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 wedding registries

Dear Umbra, I am getting married and would like to register for some socially and environmentally responsible household and kitchen items: pots, pans, etc. I found plenty of resources on organic cotton and hemp, but …

Umbra on vacations

Dear Umbra, My wife and I want to celebrate our 25th anniversary by taking a significant trip. We are thinking of a 10-day European vacation, possibly the Greek islands. I am conflicted by my dedication …

Umbra on carpeting

Dear Umbra, Our home is mostly wood floors, but we would like to have a carpeted den. My gut instinct is that the carpet pad (looks like the foam from the inside of a car …

Umbra on Valentine’s Day

Dear Umbra, Do you have any advice on how to have a guilt-free, pleasurable Valentine’s Day? I would like to give my husband gifts that are good for him and the environment. Krista Ashley Gadsden, …

Umbra on bamboo flooring

Dear Umbra, We will be putting in new flooring in the very near future. My first choice was hardwood, but I have recently read a lot about bamboo. Because it is renewable, it seems to …

Umbra on flooring options

Dear Umbra, If I have to replace my old carpet, what are the environmental pros and cons of the different choices? (Ceramic tile, carpet, or the laminate flooring sold at Home Depot seem to be …

Umbra on eco-friendly paint

Dear Umbra, I just bought a home that needs lots of TLC, and would like to do it in a way that is best for the environment and my health. Do you have any advice …

Umbra on cell phones vs. land lines

Dear Umbra, In this day and age, when many people seem to be getting rid of their “land lines” in favor of cell phones, I find myself wondering how these two options stack up against …

Umbra on video games

Dear Umbra, After reading some heart-rending, gut-wrenching articles on global warming, I’ve decided that I want to do something about it. I’ve started by vowing never to buy a car, or get a driver’s license. …