Dump Your Tissue Box for Handkerchiefs

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By Erin Sheehan

I have a habit I know many people think is gross, but I’m hooked. I admit it: I use hankies. I haven’t used Kleenex in more than 20 years. I am a little self-conscious about it. Sometimes I wonder what people think when I whip a handkerchief out of my pocket, unfold it and blow away, then – back it goes in my pocket! Not to the garbage. Sorry, onlookers!

I am very fortunate to have a large stash of pretty, vintage ladies’ hankies. Some belonged to my mom and grandmother. Some came from a close family friend. Years ago women embroidered and tatted beautiful designs on hankies. They are nice to look at and nicer to use than tissues.

There are lots of reasons to drop your tissue box. First, you will save money. Not a lot, but little things have a way of adding up. At $1.50 a box, even if you only use two or three boxes a month, you’ll save enough to buy some super-duper dirt for your container garden, seeds, and maybe even a new watering can if you need one. No more carrying in boxes of tissues from the store, and you never have to worry about running out of hankies!

Using handkerchiefs saves resources. It doesn’t use trees and keeps tissues out of the landfill. It does use a little water for washing, but we’re doing laundry anyway. A couple of hankies a week don’t really add significantly to our wash loads.

I find hankies are a lot easier on my skin than tissues. Tissues tend to make my nose raw and dry. Hankies are soft and kinder to my tender nose!

One of my favorite things about using hankies is no more tissues accidentally going through the laundry. How many times have you had a mess of itty-bitty tissue pieces all over your freshly washed clothes? If you leave a hankie in your pocket and it goes through the wash, no big deal. No mess to clean up.

If you decide to give hankies a try, you can find vintage ones through garage and thrift sales or Etsy. New ones are available at many dollar stores, but I don’t find the material of the new ones very nice. You could make your own if you are crafty! If you aren’t already using hankies, I hope you’ll give them a try for a week. Let me know how you make out.

Published on Feb 20, 2015