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.

Living

The chemicals in my couch are disrupting my WHAT?

A reader discovers fire retardants in her upholstery. Umbra tries to cushion the blow.

Green defense

What’s the greenest option for painting a fence?

A reader is on the fence about paint vs. stain. Umbra offers a quick primer.

Living

What’s the greenest way to keep my fireplace burning?

A reader wonders about clean-burning, efficient fireplace fuels. Umbra gets the specs on wood, propane, natural gas, and electric -- and she's just getting warmed up.

Spirits Animal

What’s the greenest way to get drunk?

A reader wants to drink alcohol without hurting the environment. Umbra bears with him.

hung out to dry

Do I have to hang up my gardening tools during the drought?

A reader wonders if her green thumb has to go for the sake of saving water. Umbra says she can grow her kale and eat it, too.

Living

How much water does a lawn really need?

A reader frets that her employer runs the sprinklers non-stop. Umbra says over-watering is a total turnoff.

Living

Do I really need to rinse my recyclables?

A reader wonders if he should bust out the scrub brush. Umbra says he'd be nutella not to.

Living

What kind of laundry soap is lightest on the land?

A reader wonders whether to go with liquid or powder. Umbra gives him the straight scoop.

Living

Will I poison myself if I reuse this plastic water bottle?

A reader tries to ease his bottled-water guilt by using the bottle more than once. Umbra tells him to put a cork in it.

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