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.

For even more green goodness, you can follow Umbra on Twitter (@AskUmbra) or become a fan on Facebook.

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

Rake's Progress

Ask Umbra on autumn leaves

With summer slinking away and fall breezing in, Grist advice maven Umbra Fisk offers eco-advice for dealing with autumn leaves.

Umbra on speed limits

Dear Umbra, I was babbling about the ’70s energy crisis, gas rationing, and the nationwide 55 mile-per-hour speed limit at work the other day, and found myself explaining to a group of younger people how …

Umbra on architectural salvage

Dear Umbra, We recently replaced the doorknobs in our place, so we have a fistful of old yet working doorknobs I’d hate to just toss. What to do with this and other perfectly good hardware? …

Umbra on windows

Dear Umbra, I just bought an old house and need to replace some of the windows. Are there alternatives to vinyl windows that will still cut down on heat loss? Noah WinerPhiladelphia, Pa. Dearest Noah, …

Umbra on why we shouldn’t waste energy

Dear Umbra, I am doing a big geography project at school on saving energy and recycling. My part is to comment on what will happen if we keep wasting energy. I know the basic information, …

Umbra on offsetting emissions from flatulence

Dear Umbra, I was wondering if there is any information about the average CO2 emissions from human flatulence. My friend (and I really do mean my friend, I’m not just trying to hide that it’s …

Umbra on garden hoses

Dear Umbra, I’m diligently avoiding PVC plastics, but cannot find a good quality non-PVC garden hose. We have particularly high water pressure, so we need a hose that can withstand the pressure. I only need …

Umbra on taking the next step

Dear Umbra, I’ve noticed that often you tell people “don’t sweat the small stuff” and suggest they focus on the major issues (transportation, housing, etc.). What about those of us who already do that, and …

Umbra on personal actions that make a real difference

Dear Umbra, What are some everyday things I could do to protect the environment? Like choosing plastic or paper, that kind of thing. DominickSpokane, Wash. Dearest Dominick, Your good question has a surprising answer, and …

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