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 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 …

Umbra on lead pipes and drinking water

Dear Umbra, I live in New York City, which is reputed to have some of the best drinking water in the U.S. But I also happen to live in an old building that probably has …

Umbra on UV ratings

Dear Umbra, Our radio station provides daily information regarding ultraviolet ratings. I am curious about what these ratings actually represent, and why they change so dramatically. For example, for the past few years, most ratings …

Umbra on the mysteries of produce code numbers

Dear Umbra, I recently learned that the UPC numbers on produce indicate whether the item is conventionally grown (beginning with a 4), organically grown (beginning with a 9), or genetically modified (beginning with an 8). …

Umbra on the eco-relevance of health concerns

Dear Umbra, As a practicing vegan for quite some time now, I take pride in my knowledge of nutrition and my ability to enrich my body through a varied diet with all the essentials. For …

Umbra on hemp fabric

Dear Umbra, You didn’t mention hemp as a fabric alternative. JordanMarquette, Mich. Dearest Jordan, No, I didn’t. Thank you for writing such a concise letter; it stood out among the 4 million other hemp letters …

Umbra on our “throw it away” culture

Dear Umbra, I hope I am not the only person who is disgusted with and frustrated by the current “throw it away” philosophy that so many large companies are pushing. Everything from window cleaner to …

Umbra on recycling pencil stubs

Dear Umbra, I’m looking for a place that accepts pencil stubs (one to two inches long) to recycle into new pencils. I’ve found recycled pencils online — made from denim, plastic, recovered wood, and paper …

Umbra on whether to leave the engine running

Dear Umbra, I have a question that has been nagging me for a while, and I would really like to have it answered once and for all. You see, I deliver pizzas for a living …

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