The Book of Possibilities is about the wonders of the world we live in. Come explore it with me!
Oil fuels more than our cars; it is processed to create everything from footballs to motion picture film. So sometimes it's a little hard to listen to the lady in line at the supermarket boasting about how she's switched from plastic bags to her own cloth ones from home when she's covered in oil products from the products in her hair to the man-made soles of her shoes.
You may already know that paper isn't the answer - the energy required to make a paper bag overrides whatever environmental benefit may come from using it.
You may know about renewable fuels like ethanol that are made from corn.
And now, when you go shopping, you may be able to use a bag made from corn which is cheaper to make than paper and much cheaper in terms of environmental impact.
Unlike earlier corn bags which still contained some petroleum products, the latest are often fully biodegradable (capable of being broken down by bacteria) and compostable (returning to organic components).
They will fully break down in 12-24 months, depending on conditions. And, in the meantime, you can reuse them.
Now that it's becoming obvious that products can be made economically from renewable, regrowable sources, a lot of companies are looking to corn and other vegetables for raw materials. One produces cutlery made from potatoes that can stand up to a few runs through the dishwasher.
Just think, some day soon you might find yourself driving a car fueled by corn, eating with potato tableware - and relying a little less on oil.
A lot better than waiting another few hundred thousand years for a new supply of petroleum.