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.

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 …

Umbra on bicycle commuting

Dear Umbra, My question regards my daily half-hour (each way) bicycle commute through fairly heavy city traffic. I’ve been wondering if the benefits (exercise, sunshine, free and fast transport) are outweighed by the negatives (primarily …

Umbra on kitty litter

Dear Umbra, I recently adopted a cat, and I am having a hard time deciding what to do with the kitty litter. Is there some kind of green litter that is best to use? Anything …

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