Dear Dot ™

Dear Dot is here to answer all your sustainable living questions from her perch on the porch. Got a question for Dot? Send her a note for a chance to be featured in an upcoming issue.

More Articles

Dear Dot: Why Can’t I Compost Certain Foods?

Dear Dot, Why can’t you compost cheese, yogurt, or meat?  —Nina Maruca, via email Dear Nina, I am meticulous about clearing my plate. Even so, the occasional meat scrap or piece of cheese evades my stomach. And I feel...

Dear Dot: How Can I Recycle Plastic Bags?

Dear Dot,We used to be able to take plastic bags to Stop and Shop . Is there any other option locally? Stop and Shop stopped taking them.—Jana Bertkau Dear Jana,The eldest of my Young Dots recently...

Dear Dot: Is It Time to Ditch Diamond Engagement Rings?

Dear Dot, My longtime partner and I are planning to get married. I don’t usually go for a lot of the conventional stuff but we have decided to give each other rings. I’ve heard some nasty...

Dear Dot: Is some organic cotton a scam?

Dear Dot,I recently read an article exposing some of the organic cotton market as fraudulent. I want to do the right thing but I don’t want to support the bad guys. What should I look...

Dear Dot: Compost or Recycle Paper and Cardboard?

Dear Dot, In my town, we have curbside paper/cardboard recycling, but we also have municipal composting that accepts paper/cardboard. Is it better to recycle paper or compost it? —Nikki Dear Nikki, When I first considered your question, I...

Dear Dot: I’m Having Easter Anxiety

Dear Dot,When I was a child the Easter bunny would come to my house and leave a special basket filled with plastic straw, candy, and a new stuffed bunny to add to the pile. I...

Dear Dot: Should I ever turn down my hot water heater?

Dear Dot, What should I do with the temperature on my water heater when I leave for a week’s vacation? –Wayne, West Tisbury Dear Wayne, Your question raises something of a tempest in a water heater. On the one...

Dear Dot: Where do batteries go when they die?

Dear Dot, I seem to have a lot of battery-operated gadgets in my home. Should I switch over entirely to rechargeables? –Laura, Vineyard Haven Dear Laura, The short answer to your question is — yes, switch out those disposable...

Dear Dot: Is grass-fed beef any more sustainable than grain-fed?

Dear Dot I recently read that grass-fed beef is not better than grain-fed for greenhouse gas emissions and, in fact, may be worse. What does Dot know about that? –Robert, Chilmark Dear Robert, What Dot knows is that, many...

Discover

Trending

POLL: How Much Meat Do You Eat?

What statement best describes your recent at-home menu:I eat much less meat than I used to because I know it makes an impact on...

Dear Dot: Why Can’t I Compost Certain Foods?

Dear Dot, Why can’t you compost cheese, yogurt, or meat?  —Nina Maruca, via email Dear Nina, I am meticulous about clearing my plate. Even so, the occasional meat...

QUIZ: Sparrow Sounds

Quiz: This one's for the birds.How many songs does a typical sparrow sing?Sharp birders will note that this painting is not of a sparrow,...

Dear Dot: How Can I Recycle Plastic Bags?

Dear Dot,We used to be able to take plastic bags to Stop and Shop . Is there any other option locally? Stop and Shop...

In a Word: Soft Fascination

When Spencer Kelly was in grade five, his teacher became exasperated by what she called his “daydreaming.” While the other kids had turned to...