Our Staff & Contributors Share Their Sustainability Tips



“I compulsively turn out lights when leaving a room. Miraculously, they’re back on next time I walk past.” A Member of the Oberfest Family (Publishers)

“My mother taught me to save the wrappers from butter to butter cake pans with. I also love ‘last object’ items — no more buying thousands of Q-Tips a year (and throwing them out.” Jamie Kageleiry (Editor)

“I collect old, broken pieces of beach fencing and make mini town names signs.” Tara Kenny (Creative Director)

“I’ve made it a habit to hang my reusable bags by the door; when I leave for the day I grab them on my way out, that way I always have them. Another bonus is they are far easier to carry than the paper bags.” Nicole Jackson (Production)

“We ‘recycle’ all our dinner prep veggies to our rabbits — corn husks, carrot tops.” Dave Plath (Production)

“I’ve started using bar Castile soap for everything: showers, handwashing, even doing the dishes (with a reusable brush). It usually comes wrapped in a single sheet of recyclable paper, so it cuts down on the number of plastic bottles, and I find it lasts longer than liquid soap.” Kelsey Perrett (Digital and Social Media)

“I’m mindful about using eco-friendly cleaning and beauty products, and reusable containers.” Jenna Lambert (Ad Sales)

“The Vitamix home composter sits on a counter and churns food scraps into lovely compost to mix into potting soil. Am I in love? Yes! Also: bamboo paper towels by ECOZOI I throw into the washing machine, which last and last. Haven’t thrown away paper towels in months. Just sayin’” Victoria Riskin (Founder)

“Wash your clothes in cold water. Use Dropps or another eco-friendly detergent. Line-dry, or try wool dryer balls. Scrape dishes, don’t rinse; fill dishwasher before running. Turn off heat dry function. Use eco-friendly, bio-based detergent without color and fragrance.” Walter and Nora McGraw (Founders)

 “Some of my Patagonia shirts go back almost to the company’s ’70s roots. I exchange them at Worn Wear for refurbished ones that I like better than their new ones.” John Abrams (A House on a Great Pond)

“I printed 500 T shirts that say ‘Ask me about thorium’ [a proposed alternative energy source], and give them out on a regular basis. But more on that another time.” Nancy Slonin Aronie (The Pleasure Theory)

“Compost your yard and food waste into great soil. It adds life and organic matter to compacted soil, and feeds vegetable and fruit trees. I use leaves, grass clippings, food waste, and manure from my chickens, and layer it like a lasagna.” Randi Baird (photos, Microgreens)

“Grow a beard. You keep all those razor blades out of the landfills. And look rakishly handsome. It’s a win-win.” Geoff Currier (Cruising with Currier)

“When I discovered Dropps laundry detergent pods, which are earth-friendly (no plastic at all!) and effective, it was a game-changer.” Mollie Doyle (Local: Lauren Morgan, Building from Scratch, Room for Change)

“I became unreasonably happy when I figured out I could use water to fuse that last sliver of soap with the new bar and thus avoid any waste.” Jeremy Driesen (photos, Local: Lauren Morgan, Building from Scratch, Cruising with Currier)

“I protect wildlife habitat and conserve water with a small, nonirrigated lawn.” Liz Durkee (Field Notes)

“My clothesline! Is there anything lovelier than slipping between crisp, line-dried sheets that smell of fresh air and sunshine at day’s end?” Leslie Garrett (editor, and What’s So Bad About…Nitrogen?)

“I try to get around by bicycle whenever possible, and in the process have sustained many injuries.” Sam Moore (Natural Neighbors)

“When it comes to kindling, my current favorite fire starter is the dried stalks from last year’s garlic harvest.” Laura D. Roosevelt (My Mother the Pinchpenny)

“To help combat the effects of fast fashion while still staying up with the latest trends, I upcycle clothing, and thrift many of my outfits.” Kyra Steck (Local: Ollie Becker, Favorite Things: Green Tech, Keep This Handbook)

“About a quarter of my wardrobe is from a company called tentree — for each product you buy, they plant 10 trees and include a little token with a digital code on it. You enter the code and can see where your trees have been planted.” Lucas Thors (Local Heroes)

“I get a lot of satisfaction from using all my scraps in my compost, so that I can use it later on in my own garden.” Elissa Turnbull (illustration, Dear Dot)

“Now that I’ve learned to grow my own microgreens, my goal for 2021 is not to buy another plastic laundry or dish detergent container, thanks in part to my discovery of GoGo Refill in Portland, Maine.” Catherine Walthers (Microgreens)

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Bluedot Living
Bluedot Living magazine is published quarterly (three times in 2021) by The Martha’s Vineyard Times, publishers of The Martha’s Vineyard Times weekly newspaper, Martha’s Vineyard Arts & Ideas Magazine, Edible Vineyard Magazine, The Local, The Minute daily newsletter, Vineyard Visitor, & the websites MVTimes.com, VineyardVisitor.com, & MVArtsandIdeas.com.

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