Atishoo Shouldn’t Cost the Earth

At any time of year we can be plagued with runny noses or itchy eyes. There are different types of pollen around all the time that can trigger unwanted allergic reactions. Similarly, you could get a cold in any season, not just in winter.

So it’s fair to say that we need tissues all year round. They’re easy to buy, hygienic and disposable. You probably have a packet stuffed in every bag and coat you own, and more in the cupboard for emergencies, and why wouldn’t you? You don’t want to get caught out and have to wipe your nose on your sleeve!

Can you remember the hanky checks at school in the 70s? In assembly all the children had to sit on the floor and when commanded by the teacher conducting the check, they had to wave their handkerchief in the air. Anyone that didn’t have one would be asked to stay behind to be taught about germs.

It’s hilarious isn’t it? The waving of hankies was spreading the germs – lol!  Thank goodness we’ve moved our germs into hygienic and disposable tissues.

Is it entirely a good thing though?

Tissues are made from paper; often the paper is recycled but not always. Trees make the paper and paper makes the pulp. For each tissue that gets used another one will need to be made in its place, probably more. The process of making tissues from the pulp needs water and electricity.

When your nose or eyes are running you wipe them and throw the tissue in the bin. It’s very hygienic but very wasteful.

What can we do though? If we stop using tissues then how will we wipe our noses? If we stop throwing tissues away then we’re just going to be knee-deep in germs. We know this because we’ve been told about how dangerous germs are.

Well, we have an idea for you. How about an old fashioned handkerchief for everyday wiping of clear but runny noses, blobs of mascara in the corner of your eyes and anything else that isn’t infectious? For more ‘germy’ things, use a tissue and throw it away. Be sure to throw it in a bin though, not down the toilet as they’re very difficult for the treatment plants to process.

We think it’s a genius and yet under-used plan. Yes, there would be a few little germs on your hanky after wiping your nose, even if it’s runny but clear, but you can put it in the washing machine and get a clean one out as often as you like.  There are germs everywhere. If you want to get paranoid about it try thinking about your phone or keyboard – yuk.

So let’s be realistic. Could you reduce the amount of disposable tissues in your life? Could you make one small change to help protect the environment by buying a set of handkerchiefs?

There’s definitely a valid place for tissues when you have a cold, and it’s good we have that option. At Just Good Living we like to offer up ideas but encourage you to take them on board in your own style. We don’t want you to go into a pattern of tissue-hating or banning, that’s too much. Could you just change it a little?

We’d love to know what you think. Could you make a small change? Or does the idea of it set off germy panic in your head?

We’re all different and we all have different thoughts about the wider world, and our own. What’s right for one person isn’t right for another. There’s no doubt though that it would have a big impact on the environment if we used fewer disposable tissues.

As always, you decide.


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