Green Simple Swaps – From Tissues to Hankies

The most common response to swapping facial tissues to hankies is a squeamish looking facial expression combined with “ewww!” The ickiness of a wet, mucus laden hankie seems to scare people away more than a horror movie. With zero waste living as your goal, there are many environmental and health benefits for choosing hankies rather than tissues.

Some links in this post are my affiliate partnership recommendations. If you choose to purchase from these links, I may receive a commission without any additional cost to you.

What’s Stopping You?

The “gross out” factor is one of the biggest reasons stopping people from making the tissues to hankies switch. The thought of a wet hankie laden with mucus! But if you treat a hankie the same way as a tissue, then the ickiness just disappears.

Tissues have been marketed as more effective than hankies when it comes to hygiene. However, using a hankie in the same way as a tissue has the same effect when it comes to immediate hygiene. Rather than throwable, it’s reusable.

Regardless of whether you use tissues or hankies, the biggest aspect in maintaining good personal hygiene is effective hand washing. Hands can transfer germs to every surface you touch. Best practise hand washing is with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Go here for the How to Wash and Dry Hands poster by the Australian Department of Health.

Having tissues rather than hankies for visitors is another reason that stops people from switching. Instead of having a plethora of tissue boxes, minimise your number of tissue boxes to just one. The concept of reduced zero waste – as suggested in Australian book A Zero Waste Life in Thirty Days – is the best start when making the switch from tissues.

Benefits of Hankies

Handkerchiefs have super duper benefits versus the disposable, single-use tissues. Hankies are:-

  • Better for Sensitive Noses

Hankies are gentler on your nose, particularly if you have sensitivities, colds or are prone to hay fever. To make tissues soft as soft, company’s use many chemicals and 3 layers of virgin paper, which is non-recycled clean first time use paper directly from trees. Check out Hankybook’s blogpost about the hygiene factor of hankies versus tissues.

  • Reusable

Use them just like a tissue, then pop them in the wash with your other clothes. Wearing reusable, washable undies are an acceptable norm in Australia, so let’s start a reusable, washable hankie norm!

  • Naturally Low Tox

Even though facial tissue companies market them to you as hypoallergenic, hankies are much better for you in regard to low tox. Your choice for low toxin fragrance free washing powder means you know the exact low tox ingredients.

  • Out and Active Ready

When you’re into outdoor pursuits, there’s nothing better than a hankie to rely on. Preferring to wipe my nose on a hankie tucked into my raincoat or snow jacket pocket is more ideal than finding random bits of unusable, wet and disintegrated tissue. A reliable clean hankie becomes your versatile cloth when travelling – for either nose blowing, as an emergency wipe or small bandage padding. No need to worry about that forgotten tissue in the jacket pocket when you wash your clothes. The forgotten hankie keeps the total wash load “unharmed” – just take out the hankie and wash again for a more hygienic wash.

  • Occasion Specific

Choose between hankies with practical colours and patterns, monogrammed handkerchiefs, womens handkerchiefsbeautifully embroidered hankies for special occasions, wedding handkerchiefs, or the man size hankie for extra blowable surface area!

Laundering Your Hankie

Unless your hankies are particularly mucus laden, there’s no need to pre-soak. Just pop them straight in the wash with the rest of your dirty clothes. Giving them an iron afterwards completes the cared-for lovely look and feel of your hankie, ready to use again.

Choosing hankies over tissues is a subtle green simple swap that benefits yourself and the environment. Take the transition slowly and thoughtfully. You will see how easy it is to become a hankie lover!

For more easy simple swap ideas found on French for Tuesday, check out Green Simple Swaps – Alternatives to Cling Wrap

Some links in this post are my affiliate partnership recommendations. If you choose to purchase from these links, I may receive a commission without any additional cost to you.

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