About year ago I purchased a dozen white handkerchiefs. I wanted to be more ecologically responsible, and one zero waste author suggested using handkerchiefs instead of disposable tissues. So I bought these handkerchiefs and have been using them for the last year.
Handkerchiefs are great. Everyone should have at least a dozen. Mine are just white cotton, but I’ve used them for so many different purposes. I always have one in a purse or bag or pocket.
When I am in my historical clothing, handkerchiefs are historically accurate. They are good for blowing your nose or for wiping sweat off. I used them a lot for wiping sweat in June in Georgia. I use them as napkins and they are great for wiping up spills. I keep one in the car and wipe off dust or clean glasses or clean the window with it. When they are dirty, I throw them in the wash with a little bleach and they come out looking good again. The more I wash them, the softer and more absorbent they become.
Now, I am not recommending that you use a handkerchief to blow your nose when you are sick. I think the germs are killed by washing in hot water with the bleach. But, if you are contagious, you should probably use a disposable tissue. In March, however, Tom and I needed more disposable tissues and we couldn’t buy them anywhere. The grocery store, the drug store, Amazon, and Walmart were all out of tissues. One of those hoarding situations. By using the handkerchiefs we were able to make our last box of tissues last until the end of May, when we were finally able to get more.
My handkerchiefs are a very small thing I can do for the environment. But each time I use one, I consider my impact and how I can lessen my footprint on the earth.