Ask Umbra®

The New York Times calls Umbra Fisk "a trailblazer in the field of eco-advice columnists" and "the arch online sage of the new green age." Her latest passion: kale smoothies ... no, sorry, civic engagement, because getting political is the only way we'll get a planet that doesn't burn and a future that doesn't suck. Ask Umbra a question here.

Getting warmer

What’s a greener way to heat my home?

A reader wonders which is better -- a heat pump or a high-efficiency gas furnace. Advice columnist Umbra Fisk warms to the topic.

Coral fixation

Is it bad to buy coral products?

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk dives deep to find answers.

I'm cuckoo for coconuts

Are coconut products bad for the environment?

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk takes a hard look at coconut oil, water, milk, and sugar.

winging it

What type of plane is least bad for the planet?

No plane is good for the climate, but some are better than others. Advice columnist Umbra Fisk reveals why.

sunny day real estate

What’s better: New solar panels or old hydropower?

A reader wonders about the benefits of solar panels since her local grid is already pretty green. Umbra plugs in.

Waste watchers

What should you do with your food scraps?

Is it better to put food waste down the garbage disposal or in the trash? Advice columnist Umbra Fisk weighs in.

The Big Bank Theory

Is your bank funding the Dakota Access Pipeline? Here’s how to find a new bank.

Dozens of big banks have made loans to the company building the controversial pipeline. Take your money elsewhere, advises Umbra Fisk.

Things and arrows

Here’s something that could make recycling a lot easier

Figuring out recycling can be vexing, but new labels now appearing on products should help, says advice columnist Umbra Fisk.

Getting warmer

Hot tips for getting your compost pile cooking

Advice columnist Umbra Fisk has simple suggestions for revving up the backyard compost heap.