Umbra Fisk

Ask Umbra®

Advice for Living Green

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

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, …

Umbra on rebuilding the Gulf Coast

Dear Umbra, There seem to be plenty of good organizations accepting dollars to help the people of the Gulf Coast. But as The Nature Conservancy …