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.

For even more green goodness, you can follow Umbra on Twitter (@AskUmbra) or become a fan on Facebook.

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

Shining Us On

Do this cleaning product’s eco-claims actually mean anything?

Wondering what "eco-friendly" and "natural" really mean on product labels? Advice maven Ask Umbra dusts off a few common terms.

Sweet Lowdown

Is sugar production still wrecking the Everglades?

A Floridian wonders if he should buy local sugar despite its wetlands-wrecking wreputation. Advice columnist Umbra Fisk says the answer is crystal clear.

Auld Lang Sign-off

Here’s what a year of green advice boils down to

What a year for burning questions! Advice maven Umbra Fisk reviews the top topics that had readers asking for eco-help in 2015 -- and reminds us all of a few ways to live greener.

Dispensing Wisdom

What’s the greener choice, bar soap or body wash?

When tubby time comes around, should you grab a bar of soap or a bottle of body wash? Advice maven Umbra Fisk says this is one question with a clear winner.

Dreck the Halls

How to get rid of Christmas garbage, from lights to mistletoe

Tis the season to be jolly -- and wasteful as all get out. Advice maven Umbra Fisk dispenses a few tips for what to do with your holiday trash.

Fit to Be TDI'd

Is lusting after a Volkswagen an environmental sin?

A reader is conflicted about whether to buy a new VW, what with all the recent emissions-evading sneakiness -- so advice maven Umbra Fisk suggests a few rules of the road.

Hot and Bothered

What is that freakin’ dial on my radiator?

A frustrated expat writes back home to Ask Umbra how his radiators work. Though she's no building super, she is a super-sleuth -- and she tracks down an answer to help him keep his cool.

Soda Jerk

How much energy does a soda machine waste?

You love your Coke, but what's it costing the planet? Among other things, a whole lot of wasted energy. Advice maven Ask Umbra explains.

Oeno Files

How should I clean wine spills? And what to do with mesh veggie bags?

In this season of too much food and drink, readers have an abundance of questions about puny-but-perplexing kitchen products -- and advice maven Umbra Fisk cooks up answers.