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.

For even more green goodness, you can follow Umbra on Twitter (@AskUmbra) or become a fan on Facebook.

Umbra Fisk is Grist Research Associate II, Hardcover and Periodicals Unit, floors 2B-4B.


Ask Umbra: What’s better than butter? Spreads will roll

Olive oil from the fridge? Apple sauce? Prunes? Our green advice guru explores a tub full of butter substitutes.


Ask Umbra: Can I feed feral pigs to Fido? Should I?

If invasive species like wild boar are running amok, why not turn them into pet food? Umbra cuts through the mystery meat for an answer.


Ask Umbra: How do I clean my too-green roof?

A reader is on a mission to rid her roof of moss. Umbra says the ladder days are coming.


Ask Umbra: What should I get my sweetie for Valentine’s Day?

A reader wonders about eco-friendly jewelry. Umbra says go for the old gold.


Ask Umbra: Are shrimp farms killing the oceans?

A reader says he's reluctant to give up his shrimp cocktail. Umbra says don't be shellfish.


Ask Umbra: How do I dispose of an old TV set?

A reader's grandparents dumped their TV in the swamp. Umbra helps him channel some positive energy. Bonus: Tips for corralling your peas sans disposable bags.


Ask Umbra: What kind of wood floors should I buy?

A reader wonders if he can get a pass on imported hardwood, since it's fast-growing and bee-yutiful. Umbra polishes up his understanding of sustainable timber.


Ask Umbra: How can I be sure my recycling gets … recycled?

A reader is suspicious that her co-mingle is getting hauled to the landfill. Umbra does a little sleuthing.


Ask Umbra: What do I do about my treacherous sidewalks this winter?

A reader says he's afraid someone will slip and end up hurt. Umbra offers a little ice-breaker.

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.