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.

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Dear Dot: Are carbon offsets a flight of fancy?

Dear Dot After almost two years of staying put during COVID, I flew to California to see friends and family on JetBlue. The captain proudly announced that Jet Blue had a carbon offset program so that...

Dear Dot: What’s the greenest Christmas Tree?

Dear Dot, I know the old fake Christmas trees are awful, made of petroleum products and the souls of children. But what about the new fakes, made of recycled plastic bottles? They’re good, right? —Max, Vineyard Haven Dear...

Dear Dot: Should I bother with solar panels?

Dear Dot, I was considering getting solar panels on my roof but with the approval of Vineyard Wind, should I bother? And how will Vineyard Wind affect my power bill?  Charlotte Duncan, Edgartown Dear Charlotte, Seems a number of...

Dear Dot: What to do about all our damn packaging?

Dear Dot, Is there any service on the island for recycling soft plastics? We get a lot of packages in the mail, and it would be an excellent thing to have somewhere to process all the...

Dear Dot: Can we give the leaf-blowers a vacation?

Dear Dot, My wife hates leaf blowers. I love them. Is there a solution that doesn’t involve divorce lawyers? DK, Vineyard Haven Dear DK, Ah the sounds of fall, when the squeals of osprey give way to the whine...

Dear Dot: Is there a wildlife-friendly way to get rid of mice?

Dear Dot, About 15 years ago my house sitter threw away all the mouse poison I had left around our barn and the outside of our home. She rightly pointed out that I was potentially killing...

Dear Dot: Can I assist migrating birds?

Dear Dot,  I’ve been enjoying the birds that are making their way south. Is there anything I can do to help make their trip better? Elle G., Vineyard Haven Dear Elle, Though the Vineyard tends to miss a lot...

Dear Dot: How should I clean my veggies?

Dear Dot, Do I need to purchase a special wash for fruits and vegetables, or is it enough to give them a good rinse with water?  Will Chilmark Dear Will, For many years, I made my own fruit and veggie...

Dear Dot: How do I get my household on the eco-bandwagon?

Dear Dot,  I am feeling hopeful. I've dispensed with plastic baggies to preserve food, and upped my game on recycling. I buy organic, and try to get out of the market without too much plastic, and...

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Dear Dot, where should I donate?

Dear Dot, One of my New Year’s resolutions is to donate to environmental causes. But where is my money best spent?  —Les, Tisbury Dear Les, When I was...

Eyeing the Future of Eyewear

With Genusee Eyewear, Ali Rose VanOverbeke aims to disrupt the industry and solve a local crisis. You might have noticed the cool sunglasses Laurie David...

Island Wrapping Company provides a solution to wasteful gift-wrap

Breaking news from the North Pole: Santa is going green. Bryn Mahoney, Martha’s Vineyard resident and founder of Island Wrapping Company, came up with...

Wine + Peace = Planet-Saving Imbibing

Buy wine, and save the environment This just in from Vineyarder Sam Decker (you might remember his early days as a sommelier at Atria, among...

Dear Dot: Are carbon offsets a flight of fancy?

Dear Dot After almost two years of staying put during COVID, I flew to California to see friends and family on JetBlue. The captain proudly...