Umbra Fisk

Ask Umbra®

Advice for Living Green

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Umbra Fisk is Grist Research Associate II, Hardcover and Periodicals Unit, floors 2B-4B.

Umbra on seltzer bottles

Dear Umbra, I love drinking fizzy water, especially in the summer, but I am appalled to learn that the plastic bottles use petroleum in their …

Umbra on returnable bottles

Hi Umbra, I’ve been wondering lately what happened to the returnable bottles that were so common up until some point in the ’70s. Why did …

Umbra on albedo

Hi Umbra, Can we make small changes to increase the albedo in the Northern Hemisphere? Choose white or light-colored autos (white is safer, anyway), white …

Umbra on cane toads

Dear Umbra, I’m currently studying in Australia. I was recently in Queensland, where as you probably know, cane toads are a huge problem. There are …

Umbra on fighting pests with pests

Dear Umbra, I have a pest problem in my backyard — specifically, some tiny (but apparently hungry) insect is making lace out of my basil …

Umbra on graduation gifts

Dear Umbra, The recent question about a senior gift to the school got me wondering: what are some green gift ideas for graduates? Misty Boyd …

Umbra on class gifts, again

Dear Umbra, My class also wants to give a greener gift when we graduate in 2008. We are starting to plan, and though your suggestion …

Umbra on online shopping

Hi Umbra, A friend and I were recently discussing a conundrum about purchasing products from companies that have physical retail outlets and online purchasing, like …

Umbra on watering the yard

Dear Umbra, Thanks for your good advice about water conservation. You failed to mention the largest (unnecessary) water user in most U.S. homes: outdoor plant …