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: Is There an Eco-Friendly Way to Whiten My Whites?

Dear Dot, To enhance whiteness, are you suggesting to add lemon juice, white vinegar, and baking soda with the laundry strips? How much? Thank you. –Kathy Dear Kathy, While Dot is happy to let pet fur and dirt congregate in...

Dear Dot: Is Organic Food Really Better?

Dear Dot, I’m a Harvard alum and a recent article in the Gazette indicated that organic food is no better than conventionally grown. What say you, Dot?  –David The Short Answer: There are many factors that determine if organic...

Dear Dot: Is it Okay if I Plant Seed Paper? 

Dear Dot, I recently received a card that’s printed on “seed” paper — that paper that has wildflower seeds embedded in it that we, presumably, should plant. But with all the talk about planting native species,...

Dear Dot: Is Pollution the Reason for a Beautiful Sunset?

Dear Dot, I saw the most amazing sunset last night. Someone told me the beautiful red color is because of pollution? Is there any truth to that? —Whitney The Short Answer: Those vibrant colors we see at...

Dear Dot: Where Should I Buy a House?

I’m a realtor curious about how climate change is going to impact where people will want to live. What are some climate change concerns people should be considering before committing to a next home/next location? –Karen Dear...

Dear Dot: Is Fake Grass Better Than the Real Thing? 

Dear Dot, I’ve heard about artificial grass as a water-saving alternative to real grass, but if it's plastic, is the fake stuff really eco-friendly?  – Randi, San Diego The short answer: Artificial turf is not a good alternative,...

Dear Dot: Air Dry or Paper Towels?

Dear Dot, If I'm in a public bathroom and I have a choice between paper towels and an electric hand dryer, which should I choose? I imagine it depends a lot on whether those towels are...

Dear Dot: Where Can I Find Earth-Friendly Sheets?

Dear Dot, I’m looking for bed sheets that are both happy to sleep on, and aren’t bad news for our environment. What should I look for? —Dawn My dear Dawn, Are you the same Dawn who wanted to deter...

Dear Dot: Is Green Electricity More Expensive?

Dear Dot, How green is my electricity and is that why it's so expensive?  –Roberto, San Diego Dear Roberto, The forces that keep our lights on can often seem shrouded in mystery. But it’s actually not mysterious at all....

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Growing Like a Weed

Joseph Haggard’s family has been tending land in Mendocino County, California, since his great grandmother bought property there in 1936. On their farm, Emerald...

Room for Change: The Workout

A few years ago, my daughter won the high school science fair for a project that measured the microplastics that athletic leggings leach after...

Charging Up a Brighter Future of Clean Energy

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are vital for reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change. However, as critics like to point out,...