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 CFL recycling

Dear Umbra, So what happens to compact fluorescent light bulbs in the hands of the “hazardous-waste people”? Is the mercury reclaimed and reused, or merely …

Umbra on old clothes

Dear Umbra, I promise that I searched the archives before emailing you, so hopefully you haven’t already answered this question. I’m wondering about the best …

Umbra on moving

Dear Umbra, Is there such a thing as “green movers”? I want to transport furniture from L.A. to Seattle and wonder if any movers use …

Umbra on shower curtains

Dear Umbra, You have successfully instilled the fear of all things vinyl in me. Now the big question is: with what do I replace my …

Umbra on replacing light bulbs

Dear Umbra, I am reluctant to switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs because that means tossing out not only used-but-still-working incandescent bulbs, but also the …

Umbra on farmers’ markets and food stamps

Dear Umbra, Do organic grocers take food stamps? Do farmers’ markets? If not, what do ecologically/health-minded people on fixed incomes do? David Burch South Bend, …

Umbra on personal fans

Dear Umbra, So the weather is turning hot again. I got my electric fans out of the closet. On the back of these, there are …

Umbra on smelly CFLs (and mercury too)

Dear Umbra, We have been replacing our incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, but we notice that the compact fluorescents have an odd smell. …

Umbra on CFLs and dimmers

Dearest Umbra, Are there compact fluorescent bulbs for lights on dimmer switches? Why can’t I use regular CFLs in dimmers? Dimly, Julia L. Ottawa, Ontario, …