The Humble Handkerchief

Has anyone else seen the movie ‘the intern’ with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro? Well I highly recommend it as an easy to watch, light hearted movie. But there was a scene in the movie devoted to the humble handkerchief where Ben (played by De Niro) describes the lost art of carrying a handkerchief. Anyway, my point is, is that this small square piece of cloth has slowly been fazed out of society when it was once a ubiquitous necessity carried by almost everyone on a daily basis.

This really got me thinking, why is it that we have become so dependent on disposable, single use tissues as opposed to handkerchiefs? Is it because we perceive tissues to be cheap? Is it because we find to concept of washing fabric we sneeze into disgusting? I’m not sure what the reason is but it’s something I’m willing to delve deeper into.

Using handkerchiefs would be a lot better for the environment owing to the fact they are reusable, but also I believe a lot better for our hip pockets and a more frugal choice. You can buy a pack of three for about $10 and granted if you were going to use these full time you’d probably need a few more than that but let’s just run with this for arguments sake. If those three last say two years that’s $3.33 a year and I’ll be honest, I spend more than that a year on  tissues. But I also know that washing pocket hankies takes time, water and energy costs however, I believe this is outweighed by the reduced environmental impact and cost as they aren’t heading into landfill everyday.

I’m currently thinking about giving the old hanky a whirl and seeing what it’s like..and to be perfectly honest it’d be nice to sneeze into something that doesn’t immediately then disintegrate in my hand (come on we’ve all been there).

With environmentalism currently trending, could the hankie be on the road to make a big comeback? What’s the difference between this and a reusable straw? using kitchen cloths instead of paper towel?

What are your thoughts on the handkerchief?