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 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 …

Umbra on diesel vs. standard gasoline cars

Dear Umbra, I’ve always heard bad things about diesel fuel. However, I know someone who has a diesel VW that gets 50 miles to the …

Umbra on bicycle commuting, again

Dear Umbra, So what about bike commuting? Is it safe? Is it good? Is it encouraged? P.K. BorzoSt. Paul, Minn. Dearest P.K., Yes, yes, yes. …

Answers to readers’ most frequently asked questions about green dilemmas

Should I use paper or plastic bags at the grocery store? Neither one is better. Best choice: bring your own cloth bag. Should I dry …

Umbra on the perfect eco-day

Dear Umbra, But the question was paper or plastic. We are asked every time we go shopping. What if we’re doing all those things you …

Umbra on getting local foods into college cafeterias

Dear Umbra, I am a student at Hartwick College running the Grassroots Environmental Club. The college’s major cafeteria is run by a large food company …

Umbra on freezing local foods

Dear Umbra, I am lucky enough to live across the street from a farmers’ market, and I shop there all summer. But when summer’s done, …

Umbra on soy vs. meat

Dear Umbra, I finally went vegetarian several months ago, and one of my main reasons was the environmental impact of meat production. The other day, …