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: What do all those sustainability certifications mean?

Dear Dot,  I never know what to think about the sustainability certification labels on various products. Are they reliable?  –Michael Dear Dot, I recently bought a piece of FSC-certified furniture from Pottery Barn. That’s a win, yes? –Victoria Dear Michael and...

Dear Dot: Can I use food past its expiration date?

Dear Dot, How accurate are the best-before dates on packages? What can I do with non-compostable food, like meat and cheese and yogurt that have gone bad? –J.K. Dear J.K., Just last week I unearthed a block of blue...

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: 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: 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: 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...

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Cleo’s Clean Cooking: Best Ever Flourless Chocolate Brownies

Cleo Carney is a high school junior in Ottawa, Canada, and part of the Bluedot team. In addition to being an adventurous baker who...

Mr. Fix-it: How to Repair Roof Shingles

Mr. Fix-it helps you get more life out of your stuff. Why buy something new if you can fix what you've got? In this...

Floodplain Restoration Offers Hope for California’s Endangered Fish

California’s wetlands and floodplains are making a comeback. For decades, agricultural expansion and worsening drought conditions in the state have drained waterways and threatened...

Meet Caroline MacDougall: Founder of Teeccino

Caroline MacDougall was working as Minister of Herbs, sourcing herbs from around the world for the Republic of Tea, when she had a dream....

RECIPE: Plant-Based Caramelized Onion Soup with Cheese Toasts

Serves 6 French-style onion soup is a comfort food that can be remade without the traditional beef stock. It’s easier, healthier — and perfect for...