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.

Living

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 and thrown away the very …

Living

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 in one of your other …

Living

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 to turn off lights, etc.). …

Cities

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 the answer to this country’s …

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 need to prepare. What do …

Food

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 wonder about the impact. There’s …

Living

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 are some good resources (how-to’s, …

Food

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 of the food comes from …

Living

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. I thought about this, and …