Friday, January 8, 2010

Use Hankies!

O.K. so the word "hanky" conjures up visions of 1930's unemployed farm workers trolling the streets for free biscuits, but I have succeeded in putting all that behind me.  Once I learned that my tissue habit was contributing to the clearing of ancient Canadian forests, I had to put the ca-bash on dependency.  Kleenex has been renamed Kleercut in certain circles in the know.  Kleenex's argument: people want strong tissues and recycled fibers don't cut it.  Add this to the problem of sewer's overflowing into natural bodies of water when it rains because the systems are overtaxed and the problem of too much waste going into our landfills and this was a no-brainer. 

How did I get over the glamor of Kleenex?  
1.  Want to talk about strong?  Hankies are much much much stronger than tissues, even Kleercut ones.  Just fold the hanky in half twice (get large hankies for this purpose), use for one ordinary blowing session and toss in the laundry.  No seepage.  No breakage.  Absolutely no snot contact.  Plus--it is a one-time monetary investment.

2.  I bought a beautiful fair trade, hand carved, responsibly harvested wooden box to store my hankies in.  This way I am reminded why I am using them when my habit is to run for the toilet paper.
3.  I placed the box in the living room, where I am most likely to need it.  This way I remember I have an alternative to the nose hose hustle.
4.  I sometimes use the sanitizing laundry cycle on my washing machine if I think I have a cold, but this is hardly necessary; just wash with towels in hot water.
5.  I realized hankies take up no room in the washing machine or in the laundry bin.
6.  Once you have the hankies it costs practically nothing.

7.  I got a strange influx of hankies from various sources.  

Hankie Resources
1.  Hit up the old people first--ask them if they have any hankies to spare.  They probably do.  
2.  If you are more of a romantic, you can also buy vintage hankies (yes I have done this too) at resale shops and antique shops.  This would be reusing and saving a forest.
3.  If you are drawn to modern fashion, new lines of hankies have begun popping up made with organic cotton.  Some even have the statistics of beneficial hanky usage printed on them!  Just take a surf.

4.  If you want to make the transition without spending any money, just use some cotton or flannel shirts and sew decorative edges on them.  Before making them, rub your nose against the fabric to make sure it is soft enough to use.  No biggie.  And, that would be saving the forest squared.  
5.  Finally, if you like supporting crafts people and would like cute embroidered hankies visit Etsy for at least 1,000 ideas.  (These may be great gifts!  When you give the gift, supply the facts.)

Hankie Sanitizing Hanidwipes 
The other day I came up with a great idea: hankie wipes.  I need these because my students can be walking virus machines.  First, make your own sanitizing liquid  (one that does not increase microbe resistance).  Place a hankie/hankies in a small plastic bag in purse.  When necessary, spray/squirt on hands, wipe with hankie, reseal hankie in plastic bag, dump in laundry when you get home.

About the Picture
This picture was taken by me at the Indiana Dunes.

1 comment:

Mary said...

I too have found that hankies are best. First, because when you are a mother, you always need to have something on hand to wipe your children's nose or face. Second, when you have a tight budget, you don't want to keep spending money on boxes of kleenex. Third, hankies take up less room than boxes of kleenex, fourth, you have to do the laundry anyway, what is another piece of fabric? Fifth, it is definitely environmentally friendlier! You can get amazing deals at antique shops,and many beautiful colorful patterns. One word of advice: carry an extra that is clean, in case someone is in dire need of a hankie - you will promote consciousness about the environment, and if you are a man and have one and pass it - it is an act of chivalry / gentlmenness!