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Q. Any idea which vacuum cleaners are more environmentally friendly? I’m thinking made with postconsumer recycled materials, reusable filters, and low energy use, maybe other factors? Thanks!

Nick,
Concord, N.H.

A. Dearest Nick,

Back in the olden days, all we needed to keep our floors dirt-free was a stick and some bundled straw. Now, we (the carpeted among us, anyway) must rely on electricity and plastic suction machines, some of which cost hundreds of dollars, to get the house ready for company. Oh, the complications of modern life.