Facial tissues vs Hankies


Since joining the Riot4austerity last July, I decided to make a switch to hankies. For some reason I had quite a few already that I wasn’t using, and I purchased a few more at thrift stores. I have been very happy with my decision. Until Saturday, when I got sick. The kind of sick where you are sneezing and your nose runs like a faucet. Well, after a couple hankies were soaked, I decided maybe illness is one of those times when you *should* use Kleenexes. So I decided to do a little research and came to the conclusion that I personally will never purchase another Kleenex product again. The following is from the Kleercut site.

Kimberly-Clark Fails Environment in 100 Top Corporate Citizens Ranking

Kleenex manufacturer destroys Canada�s Boreal ForestVancouver February 15, 2007 Paper giant Kimberly-Clark received low marks on the environmental protection in a recent ranking of the top 100 corporate citizens by Corporate Responsibility Officer Magazine on the issue of environmental protection. The world�s largest manufacturer of tissue products including Kleenex uses large amounts of pulp from destructive logging operations in Canada�s Boreal Forest. The company has been under the spotlight recently for circulating misleading information about the company�s environmental impacts to its shareholders, customers and the US Securities Exchange Commission.


I pretty much had stopped buying the fancy tissues a long time ago and had switched to the house brand of our local grocery store that carries a line of recycled content paper products. Here is what they have to say about their facial tissues:

These soft and strong tissues are economical for you and made from 100% recycled material with at least 10% of the paper from post-consumer sources, which means it’s environmentally friendly, too. Plus, during the manufacturing process, a chlorine-free whitening process is used without inks, dyes or fragrances. This process is safer for both your family and the earth. Even during cold season, you can toss away the guilt when using Publix GreenWise Market Facial Tissues, knowing they’re nose-friendly, as well as earth-friendly.

Well I am not convinced you can ever toss away the guilt, but I agree that you can feel less guilty. And considering how many tissues I have gone through in these past three days, there is no way I could even have enough hankies to do the job. Well that isn’t really true. If I had 100 or maybe 200 hankies I could get through this cold, but lets face it most people don’t have that many on hand.

So what would I do differently next cold? Well I may stock up on more hankies and I may even make some of my own out of men’s shirts I find in the dumpster. I could even make some really pretty ones using women’s blouses.

For anyone out there that is appalled at the idea of using hankies, just remember there are proper ways of using them. If you take one with you everywhere you go, then when you have an occasional sneeze or crusted feeling nose you can take action. Most nose blows are not germ filled as in the cold or flu virus. I hate to tell you this but germs  are everywhere and some of them  are actually good for us. I think a lot of people don’t know that. Actually, according to this  Wikipedia site, germs are bacteria and viruses are not germs. Wow, I did not even know that. It also says that most people consider viruses to be germs. So there you go. If you do have a cold, something that is contagious, the best thing to do is only use your hanky once, washing your hands immediately. If you are unable to throw your hanky in the laundry right away or if you have to touch it again for any reason you should wash your hands. This is a reliable method for not transmitting disease. If you put a used hanky in your pocket with cold germs on it, just think petri dish.

Here are some links with information on the impact of tissue products:http://www.grinningplanet.com/2005/05-03/clear-cut-old-growth-forests-article.htmhttp://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asphttp://money.cnn.com/2006/09/26/magazines/fortune/pluggedin_gunther.fortune/http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/01/wipe_responsibl.phpTo download a wallet-sized guide to buying green paper products, follow this link:http://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/tissueguide/walletcard.pdfSomething to think about…

  • If every household in the United States replaced just one box of virgin fiber facial tissues (175 sheets) with 100% recycled ones,
  • we could save 163,000 trees.
  • If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 423,900 trees.
  • If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber paper towels (70 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 544,000 trees.
  • If every household in the United States replaced just one package of virgin fiber napkins (250 count) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 1 million trees.


  1. Mommalynne said,

    February 11, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Hard to think about trying to get through a cold without a paper tissue. But keeping a handkerchief for occasional sneezes sounds like a good idea.

    Hope you don’t recycle your cold.

  2. October 5, 2008 at 9:33 am

    […] and before myself other eco-conscious blogers(not that I am claiming to be one)  like ecospace and wasteweardaily and stumbled upon this […]

  3. james said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    this is pretty interesting. also if everyone just bought one less box of tissues and picked their nose more they could have the same effect

  4. January 26, 2009 at 9:52 am

    […] Facial Tissues vs Hankies at WasteWearDaily […]

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