Carry a handkerchief

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Bring back the tradition of using handkerchiefs to save a little money and reduce waste. Invest in a few and rotate them after use, or stash them in areas you frequent.


There was a time when everyone recognized it did not make sense to use something once and then throw it away. There was a time when things were made to last. Bring a little of these customs back to life with handkerchiefs!

Handkerchiefs save money and are fun to carry around! It is a great multipurpose tool to have with you. They help wipe things up, clean glasses, blow noses, dry off hands, wipe your sweat, and even brighten up an outfit.

Resourcefully, most handkerchiefs are machine washable. This means you can invest in a few and easily rotate them in and out after use. They are a great alternative to replace tissues around your home, which saves you money, trips to the store, lugging boxes around, and then collecting used ones to throw out.

It is hard to wrap your mind around it, but millions of trees are cut down around the world for paper pulp products like tissues. The roughly trillion tissues we use each year need to come from somewhere, and unfortunately, a lot of time the wood pulp used to create them comes from virgin forests. Plus, there is the energy to produce and the chemicals to bleach. It simply is not sustainable in the long run.


• If carrying a handkerchief is not your preference, then you can stash them in areas you typically frequent, such as certain rooms around the home, in your bag, or at your desk. Handkerchiefs take up less space than an unsightly box or bag of tissues.

• So, where can you get handkerchiefs? Ask your grandparents, parents, or an older friend if they still have some hankies they do not use. You could also go the vintage route. There are many good options in online marketplaces or local thrift and vintage stores. If you have the skills, sewing one is also an option, using old fabric you have.

• Encourage those around you to use handkerchiefs as well. These fabric squares are not just for show! Even if you are not vocal about it, others seeing you use them will help shift norms.

• Is it hard to break the habit of dipping into a tissue box? Consider slowly phasing them out by having boxes in fewer locations around your home. There is no need to go to zero immediately if you still find a use for them on occasion.


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