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: Does Recycled Toilet Paper Really Make a Difference?

Dear Dot, My husband is harping about the toilet paper I purchase, the super-soft kind that’s easy on my delicate nether region. He says I’m a tree killer and that it’s bad for our septic. But...

Dear Dot: Do Trees Reduce Pollution?

Dear Dot, The other day we were talking about how much oxygen a tree can produce from CO2 and we got to wondering — do trees remove particulate matter from the air too? –Will, Seattle Dear Will, Trees sprout,...

Dear Dot: How Do I Dispose of Cooking Oils?

Dear Dot,  I recently read an article about “fatbergs” in our sewers and I’m afraid I might have been part of the problem. I’m wondering what is the best way to dispose of cooking oil? —Concerned Cook,...

Dear Dot: How Do I Find Sustainable Coffee?

Dear Dot,Coffee, how do I choose? It says locally brewed but does that mean it’s better for the environment? What do all those labels mean? What should I look for?–Curious Coffee Connoisseur Dear Triple C, I, too,...

Dear Dot: Why Aren’t Electric Vehicle Chargers Universal?

Dear Dot, I read in Bluedot Living (Cruising with Currier, Spring 2022) that Tesla plans to open its charging stations to electric vehicles that aren’t Teslas. I drive a Volvo plug-in hybrid and have discovered on...

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: 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: Is Parchment Paper Reusable?

Dear Dot, I’ve been doing a lot of holiday baking. Can I reuse or recycle my parchment paper?  –Nancy Dear Nancy,  As long as there’s no discoloration, feel free to reuse your parchment paper a few times. While...

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In A Word: Mitumba

mitumba in British English (mɪˈtʊmbə) NOUN a. used clothes imported for sale in African countries from more developed western countries b. (as modifier) the mitumba economy If you’ve ever considered whether...