The fairies in Meadow Sweet Grove are an old-fashioned lot and they approach many of today's problems with yesterday's solutions. Disposable items are not too appealing to them and only used when absolutely necessary.
One disposable item that is easy to reduce in your household are throw-away paper tissues. The use of a cotton hankie is a great way to love Mother Nature and save money! And if you buy vintage, your footprint is even less, as the item was manufactured long ago and has already paid its due. If you buy just 1 box of Kleenex every month, your yearly outlay is probably between $12 and $36. Use that money to buy vintage hankies instead. They are usually available around $1-3 each, depending on the quality, and you then have a dozen hankies . . . all ready to use for many years to come. Every little bit helps and when you replace disposable items with reusable ones, you really do save $$$.
But what about germs? Sometimes the concern is valid, especially around vulnerable individuals, but in most cases the risk is low. If you are worried about germs - just don't use it when you have a cold but do use it in so many other ways. My father and grand-father always carried a cotton hankie about with them, but I rediscovered hankies when my child was born and was given lots of "baby washcloths". I wound up using them for everything - spills in coffee shops, wiping the corners of baby's mouth, wrapping up sticky pine cones and other nature treasures found on our walks, creating a make-shift tablecloth for eating at a park picnic bench - you name it! Long after my child grew out of this stage, I found I was still using them for everything, but switched to hankies because they are larger and thinner than terry washcloth material. I even tucked one at the back of my heel when a blister developed on a long walk to stop the rubbing! You will find countless uses once you start carrying one and wonder how you ever got along without it. Put one in your pocket, your purse and your car. And when it's dirty? Simply throw it in the wash along with everything else!
My husband's grandfather had a lot of very worn and well-used hankies in his possession - a man who lived to 101 years old! Clearly the germs weren't a hindrance in his case. Old ways sometimes really are best.
© Meadow Sweet Grove / V. Buchanan, 2016, edited 2019
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