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 wrapping creatively

Dear Umbra, Due to my procrastinating nature, I once again find myself in the position of having to wrap what seems like hundreds of gifts in wasteful wrapping paper, only to have it torn apart …


Umbra on holiday gifts for young folk

Dear Umbra, I’ve read Grist’s gift guide, but I didn’t see very many ideas for youths and young children. On the other hand, I did like the idea of giving The Lorax, which was mentioned …


Umbra on eco-tips in event programs

Dear Umbra, My bat mitzvah is coming up, and at my synagogue, we give out programs. This year, in my program, I would like to include some tips to lead a more eco-friendly life (when …


Umbra on the promise of ethanol

Dear Umbra, Lately I’ve been struggling with the idea of ethanol as a green fuel. It seems to be getting a lot of attention in the government and media, and it is being touted as …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on peak oil

Dear Umbra, I have recently been alerted to what many people term “peak oil.” I don’t know how to characterize my feelings regarding this subject. Obsession might be a good term. I feel that I …


Umbra on sustainable sushi

Dear Umbra, My wife and I love sushi, but we’re increasingly concerned about sustainable harvesting. Although we treat ourselves to sushi only once or twice a month, it adds up, and we can’t help but …


Umbra on weather-stripping

Dear Umbra, With rising heating costs on the horizon, we’re looking to install a storm door, seal gaps, etc., around the house to prevent air leaks and increase efficiency before old man winter arrives. What …


Umbra on eating locally in winter

Dear Umbra, I live in New Hampshire, and I am getting ready for the long, cold winter. I try to eat locally, but with no year-round growing season here and such a dense population, most …


Umbra on environmental busybodies

Dear Umbra, A friend recently said I should “walk the talk” by replacing my synthetic clothes (purchased before I saw the environmental light, as it were) with new things made entirely of organically grown fibers. …