Umbra Fisk

Ask Umbra®

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.

Guilt flip

If I use clean power, can I crank up the AC without guilt?

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk explains what it really means when you buy renewable electricity from your utility.

Baking soda jerk

Where does baking soda come from, and is it really so eco-friendly?

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk digs down to find out about the mining and manufacturing processes used to produce baking soda.

Flip sync battle

Should you always turn the lights out when leaving a room?

A reader wonders if it's wasteful to flip lights on and off too quickly. Advice columnist Umbra Fisk offers an illuminating answer.

Wishful drinking

What kind of liquor is best for the environment?

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk pours forth intelligence on rum, tequila, whiskey, vodka, and gin.

Bubble jeopardy

Is my sparkling-water maker terrible for the environment?

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk dives into the world of seltzer and fizzy drinks.

A stinging indictment

What’s the greenest way to get rid of hornets and yellow jackets?

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk investigates ways to tackle stinging insects without toxic chemicals.

Laundry quandary

Is your front-loading washer smelly or moldy? Here’s how to fix that.

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk sniffs around for the best green ways to keep your washing machine spic-and-span.

Not so slick

Is your personal lube causing water pollution?

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk peeks under the covers of the lube market to find out.

Happiness is a warm floor, yes it is

How green is radiant floor heating?

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk warms to the topic of efficient home heating systems.