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.

Business & Technology

What’s the best solar charger for my cellphone?

A reader needs a better solar charger, and he's buying on a budget. Umbra plugs him in.

Living

Which water cooler is coolest?

A reader wonders which is more energy efficient, bottle-fed water coolers or the newfangled point-of-use kind. Umbra distills the answers.

Business & Technology

What’s the most energy-efficient way to charge my cellphone?

A reader wonders if it's better to plug into the wall or his laptop. Umbra hooks him up with the latest in charger technology.

Food

Which protein is lighter on the land, chicken or cheese?

A reader is trying to fromage an opinion on protein. Umbra helps him poulet his head out of the dairy air.

Living

How many times can I use a towel before it gets gross?

A reader wants to dry off responsibly. Umbra brings out the fold standby.

For whom the road tolls

Could pay-to-play lanes solve urban gridlock?

A reader wonders if HOT lanes, open to carpoolers and people with money to burn, are an improvement on standard HOV lanes. Umbra gets him out of his jam.

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.

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