As the exceptional drought persists, some North Carolina schools, businesses and homes are switching from ceramic dinnerware and glass tumblers to paper plates and plastic cups to conserve water. While at this point saving water trumps all, paper and plastic waste winds up in the landfill, causing another environmental crisis.

So if you decide to go the disposable route, go biodegradable and compostable. Buy food containers, plates, bowls, hot cups and napkins made from corn, potato starch and plant cellulose. Many of these items will compost in less than two months, instead of the centuries that the plastic will be malingering in the dump. There are plenty of online resources; start with, and