Here’s an easy way to reduce your impact: switch to cloth handkerchiefs instead of disposable tissues. Save trees, land, water and more, and reduce how much waste you sent to landfill.

A couple of years ago, an article in The Times (scroll down past the stuff on photos) said that, according to the European Tissue Symposium (the European Tissue Symposium?!), an average European uses 13kg of tissue a year (albeit including toilet tissue), which is apparently the average weight of a two-and-a-half-year-old boy. That’s a lot of tissue paper!

I switched two or three years ago and I’m still amazed that I used tissues for so many years. Why didn’t I think of it before? After all, we greenies (is that an unfortunate term for a post on this topic?) know that anything disposable=bad, right? I bought some lovely, soft, unbleached, organic cotton hankies and I’ve even found hankies (brand new in box, don’t worry) in charity shops.

I guess some people might be put off by the ick-factor. How is it any worse than carrying round a used tissue though? And there’s no danger of a hanky disintegrating in your pocket: not even in the washing machine.

They’re easy to wash. I just put them in my ordinary 30 degree white wash. And I don’t iron them: they’ll soon be scrumpled up in my pocket anyway.

The only time I use disposable tissues now is when I’ve got a heavy cold. Then I do treat myself to balm-infused tissues to stop my nose getting sore.

And the cherry on top is that this is one of those green changes that saves money. No more buying boxes of tissues. Each hankie last for years. I haven’t even yet had to face the dilemma about how worn out they have to be before I chuck them in my worm composter.

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