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.

Umbra on peeing in the shower

Dear Umbra, Is it suitable to justify peeing (urinating) while showering in order to save a toilet flush? Any health issues to your feet or …

Umbra on organic liquors

Hi Umbra, After an epic weekend of drinking, I realized I’ve never seen or heard about any organic liquors. I’ve seen organic beer and wine, …

Umbra on oil and plastic

Dear Umbra, How much oil is used to make a pound (or some other comparable measure) of typical plastics? Melody Evans Paris, Ill. Dearest Melody, …

Umbra on chlorine

Dear Umbra, So I’ve been buying unbleached diapers for my baby, using chlorine-free laundry and dish soaps and non-chlorine bleached paper, and generally thinking that’s …

Umbra on landfills vs. incinerators

Hi Umbra, Is there an environmentally preferable choice between sending your trash to a landfill or an incinerator? I know to think of the three …

Umbra on disposing of toxic chemicals

Dear Umbra, Now that I’ve caught the environmental bug, I don’t know what to do with the toxic cleaning products (e.g., Ajax) that I have …

Umbra on insulation, again

Dear Umbra, You’re wrong, you can blow in insulation yourself. At every Home Depot I’ve been to, you can buy either fiberglass loose-fill insulation or …

Umbra on boiling water for tea

Dear Umbra, My roommates seem to be constantly boiling water for tea. We’ve got a gas stove, a microwave, and an electric teakettle. However, we …

Umbra on air quality and temperature

Dear Umbra, Is there a relationship between air quality and temperature? I thought about this on my bike ride to work this morning when the …