My case for bringing back the humble hanky


When my mother offered me a stack of hankies from my late grandmother I, the young person I was, recoiled and immediately declined to accept the small squares of fabric. I thought that tissues were the way to go. They are, as it currently seems, the more socially acceptable item to use.

It wasn’t until I looked into blogs written by people living a waste-free life that I realised just how many tissues I discard on the regular. The beginning of my reduction of waste adventure has involved always taking reusable canvas bags when I go shopping, purchasing a small compost bin for my apartment, and turning some old clothes into hankies.

Yes, I found a worn out, hole-y old tank top to repurpose into hankies. I wonkily cut and sewed the soft stretchy fabric and now I have 2 extra hankies that are very effective. Especially since the fabric is so soft, it’s a relief to use them on the delicate skin on the face!

I was so excited about my little waste-reduction project that I called up my mum and asked for those lovely vintage hankies that have been sitting in storage. Then I began keeping at least one in my handbags, my work bag, my bedside table.

For almost anything that you would otherwise use a tissue, a hanky can be a substitute. And a very worthy substitute it is. I haven’t spent money on tissues (the cost of those little travel packets I kept in all my bags adds up!), cleaning up around the bathroom sink is an absolute breeze and they make the best napkins for a messy eater like myself.

It’s true, tissues can be composted but if you can reduce the waste you’re producing by making a small change here and there I say, why not go for it?




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