Umbra Fisk

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Advice for Living Green

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

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Here’s what a year of green advice boils down to

What a year for burning questions! Advice maven Umbra Fisk reviews the top topics that had readers asking for eco-help in 2015 -- and reminds us all of a few ways to live greener.

Dispensing Wisdom

What’s the greener choice, bar soap or body wash?

When tubby time comes around, should you grab a bar of soap or a bottle of body wash? Advice maven Umbra Fisk says this is one question with a clear winner.

Dreck the Halls

How to get rid of Christmas garbage, from lights to mistletoe

Tis the season to be jolly -- and wasteful as all get out. Advice maven Umbra Fisk dispenses a few tips for what to do with your holiday trash.

Fit to Be TDI'd

Is lusting after a Volkswagen an environmental sin?

A reader is conflicted about whether to buy a new VW, what with all the recent emissions-evading sneakiness -- so advice maven Umbra Fisk suggests a few rules of the road.

Hot and Bothered

What is that freakin’ dial on my radiator?

A frustrated expat writes back home to Ask Umbra how his radiators work. Though she's no building super, she is a super-sleuth -- and she tracks down an answer to help him keep his cool.

Soda Jerk

How much energy does a soda machine waste?

You love your Coke, but what's it costing the planet? Among other things, a whole lot of wasted energy. Advice maven Ask Umbra explains.

Oeno Files

How should I clean wine spills? And what to do with mesh veggie bags?

In this season of too much food and drink, readers have an abundance of questions about puny-but-perplexing kitchen products -- and advice maven Umbra Fisk cooks up answers.

Yes We Can

My mother-in-law died. What should I do with her expired cans of food?

Is it better to send old food to the landfill or down the drain? And how can we tame the food-waste beast in our kitchens? Umbra Fisk cooks up an answer.

Hot Cross Buns

Is it OK to run my car’s seat heater this winter?

Heated car seats are one of life's little luxuries -- but are they energy efficient? And does it even matter? Advice maven Umbra Fisk offers a cheeky take on the issue.