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 owning multiple cars

Dear Umbra, Your recent column suggested that the questioners sell one of their two cars, but I can’t help wondering how much good that does …

Umbra on recycled toilet paper

Dear Umbra, The few brands of recycled-content toilet paper available are nasty. Why is it so difficult to manufacture TP that’s not from virgin trees …

Umbra on phosphates in detergents

Dear Umbra, Why haven’t phosphates been removed from dishwashing detergents like they have been from laundry detergents? I know they make your clothing look brighter, …

Umbra on LEDs

Dear Umbra, Where are the LED replacement bulbs for normal household incandescents? They’re supposed to be more efficient, cheaper, cooler, longer-lasting, and less toxic, right? …

Umbra on oil drilling and seismic activity

Dear Umbra, How is drilling for oil affecting the stabilization of our planet? I wonder how much all the drilling is disturbing the earth’s crust. …

Umbra on motivating teenagers

Dear Umbra, I’m an officer for my high school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, and we stress academic importance and help our community by …

Umbra on greener golfing

Dear Umbra, I am getting an early start on my Christmas shopping this year, and always try to find sustainable gifts whenever possible. My father …

Umbra on toxic schools

Dear Umbra, My four-year-old daughter is attending a brand-new preschool program in a brand-new building this fall. Nothing was missed in setting up the school …

Umbra on fire-fighting chemicals

Dear Umbra, Nearly every day, I can hear slurry bombers (planes that dump bright pink goo at the edges of fires) zooming overhead. I think …