Umbra Fisk

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

First, Do No Parm

Would you give up cheese to slow climate change?

When a reader in France wonders what role cheese should play in a carbon-conscious diet, advice maven Umbra Fisk explains whether he needs to give Swiss a miss.

Dye Hard

Is dyeing rivers for St. Patrick’s Day an un-green move?

A writer wonders if our urban waterways are suffering from exuberant St. Patrick's Day river dyeing. Advice maven Umbra Fisk dives in to the emerald waters to investigate.


How clean do my recyclables really need to be?

When a reader from Vermont asks Umbra Fisk for help unraveling the mysteries of recycling, our fearless advice maven takes the case.

A Teeny Tiny Question

Is a tiny house just an RV in disguise?

A Grist reader wants to know: What's the big deal about tiny houses? Why not just get an RV? Advice maven Umbra Fisk sizes up this growing trend.

Burning Plan

My friends are big fans of bonfires, but I’m feeling ashen

Earth Hour is here, and one group wants to celebrate with a bonfire -- but a worried reader has written to advice maven Umbra Fisk to find out whether that's particulate-ly appropriate.

Dust to Dust

Psst, do you know microfiber’s dirty little secret?

A reader in Utah is looking for the 'zero-wastiest' way to clean and wonders if microfiber cloths are the answer. Not so fast, says advice maven Umbra Fisk -- those little fibers are big trouble.

Pod People

Detergent pods are handy, but can I use them with a clean conscience?

A reader from Houston wonders what those cute little laundry soap-pods are actually wrapped in -- and asks advice maven Umbra Fisk whether they do more harm than good.

Grayed Expectations

Bet you didn’t know your washing machine could do this

Why use water once when you can use it twice? Advice maven Umbra Fisk helps a reader in California spin through the details of putting laundry water to work in the garden.

Sketchy Etch

Is my tattoo full of toxic chemicals?

Tattoos are great, right? Except for the part where you might be injecting your flesh with carcinogens and heavy metals. Get the skinny from advice maven Umbra Fisk.