difference.
I don't think that wet wood would be much cheaper than dry and in any case burning wet wood is in the end not cost efficient because you get less heat and you most likely use more wood piling it on trying to get a decent fire burning.
As I said last week, in the middle of winter if wet wood is all you have and the children are freezing, that fire is going to be lit. I totally understand that.
Part of the problem is that in summer, people don't want to think about winter. So along comes winter and suddenly there's no getting away from it.
But a call to a wood merchant at this time of the year will likely result in a load of wet wood because there are people out there that do plan ahead and they have all the nice dry wood in their sheds.
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I also thought it would be a great idea if the Hawke's Bay Power Consumers' Trust dividend cheques were distributed in June or July rather than toward the end of the year.
Last year power consumers received $220 — that would be a huge help to pay those winter power bills.
I know of a single parent with a young child living in a little two-bedroom flat who is paying $200 a month in power. They have no choice but to use the heat pump, there is no other form of heating.
A $200 cheque arriving in the mail on a frosty cold morning would make their day — their month probably.
Going back to the reader, here's some advice from them: "You will find that the HB Regional Council has a Good Wood Merchant scheme with approved merchants."
Might just pay to check that out.
FOOTNOTE: There are many reasons I love living in Hawke's Bay but one of the best things about our region is the people.
Go for a walk or a bike ride or simply walk along the street and people greet you with a smile, a nod or say hello.
On Saturday I was at the Hawke's Bay Airport to pick up some family. I got there a little early, just before 5pm, so thought I would have a glass of wine while I waited.
Ummm no, I was out of luck. The cafe, at just before 5pm on a Saturday, was closed. When I asked the person behind the counter what time they closed they said 4.30-5pm.
Anyway I sat beside a woman and within seconds we were chatting away as if we had known each other for years. So hello Heather, I hope you are having a great time with your family.
Oh one other thing about the airport. At last we have a baggage carousel. Pity it takes longer to get your luggage than it did with the good old tractor and trailer.
Linda Hall is Hawke's Bay Today's premium content editor.