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.


Baths vs. showers, an eco-smackdown

A reader frets that taking long baths may be bad for the planet. Umbra says she's in hot water.


Is there such a thing as a green snowblower?

A reader needs help clearing her driveway. Umbra digs deep for an answer.


Are all K-Cup-style coffeemakers totally terrible?

A reader wonders whether single-serving coffee can be green. Umbra brews up an answer.


Should I take notes on my laptop or with a notepad and pencil?

These students want to green up their study habits. Umbra gives them the Cliffs Notes.

Business & Technology

Are there any eco-friendly credit card companies?

A reader discovers that his credit card company is funding dirty energy. Umbra looks out for the planet's best interest.

Business & Technology

Is it greener to buy a new car or drive the old one into the ground?

A reader is feline unsure about buying a new, fuel-efficient car. Umbra says it's better to make the leap, and she's not lion.


Should I run the bathroom fan while showering?

A reader wants to blow off some steam. Umbra says don't waste your energy.

sugar bowl

What’s lighter on the land, sugar beets or sugarcane?

A reader wonders where best to get her sugar fix. Umbra gets granular.


Is video streaming greener than DVDs?

A reader frets that her home entertainment habits may be rubbing the climate the wrong way. Umbra scratches below the surface.