Q: I’d like to make my own cleaning products, but what’s up with baking soda? It’s frequently bandied about as an eco-friendly cleaner, but I have no idea what it is, where it comes from, or how it’s made.
Amanda, Charlottesville, Virginia
Find out what Umbra has to say about baking soda.
Q: I’m in the midst of getting my master’s degree in environmental science and policy. I’m so sick of reading and researching—I just want to get out and do something. My thesis is on composting, but my true love is water. While I have a pretty good background in everything from chemistry to physics, I see myself as the “master of none.” Essentially, what I want to ask you is: What should I do when I grow up? What is the best water job out there that helps the environment, or at the very least, where do I start looking? You only have one life, and I want mine to count!
Stephanie, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Find out what water jobs Umbra recommends.
Umbra Fisk dispenses advice on all things green for Grist Magazine, an online publication tackling environmental topics with irreverence, intelligence and a fresh perspective. To submit a question, e-mail