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 LED holiday lights

Dear Umbra, Suppose I replace all my many old, tangled, not-so-efficient holiday lights with the newer LED lights. These are supposed to be better for …

Umbra on green roofs

Dear Umbra, Our garage is in need of a new roof. We would like to build a “living roof” and are wondering where to start. …

Umbra on composting feminine products

Dear Umbra, OK, the kitty-litter thing pushed me over the edge. I know you are sick of writing about gross, yucky things, but I had …

Umbra on low-flow flushing

Dear Umbra, I live in an apartment. What can I do to reduce the amount of water that is flushed in the toilet? The landlord …

Umbra on composting toilets, again

Dear Umbra, I’m attempting to “green” my home, room by room. I’ve heard of low-flow toilets, but someone just told me about composting toilets. Do …

Umbra on heating with bathwater

Dear Umbra, After a hot bath, I leave the water in the tub so the heat will go into the room. My husband says the …

Umbra on climate confusion

Dear Umbra, Any chance that the most extreme of the peak-oil folks are correct, and that in spite of our thoughtlessness, we just won’t have …

Umbra on coffee

Dear Umbra, I am a seriously indulgent coffee drinker. Lately, there have been a ton of “green” coffee shops popping up. I like to support …

Umbra on waiting for warm water

Dear Umbra, You know how, when you turn on the hot water in an old building, it usually takes a while for it to kick …