Posts Tagged ‘hankies’

Kleenex Recidivist

June 20, 2011  |  Tissue Throwdown  |   |  No Comments


Hankies are noble. They help the environment and they score instant cred at yoga class. If you want to bask in the adoration of strangers, just pull out a handkerchief in the health food store. But hankies are expensive and time consuming. Apparently I hate ironing little squares of cotton. Linen is even worse. It doesn’t matter if the hankies are organic or embroidered or monogrammed or edged with little shamrocks. They’re a pain to maintain.

I have no problem using a clean hankie. That’s easy. But what do you do with a half-used handkerchief? Put it back in your purse, where it’ll stick to your wallet? Shove it up your sleeve, where it sticks to your arm? I started carrying around ZipLock bags (un-recyclable plastic!) to store my cotton handkerchiefs. I figure that’s a zero sum game, environmentally, and reach once more for a 2-ply tissue. There you have it. Sinus Sister is a Kleenex recidivist.  To argue the pros and cons of hankies, join the tissue forum at


Tales of a Hankie Rebel

June 17, 2011  |  Tissue Throwdown  |  ,  |  No Comments

Sinus Sister is no tree hugger. But she’s starting to feel guilty about using so many tissues…

Since June, there have been two Kleenex boxes jammed into the recycling each week. These crumpled coffins make me groan. They represent about 260 two-ply tissues—or, 18 tissues per day. That’s alot of blow. And June isn’t a big sneeze month. Peak season is January to April, before hay fever in August. There’s no way around it: my Kleenex consumption rate is a disgrace. It’s time to consider the alternatives and I can only think of one: hankies….Gross. ..But they’re no longer the exclusive domain of the Amish. Environmental activists and school kids have been pushing hankies as an easy way to save the Earth for years now (insert eye roll).

Hankies, to me, belong to the generation that marveled at indoor plumbing. They’re not a marker of poverty, so much, as age and foreignness. My Granda from Northern Ireland had hankies in every pocket. When he pulled one out, my sister and I recoiled and giggled, wondering why mom didn’t offer him a tissue. On laundry day, Granda’s hankies hung on the clothes line, soon to be ironed and returned to his underwear drawer. They didn’t belong on the kitchen table, like Kleenex, because there was something intimate and possibly germy contained therein. So I’m not totally unfamiliar with the world of hankies, but the time has come to visit and and stop the guilt.