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.

Umbra on bicycle commuting, again

Dear Umbra, So what about bike commuting? Is it safe? Is it good? Is it encouraged? P.K. BorzoSt. Paul, Minn. Dearest P.K., Yes, yes, yes. Lungwise, biking is at least as safe as driving, if …

Answers to readers’ most frequently asked questions about green dilemmas

Should I use paper or plastic bags at the grocery store? Neither one is better. Best choice: bring your own cloth bag. Should I dry my hands with paper towels or the electric blow dryer? …

Umbra on the perfect eco-day

Dear Umbra, But the question was paper or plastic. We are asked every time we go shopping. What if we’re doing all those things you suggested, and we still want to know if we should …

Umbra on getting local foods into college cafeterias

Dear Umbra, I am a student at Hartwick College running the Grassroots Environmental Club. The college’s major cafeteria is run by a large food company that also serves prisons. In a meeting with the director, …

Umbra on freezing local foods

Dear Umbra, I am lucky enough to live across the street from a farmers’ market, and I shop there all summer. But when summer’s done, the market closes and I am left to buy produce …

Umbra on soy vs. meat

Dear Umbra, I finally went vegetarian several months ago, and one of my main reasons was the environmental impact of meat production. The other day, however, a friend pointed out that soy foods take a …

Umbra on rebuilding the Gulf Coast

Dear Umbra, There seem to be plenty of good organizations accepting dollars to help the people of the Gulf Coast. But as The Nature Conservancy has said, “While current attention is rightfully focused on the …

Umbra on preparing for winter

Dear Umbra, With the coming winter, our local news did a story on how to save on heating. The tips included window treatments, lowering the water heater, etc. But those of us in apartments are …

Umbra on used cars

Dear Umbra, With rising — OK, skyrocketing — gas prices, I would like to invest in a car that gets good mileage and is reliable. However, I can’t afford a new Toyota Prius. Do you …

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