In Praise of Hankies
This site is dedicated to helping us reset our Zero Carbon Footprint
You have a cold and your nose is running, so you reach for a tissue? or a handkerchief?
The argument that handkerchiefs are germy is true, but it is NO excuse to chop down a tree. If you want to learn the extensive details of how we process beautiful trees to make tissues that we can use once and flush forever, click here for the Manufacturing Process. Even if you use 100% recycled post-consumer paper, there is still a huge water/electricity cost attached to it. Additionally, the carbon footprint spent to get it from the forest to the manufacturer to the warehouse to your home is not insignificant.
Each large tree acts as home, food, garden, and shelter for hundreds of living creatures. Use as little as possible, use recycled when available, and be creative in how to lighten your paper usage. Toilet paper is a must; facial tissue is a flagrant misuse of available resources (except in hospitals and other highly contagious areas).
It is much more fashionable is to use hankies. I strongly suggest vintage and pre-owned, easily purchased online. Buy “vintage,” not “replicas of vintage.” The under appreciated handkerchief should be revisited because
- it can be used hundreds of times
- it is easily washed and quick to dry (lie flat or hang to dry. the dryer crumples and destroys them!)
- the old fabric is superior; it is soft and will not chafe your nose
- it has only a minutia of dust from pure cotton fiber, whereas facial tissue comes with a cloud of particles to exacerbate your sinus condition (wood fibers, other fibers, perfumes, chlorine, etc.!)
- it was manufactured only once for hundreds of uses, whereas facial tissue is manufactured hundreds of times for your one cold