Umbra Fisk

Ask Umbra®

Advice for Living Green

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

Living

Rechargeable batteries: Which are the most eco-friendly?

There are many ways to juice your gadgets without throwing away mountains of dead batteries. Umbra charges through the options.

Living

When the Big One hits, here’s some of the gear you’re going to need

Disaster prep isn't a realm in which to get too obsessive about sustainability, but it makes all sorts of sense to stock your own kit, Umbra advises.

Living

Balloon releases at college football games? Sack that custom

A reader wants to know how his college's customary balloon swarm affects the environment. Umbra offers a crash course.

Living

The secret ingredient in your homemade jam may be coming from the lid

Sure, there's less BPA in use these days -- but, a reader asks Umbra, what about the plastics that replaced it in our cans and bottle tops?

Living

What should you think about when buying essential oils?

It takes tons of plants to make those little phials of essential oils, so the "how" really matters. Umbra offers a guide for the oil-concerned.

Living

Water cooler talk: Should our office ditch that big fat upside down jug?

Is that big jug a sensible way to achieve workday hydration? Or should we just be drinking from the tap? Umbra dives right in for an answer.

Food

Does it matter if my salad greens come in a bag or a box?

If you just can't deal with washing your lettuce yourself, is it better to go for a plastic bag or a plastic box? Umbra has a clear answer.

Living

What’s the best way to get rid of rats?

Umbra counsels a rat-ridden reader to forego the poisons, which tend to harm indiscriminately, and find better ways to remove a rodent.

Living

Two-day shipping: Free to you, but how costly to the planet?

The journey your package takes doesn't have to be a guilt(y) trip. But the faster you want it, the more likely you'll be doing some damage, green-ly speaking.