make-believe: cold weather.

October 18, 2012
I mentioned on Friday that I was combatting a bit of a cold last week. Well, it got a little worse before it got better, but I think I managed to wipe that sucker out before it did the same to me. It wasn’t anything that multiple cups of herbal tea with honey and a hot toddy or two couldn’t cure.* It did manage to get me feeling a little guilty about the number of paper tissues I ripped through. In my never-ending quest to reduce our household waste, I’ve been pondering the switch to handkerchiefs. I promise I won’t start stuffing them up my sweater sleeve Ć  la my grandmother, but I was recently in a home where the family had filled a wooden tissue box with pretty hankies instead of tissues and the whole setup was pretty impressive. The only real problems I forsee is amassing (and storing) enough hankies, and being able to get them to the laundromat fast enough that I don’t lose my nerve. What do you think? Could you do it? 

*In case I’m not so lucky next time, I’m planning to make a big batch of elderberry syrup to get me through cold season. Are you guys interested in seeing a few herbalism remedies here, too?

1. handkerchiefs 2. hudson manhattan rye whiskey 3. honey dipper 4. massive mug 5. tissue box 6. elderberry syrup

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  • Reply Alix October 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I'm a big fan of handkerchiefs for those days when you know you're going to go through a whole box of tissues (and not leave the house). I just throw it in my laundry bag at the end of the day. I do recommend getting the more substantial hankies (the ones people use as bandanas) rather than the ladylike silk ones. Those will be used up in 10 minutes…plus they're kind of too cute to use.

  • Reply Janet Z October 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I have a really big vintage metal basket full of folded up hankies in my downstairs bathroom. We don't by tissues anymore. (We don't buy paper towels either, but that's another story)

    I also keep hankies in my purse, my pockets, and yes, occasionally up my sleeve.

    • Reply Janet Z October 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      I mean we don't "buy". Typing without glasses on.

    • Reply Erin October 18, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      yes! sounds so easy. we haven't used paper towels since…ever, so i'm thinking the transition can't be too rough!

  • Reply Lauren October 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I'm a fan of hankies for the everyday sniffles (I spend all of fall with mild allergies, and then the cold of winter always makes my nose run). When I'm actually sick though, I switch to disposable tissues. Blowing through my hankie supply and needing to do laundry is just too much to handle when I feel crummy. And I'd also second the vote for cotton over silk, much more absorbent (ew!)…

  • Reply Lottie Simm October 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    i am never sure about hankies i love how pretty they are but then i always worry about the germs.

  • Reply mary October 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Don't know if I could do the hankie thing! I think some old fashioned things like that are lovely…for the purpose of drying one's eyes, etc, but if I ACTUALLY had a cold I'd be more concerned about the germs than the waste!

    Mary from Light Sleeper, Heavy Dreamer

  • Reply Norma October 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I use hankies but not all nose blowing goes into a hankie. Cold weather sniffles is okay but if I'm really sick and "guck" is coming out, I switch to tissues. I buy all my hankies used at garage sales or estate sales but I have been gifted a few too.

  • Reply Norma October 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Oh and yes…..I'd love some herbal remedy posts!

  • Reply m. y. October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    glad to hear that you're feeling better.

    you have my full support on the addition of some herbal remedies!

  • Reply J+H @ Beyond The Stoop October 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    a tissue box full of hankies is a GREAT idea! but… maybe i can pawn some off my grandma… i KNOW she's got a huge stash of them that i could CLEARLY use more than she does šŸ˜‰ plus heirloom anything is better than store bought.

  • Reply Anonymous October 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Yes to herbal remedies and yes to hankies! Not very lady-like, but I use cut up old cotton tshirts, or bandanas. Super absorbant and endless supply. And WAY more softer on delicate noses.

  • Reply Elspeth @ paper armour October 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Yes, herbal remedies please!

  • Reply Julia (Color Me Green) October 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    yes, i definitely recommend handkerchiefs. bananas work well for this purpose. after each use i just fold it up so the gross bits are on the inside and put it back in my purse and reuse later that day. if you get a few, i'm sure that will be enough.

  • Reply Caroline October 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I'd love to read about some herbal remedies! And as much as I would like to be environmentally conscious, handkerchiefs for colds really just become really concentrated holding cells for all the germs you're expectorating.

  • Reply Drew Frohn October 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Very interested!

  • Reply Kari October 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I am a huge fan of handkerchiefs. Better for the environment and kinder to your nose. We do keep kleenex around for guests, though. I find all the worry about germs to be quite amusing. Our parents/grandparents (depending on your age) didn't have the option of not using handkerchiefs and they had no more trouble with colds than we do. Handling a used kleenex is no more hygenic than handling a used handkerchief. Just wash your hands afterwards. We worry too much about germs these days. It's been proven that more exposure actually results in less illness as your body can build up defenses.

  • Reply Joan October 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Yes on the remedies.
    Not quite sure if I could go the handkerchief way.

  • Reply Erin October 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Yes, to the herbal remedies. My grandmother always fed us a tablespoon of elderberry syrup whenever we felt a cold/sore throat coming on. Powerful (and delicious) stuff.

  • Reply Amielle October 18, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I really don't know how I feel about handkerchiefs. In theory, I like the idea and even though I'm really not a germaphobe, not by a long shot, something about it still turns me off a bit. Though, now that you're saying it, I'm tempted by the thought of trying it this winter. Hmmm.

  • Reply Inge October 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I'd love to hear about some herbal remedies. The handkerchief things is tricky. I think it's better to use them, but that whole gross grandma thing gets in the way šŸ˜‰

  • Reply Erin October 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    mmm. germs. probably smart to think carefully about those (heh). i'm thinking that if we had lots and lots of hankies, you wouldn't have to reuse the same dirty one over and over. just toss in the laundry and wash? maybe i'd use a separate canvas bag for the dirty hankies. this is getting kind of gross. sorry.

    • Reply Stephanie Roberts October 18, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      yes please on herbal remedies!

      I think using hankies is a great idea and agree with Kari that we are a little too germ crazy and if you are careful about tossing everything in the laundry you are good to go. I've never thought about using hankies instead of tissue and am absolutely in love with the idea, thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Milynn {Love + Whimsy} October 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I think a box of hankies is an awesome idea! Saves money and produces less waste. Smart!

  • Reply Chrys October 18, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Yes on herbal remedies please. As far as hankies, I remember being sent to school with one in kindergarten for my allergies (No, I am not showing my age, that was unusual then :). For a cold, if you had a lot of them to avoid reusing much I suppose ok. Though honestly for a really nasty infection I would still use tissue

  • Reply Mary October 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Yes on herbal remedies. Thanks for starting my mind wheels turning on new ways to be more sustainable! Hadn't thought of using handkerchiefs for a while. Thinking of a new way to do something is the first step to changing!

  • Reply Gregory Brown October 19, 2012 at 1:06 am

    I usually carry a handkerchief. I've thought of it as a nice men's accessory. I never really considered stockpiling them around the house.

    This is probably too gross for your digital collage, but a neti pot saves me during cold & allergy seasons.

  • Reply Daniella Ciotti October 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Hmmm, i'm not so sure how i'd feel about a hankie, even though i'm always looking for kleenex. A cold office, makes for a runny nose all the time! Not sure i'd like to be carrying around a dirty one though…

  • Reply Cindy October 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    i always have a hankie with me, but use it strictly for blotting when its cold or hot. i don't imagine using one for something more and don't really want to wash & iron a lot of them – it's bad enough being sick :). i'd also be interested in your herbal remedies. enjoy your weekend!

  • Reply tamerajane October 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I use handkerchiefs, but it really grosses everyone around me out.

  • Reply sweet harvest moon October 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Yes, would love to hear more about herbal remedies!

  • Reply Pam April 26, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I have around 40 or so handkerchiefs from family who have passed away, I didn't use them for years, but then one day I did and now I use them all the time in my house and just put them in the hamper with all the other laundry to be washed. So much softer.

  • Reply Pam April 26, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    I have around 25 or so old pretty handkerchiefs from family that have passed away, I couldn't throw them away but never used them, one day I washed them all and started using them all the time in my house. I put them in the hamper with the other laundry, they just keep getting softer and softer.

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