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 odd fruit

Dear Umbra, Yesterday in the grocery store I saw a “golden kiwi.” Is there really such a thing? It was over twice the size of a regular kiwi and the familiar fuzz was not there. …

Umbra on Christmas trees

Dear Umbra, Please settle our office dispute. Which is better for the environment: real or fake Christmas trees? Some believe that cutting down juvenile trees, displaying them for two weeks, then throwing them in the …

Umbra on cat-pee stains and dry cleaning

Dear Umbra, I am aware of how polluting regular dry cleaners can be and therefore make a point to wash clothes at home. Recently, however, my charming cat peed on my comforter. I was wondering …

Umbra on doggie-doo bags

Dear Umbra, For years, I faithfully brought my canvas bags to the grocery store, leaving plastic bags for the environmentally uninformed. A few months ago, though, I adopted a dog, and I now find myself …

Umbra on Wal-Mart

Dear Umbra, Why is Wal-Mart evil? This is really a request for more information. I have often heard that the company has a weak environmental track record, treats its employees poorly, and generally is Satan …

Umbra on the environmental impacts of soy

Dear Umbra, I’m interested in learning more about the treatment and genetic modification of soy and how prevalent this is. I think a lot of folks choose products such as soy milk because they think …

Umbra on the health/environment dividing line

Yowza. A few weeks back, in response to a question from a reader named Cassandra about the relative merits of soy milk, I asked your opinion on the dividing line between health and environmental concerns. …

Umbra on birds bursting into flames

Dear Umbra, I saw the following on the CNN website. Can this possibly be true? I see birds hit, land on, peck at, and poop on power lines all the time, but I’ve never seen …

Umbra on protecting decks

Dear Chip, You may remember me; we met most recently at Jenny’s parents’ house for dinner when you all were here in New Jersey. Anyway, the reason I’m writing you is because I’m looking for …

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