Plastic or waxed paper bags for sandwiches?

My husband and I are trying to make as many changes as we can in our energy footprint, from the big to the small. We decided to switch from plastic sandwich bags to waxed paper bags. We’ve learned that waxed paper is coated with a petroleum-based film. Now we’re unsure if it’s any better than plastic. Can you help us decide?

Well, experts say it’s a toss-up between using petroleum-based waxed paper and disposable sandwich bags. Why not eliminate both and stock up on reusable containers? They’re available in every shape and size designed for sandwiches, cookies, carrot sticks—you name it. And while these perfect-for-storage or pack-a-lunch portables are still plastic, you’ll be reusing and reducing—two mainstay habits to reduce your footprint. By the way, several companies continue to research a waterproofing film made of plant-based derivatives designed to replace the petroleum in such things as waxed paper. Stay tuned for this breakthrough to reach the mainstream.

We’re making plans to landscape our backyard. We love some of the pottery available for displaying our botanicals, but wonder if there’s a more environmentally friendly way to go.

There is! EcoForms produces a line of biodegradable pottery that’s made of renewable grain husks and looks as beautiful as a hand-thrown pot on a potter’s wheel. They’re available in a variety of shapes and sizes and come in rich, vibrant earth tones. Visit this relatively local company based in Sebastopol at If you’re looking to purchase plantable pots, the Windmill Nursery in Carmichael sells roses and fruit trees with pots that go directly into the ground. Visit