x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Practice recycling and water preservation

I find it amusing that the UAE continues to vie for the spotlight with its green initiatives when some of the most basic environmental programmes go overlooked or are not enforced here.

I find it amusing that the UAE continues to vie for the spotlight with its green initiatives when some of the most basic environmental programmes go overlooked or are not enforced here. Elsewhere in the world, recycling is and has been at the forefront of all things to do with preservation. I recognise that the emirates are taking steps in this direction as the options to recycle are at least now available in some instances, whereas they were practically unheard of even three years ago. However, I still live in a neighbourhood in Abu Dhabi in which recycling is not available at all, let alone readily accessible.

The other issue in which I think the emirates have a long way to go towards earning a green tag is water conservation. In many parts of the world there are water preservation bans that prevent people from watering lawns and parks during the peak sunlight hours to avoid "burn-off", the case in which none of the water actually even makes it to the grassroots (and can actually dry out the grass more).  

Yet daily across the emirates one can witness probably millions of gallons of water during sunlight hours wasted in trying to keep the desert green. If this were done in the very early morning or late evening hours - such a simple fix - the practice would actually merit better results for the grass itself, and make the emirates a little greener in the process. Richard Shane, Abu Dhabi

The article Text messages to warn of bad road conditions (June 17), detailed a government plan to alert drivers to fog or sandstorms. What concerns me is hundreds of drivers reading the text messages on their phones when they are supposed to be concentrating on driving. It would be better for the police, weather department and municipality to co-ordinate with radio and TV stations to issue these warnings in a timely fashion as this will be a safer option and have better coverage of the public. Text messages will compound the effect of the adverse conditions. Richard Taylor, Abu Dhabi

With reference to the article Government calls US criticism over trafficking 'disappointing' (June 17), it is undoubtedly disappointing to find one's home country being on the watch list, as defined by the report, but this shouldn't lead to any smugness by those of us from countries that happen to be higher up the league in Tier 1 or 2.

The 2009 report places the UK, where I come from, in Tier 1. But the report's findings about the UK begin: "The UK is a significant destination and, to a lesser extent, transit country for women, children, and men trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour." And in case there is any suspicion of bias about the source of the report itself, although the US itself is not ranked by tier, the 2009 report's assessment of the US begins: "The US is a destination country for thousands of men, women, and children trafficked largely from Mexico and East Asia ? for the purposes of sexual and labour exploitation." These reports are clearly uncomfortable and disappointing reading for people of all nationalities. TS, UK

The latest My Word column by Colin Randall (Snollygoster gets my vote, on Facebook at least, June 12), devoted to strange new words, reminds me of a time when I felt obliged to invent a new word for the English language. In 1973, I was given a fairly inconsequential desk job at BOAC. One of my tasks was to allocate to our overseas managers seats on lightly loaded flights which they could give away for promotional purposes.

I discovered that there was no noun for a person having an allocation so to reduce at least four words to one I decided they should be called allocates.Perhaps it was my age (30) or my recent location (the US) but my invention was universally condemned. I have no idea what happened after I moved to my next position. I've often wondered if my invention lasted. Allocate - someone who receives an allocation. Philip Howells, UK

Georgia Lewis lambasted the idea of packaging Vegemite with cream cheese in her article Who dares meddle with Vegemite? (June 17). So very true. Vegemite should not be fiddled with. At least the vegemite and cream cheese will be an additional product and hopefully we will still be able to buy real Vegemite. Robyn Lewis, New Zealand