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.

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.

Yes We Can

My mother-in-law died. What should I do with her expired cans of food?

Is it better to send old food to the landfill or down the drain? And how can we tame the food-waste beast in our kitchens? Umbra Fisk cooks up an answer.

Hot Cross Buns

Is it OK to run my car’s seat heater this winter?

Heated car seats are one of life's little luxuries -- but are they energy efficient? And does it even matter? Advice maven Umbra Fisk offers a cheeky take on the issue.

Permanent Depress

The dirty secrets of dry cleaning

Advice maven Umbra Fisk adopts a not-so-casual attitude to the question of dry cleaning, one of our most toxic personal habits.

Wattle I Do?

What’s the best way to transport my Thanksgiving leftovers?

When packing up Thanksgiving leftovers for future gobbling, which container is best? Advice maven Umbra Fisk dishes up an answer.

Grounds for Dismissal

Ground or instant coffee: Flavor aside, which is better for the planet?

Sure, you love your artisanal beans -- but could instant coffee be better for the planet? Advice maven Umbra Fisk sniffs around for an answer.

Feline Groovy

How green is your cat’s food?

What's really in cat food? A vegan pet owner wants to know, and Umbra has the purr-fect answer.