Thursday, November 27, 2008

hanky panky

When I was at the EPIC 2008 conference and trade show last Spring, one of the products that stuck out amoungst the thousands of save-our-earth items was organic cotton handkerchiefs.  Now, I have no problem turning the water off in the shower while latering up, I can dodge fruit flies from our vermiculture compost bin, I even use re-usable Luna Pads during that time of the month however, I don't think that I'm quite ready to transition into using hankies.

Pretty... gross?

I do not have many memories of my grandfather, however I do remember him using a handkerchief.  He'd blow his honker into this ratty cloth and then stuff it back into his pocket.  I could remember being grossed out by this display and I was still at an age where my friends would eat worms on a dare! 

As I grow older and become more comfortable with who I am and what my morals are, I've been able to shake aside the convenience factor of many day-to-day tasks and opt for the more Earth-friendly choices.  Even simple things such as using a bagless vacuum: it can be a bit messier to clean however there is virtually no waste (especially if all that you're vacuuming is kitty dander & dirty carpets).  Last Spring, at a friend's wedding, I managed to acquire some napkins which have been put to good use since.  I feel guilty using paper towels for cleaning anything except messy spills on the floor, so our dish clothes get plenty of use as well.  

But the handkerchief, oh the handkerchief.  My achilles.  The thorn in my side.  The one thing that I can't dive deep into.  I try to take comfort knowing that tissues are biodegradable and that they're not that bad for the environment, but the thought of throwing them into the garbage (they accumulate too much in our small compost bin if thrown in) makes me feel bad.  If I ever were to start using them, I'd make them from cut up bedsheets, hemmed along the edges.  If that were to happen.  I doubt it will.

Is using a hanky too much for you? Does it cross the comfort zone? 

7 comments:

LaDitsterNo1 said...

I love my hankies! I have all kinds of colours and patterns. I too was squeemish at the thought of boogers in my purse...but it dries really fast, and I never reuse a used hanky...so it's still a one time use thing, but then it goes in the laundry and comes out smelling like my tea tree soap :)

Alissa said...

I use hankies around the home since they can just get tossed into the laundry hamper. The idea of stuffing a used one back in my pocket or purse grosses me out, which is incredibly ironic since I have no problem shoving a pooey cloth diaper back in my bag... anyway. They're convenient.

Allie said...

I LOOOOOVE Kleenex, I'm with you on that one. However, my dad always carries around a hanky and there has definitely been times when I've had to use it. I'm fine with it, as long as I don't have to keep a dirty pile of 'em somewhere ;)

Oh, Allan chirps over my shoulder that Kleenex is one of the worst offenders for clear cutting forests. :( Hm, that makes me feel bad. Maybe I'll start considering this...

By the way, I really like the Aloe Kleenex. I wonder if there's some way to replicate that in hankies.

Amber said...

I love hankies. Like I love sweet old men, and all their amazing clothing.

Should I tell you about the bathroom 'tissues' I've been dreaming of making for months? Maybe I could even wrap them around an old paper tissue roll, so they are more 'normal' looking....but seriously, a basket of sweetly folded cloth for your bumm, so good!

Use a snot rag woman, just find an absorbent fabric, there is nothing worst than just rubbing and rubbing snot all over your face ;)

Keira-Anne said...

I think I'd probably have to say no to hankies. My Opa used one incessantly and, while charming of him, completely unsanitary. I'm not a big fan of carrying boogers around in my pocket. Maybe around the home, sure - like Alissa said. And on the subject of reusables, I also don't think I could use cloth diapers. Urban Fare carries recycled, compostable diapers that break down, so I think I'd try those out first.

tina said...

Allie asked about replicating Aloe Kleenex in hankies - well I have always used hankies because I have cronic hayfever and it's cheeper, but my mum bought me a Liberty hanky from the UK once, and it is the softest most beautiful hanky I have ever used. Worth a try, I'd think you could order them online? Otherwise find a fabric shop that sells Liberty cottons and make some yourself - the most amazing cotton ever :)

tina said...

Just thought I should say that I've read that biodegradable diapers don't break down completely. Also, with tissues, most germs die within 9 seconds of use (or something like that) - with only .1% lasting 15 minutes, and with antibacterial tissues creating super germs, hankies aresn't really that unsanitary; no more than a tissue.