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 couches

Dear Umbra, I am in the market to buy a new couch (our current couch is older than me — it’s 27!). Is it better …

Umbra on ethanol

Dear Umbra, I’m a little amazed by all the bandwagon-jumping going on over E85 ethanol. I wonder if a corn-based fuel can be sustainable over …

Umbra on canola oil

Dear Umbra, I recently saw “organic canola oil” on a salad dressing bottle. I looked up the origin of canola oil, and it looks like …

Umbra on the cost of organics

Dear Umbra, How come it’s so expensive to go organic? I could swing it by myself by eating a bare minimum of food, but I’m …

Umbra on composting weeds

Dear Umbra, I’ve been weeding the garden and yard, and got to thinking about some of the more invasive plants. I’ve heard that not everything …

Umbra on building a deck

Dear Umbra, It’s spring, my house turns 100 years old this year, and I would like to celebrate by adding a deck. But what type …

Umbra on global warming and you

Dear Umbra, I love the scientific ins and outs, really I do, but what oh what can we do about global warming? And I mean …

Umbra on organic cashews

Dear Umbra, I work in a grocery store. Recently a customer refused to purchase our cashews because they weren’t organic. Does it really matter if …

Umbra on herbicides and lawns

Dear Umbra, My husband just spread some very toxic weed-killer on our lawn, and I told him there must be a safer way to get …