Q: I hate lawns, but I have to move to a town where lawns are the law and mowing a necessity. Can you give me the scoop on the most eco-friendly lawnmower that will still cut decently? (No, I can’t have goats.) My old reel lawnmower never did a decent job. That leaves electric (corded and cordless) and gas. My husband has ancient knowledge of electric mowers and what a terrible job they did, so he may be a hard sell. There must be something out there.
Mariah Blackhorse, Bend, Oregon
Q: Please advise me on the best way to beat the summer heat! I live in a rather steamy studio apartment and have been languishing under fans in front of the open window, lapping up ice cream and taking many cold showers. I feel a tad guilty about the excess use of water in the pursuit of keeping cool. What’s worse: To buy an electricity-sucking air conditioner or send lots of cold water down the drain? Do you have any other chilling suggestions?
Joyce, New York City
Umbra Fisk dispenses advice on all things green for Grist magazine , an online publication that tackles environmental topics with irreverence, intelligence and a fresh perspective.