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 post.

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Dear Dot: What Is a Smart Plug?

Dear Dot, What is a smart plug? –Julia Dennis The Short Answer: A smart plug is a device (available on Amazon) that plugs into an outlet and into which you can plug appliances and other devices. You can...

Dear Dot: Will New Electric Charging Roads Charge My Hybrid Vehicle?

Dear Dot, I recently bought a new Hyundai hybrid vehicle. I heard that Detroit (one of my favorite cities) is installing new roads that will recharge electric car engines. Will they also charge my hybrid electric? –Karen Dear...

Dear Dot: Help Me Get Rid of Gophers (or Groundhogs?)

Dear Dot, How can I remove gophers from my yard? We are trying a live trap but they go past and are eating roots off all plants and even my huge collection of aloe vera. Please...

Dear Dot: Are There Rebates to Replace Knob-and-Tube Wiring (So I Can Electrify My Home)?

Dear Dot, I have found that I cannot take advantage of energy efficient programs due to knob-and-tube wiring. Is there a rebate program to rewire a small house allowing me to move forward toward a more...

Dear Dot: How Can I Smell Good Without Toxic Chemicals?

Dear Dot, I like to wear fragrance. Is there a company that will make me smell great but has healthy ingredients for both me and the planet? – Bobbi The Short Answer: Check out databases like Think Dirty or EWG’s Skin...

Dear Dot: Is There an Eco-Friendly Way to Whiten My Whites?

Dear Dot, To enhance whiteness, are you suggesting to add lemon juice, white vinegar, and baking soda with the laundry strips? How much? Thank you. –Kathy Dear Kathy, While Dot is happy to let pet fur and dirt congregate in...

Dear Dot: Is Organic Food Really Better?

Dear Dot, I’m a Harvard alum and a recent article in the Gazette indicated that organic food is no better than conventionally grown. What say you, Dot?  –David The Short Answer: There are many factors that determine if organic...

Dear Dot: Is it Okay if I Plant Seed Paper? 

Dear Dot, I recently received a card that’s printed on “seed” paper — that paper that has wildflower seeds embedded in it that we, presumably, should plant. But with all the talk about planting native species,...

Dear Dot: Should I Burn Paper or Send it to Landfill?

Dear Dot, I am charged with supplying toilet paper in public toilets. This consists of replacing eighty to 100 rolls per week, leaving me with 80 – 100 tubes and wrappers. Which is worse for the...

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