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

Is it safe to drink water out of plastic pipes?

A reader wonders about copper pipes vs. PEX. Umbra plumbs the options.

Living

How can I keep my cat’s fur from coating my house?

A reader is tired of lint rollers and cat fur. Umbra sheds light.

Living

What’s my greenest tea option?

A reader wonders if there's such thing as recyclable tea packaging. Umbra strains for an answer.

Food

How do I fend off freezer burn without using plastic?

A reader says she can't keep it out -- heaven knows she's tried. Umbra says the cold never bothered those berries anyway.

Food

Please save my favorite Christmas cookies, reader begs

A reader is hard pressed to find a sustainable cookie maker. Umbra excels at pizzelles.

Living

Help! My neighbor is gassing me out with her dryer sheets!

A reader wonders how to convince her neighbor to stop using toxic dryer sheets. Umbra suggests stopping by and shooting the sea breeze.

Living

Are my faux fingernails full of toxins?

A reader frets that her nail wraps might make her sick. Umbra goes in search of the manicure.

Living

Can I justify a fake Christmas tree?

A reader wants the greenest artificial Christmas tree possible. Umbra gets real.

Living

You can totally recycle unrecyclable plastic. Right?

A reader wonders if it's OK to to recycle containers made of goodness-knows-what. Umbra says, "Goodness! No! What?"