Umbra Fisk

Ask Umbra®

Advice for Living Green

Yours is to wonder why, hers is to answer (or try). Send your green-living questions to Umbra.

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Umbra Fisk is Grist Research Associate II, Hardcover and Periodicals Unit, floors 2B-4B.

axe umbra

Should I cut down my tree to save water in the drought?

To tree or not to tree, that is the question. Umbra says 'tis nobler to tree. The real question is, what kind?

Living

What’s the most sustainable wood for my new deck?

Redwood? Pine? That weird plastic stuff? Umbra nails it.

Living

Can I put chopsticks in the compost?

A reader wonders what to do with utensils that come with her take-out. Umbra says MSG, let me think about that.

Climate & Energy

Should I source my home power from renewable energy?

A reader wonders whether "green tags" are as good as solar or wind power. Umbra does a little clean energy 'splainin'.

Food

What are the most eco-friendly nuts?

A reader wonders what to put in his trail mix. Umbra gets nutty.

Living

Are the leftovers from home remodeling trash or treasure?

A reader wonders what to do with '80s home decor. Umbra spreads the salvage love.

Food

When I eat honey, do I hurt bees?

A reader wonders if she should avoid using beeswax, royal jelly, and honey. Umbra's answer is sweet.

Living

Is climate change killing my California dream?

A reader wonders if Cali is going to dry up and blow away. Umbra sprinkles a little wisdom on the subject.

Living

Should I kill my weeds by peeing on them?

A reader wonders if urine will get rid of unwanted weeds. Umbra says, sadly, it's piss poor.