Umbra Fisk

Ask Umbra®

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.

A Fit of Peak

Is charging my phone at night a smooth environmental move?

When a reader in Connecticut wonders whether it matters what time of day he charges his laptop and phone, advice maven Umbra Fisk powers up a nerd-tastic response.

I Don't Mean to Nag

Should I buy a horsehair mattress?

Let's face it, mattress shopping sucks. But are some options greener than others? Advice maven Umbra Fisk lays down a few important truths.

Det-Urgent Matters

Should I wash my clothes in the shower?

His apartment has no washing machine and he hates the Laundromat -- what to do? Advice maven Umbra Fisk to the rescue!

Contain Your Excitement

What kind of to-go containers should I use at my new restaurant?

A budding eco-restaurateur wonders what her options are for to-go containers, so advice maven Umbra Fisk pulls up a seat at La Table du Leftovers.

Grocery Point Blank

My city banned plastic bags — now where am I supposed to recycle them?

A zealous city banned plastic bags -- then got rid of the bag-recycling bins too. Stuck with a bunch of bags, a reader asks advice maven Umbra Fisk how to handle the situation.

For Those About to Ride, We Sa-Lube You

Is there such a thing as eco-friendly bike lube?

Is bike lube bad for the planet, and is it possible to make your own? Advice maven Umbra Fisk saddles up to help a cyclist from Virginia find out.

Tall or Nothing

Is a one-story house more energy-efficient?

When it comes to energy use, are two stories better than one? Advice maven Ask Umbra explores the ups and downs of efficient housing.

Heavy Petting

How to green your pet’s life, from cat condos to dog toys

Advice-giver extraordinaire Umbra Fisk fetches answers for readers who are seeking greener options for Fluffy and Fido.

Shining Us On

Do this cleaning product’s eco-claims actually mean anything?

Wondering what "eco-friendly" and "natural" really mean on product labels? Advice maven Ask Umbra dusts off a few common terms.