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: 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...

Dear Dot: How, eggs-actly, can I support happy hens?

Dear Dot, What is the difference between pasture-raised hens (and therefore eggs), cage-free, or free-run? I want eggs only from the happiest of hens. Rona West Tisbury Dear Rona, Oh, my hen-loving friend … your innocent question has opened up...

Dear Dot: Can I make my car more eco-friendly?

Dear Dot, I can’t afford a new electric vehicle. Is there a way to make my internal combustion engine more energy-efficient? Does it matter what grade fuel I use? Poppy MacCormack Oak Bluffs Dear Poppy, For too long, the notion...

Dear Dot: Climate change is overwhelming. Where do I begin?

Dot tackles your thorniest questions from a perch on her porch. Dear Dot, Where do I start? –Overwhelmed in Edgartown My dear Overwhelmed, In 2004, I had three young children and a nascent awareness that their future on earth, this...

Dear Dot: How can I help the monarch butterflies in my backyard?

Dot tackles your thorniest questions from a perch on her porch. Dear Dot, I was told that monarch butterfly cocoons were developing in the bottlebrush near my house, but this year there were fewer than last year....

Dear Dot: What’s the deal with eco-friendly laundry detergents?

Dot tackles your thorniest questions from a perch on her porch. Dear Dot, Ads for laundry strips have been showing up in my Facebook feed, touting their eco-friendliness. Do they work? Also … what are laundry strips? –The...

Dear Dot: Can I compost coffee and tea?

Dot tackles your thorniest questions from a perch on her porch. Dear Dot, Someone told me that used coffee grounds are really good for my backyard compost. Is that true? Where can I get some? –Tea Drinker, Tisbury Dear...

Dear Dot: How do I reduce my microplastics?

Dot tackles your thorniest questions from a perch on her porch. Dear Dot,  I’ve been reading about the volume of microplastics in our oceans and waterways, and am concerned about what can be done to reduce my...

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What’s So Bad About … Carbon?

Carbon is the chemical backbone of all life on Earth. But when we release too much into our atmosphere it threatens life on our...

Building the M.V. Atlas of Life

An Island biologist gets help from the community to fill in the blanks. A long morning walk with Matt Pelikan can go all of 400...

The No Nukes Festival: A day of music, friendship, and hope

The No Nukes Festival was held on Martha’s Vineyard 45 years ago, and there are still plenty of people on the Island who not...

Farley Pedler Built a Small House, and Then He Built a Bigger One

A builder takes a passive progressive approach to building for his family and his Island. Farley Pedler, an Island builder who specializes in energy-efficient and...

Laurie David and her 2021 Nissan Leaf

For our second issue of Blue Dot Living I’m taking a cruise with environmental activist Laurie David in her Nissan Leaf. Before working full-time...