Umbra Fisk

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

Brood Awakenings: On parenting and health

Umbra on kids’ birthday parties

Dear Umbra, I have a wonderful daughter who is just about to turn 5. She is currently the only grandchild and niece to our families, and therefore has everything she needs (still less than many kids we know, but plenty). …


Umbra on green laundry detergents

Dear Umbra, What are the “green” high-efficiency detergents for washers? Thanks,Marilyn Dearest Marilyn, A perfect question for parenting fortnight. Children have such tiny clothing that you wouldn’t think it would add up to an increase in laundry volume. Until you …


Umbra on the impact of food purchases

Hi Umbra, I practically live on Lean Cuisine (that brand specifically — they are frequently on sale for $2 each). In my community, the plastic tray is recyclable, as is the cardboard box. The only thing that goes in the …


Umbra on meat eating and global warming

Dear Umbra, I see that PETA’s latest campaign says that meat eating is the No. 1 cause of global warming, not SUVs. This statement may be manipulative and political, but — is it true? J.Helena, Mont. Dearest J., I’ll bite. …


Umbra on vegetarian remorse

Dear Umbra, I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 10 years. I started when I was 15, on pretty much a whim just to see if I could do it, but since then I’ve come to appreciate what I’m doing for …


Umbra on reusing bath water

Hi Umbra, My new (to me) house has a somewhat larger than standard bathtub with jets. I rarely have time for a bath, but last night took the opportunity to indulge. I had a nice soak, in water heated by …

Umbra on mini-dilemmas

Dear Umbra, Unfortunately, my nose runs a lot even when I am not sick. I’ve always wondered about the disposal of tissues and hope you can help calm my environmental nerves. Is it best to use a standard tissue and …


Umbra on singles and CSAs

Hi Umbra! I’ve held back from joining a CSA because 1) I live alone and am worried about wasting food, and 2) I’m worried I’ll get so much oddball stuff, especially in the winter, that I won’t know what to …

Umbra on attracting wildlife

Hi Umbra, I agree with your analysis of bird feeders, and would like to share a win-win solution. I have a huge variety of birds that visit my yard year-round. Instead of bird feeders, I have planted an abundance of …