Save a Tree – Use a Hankie – Not a Kleenex

According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, between 3 and 6 billion trees worldwide are cut down per year—for fuel, lumber, and paper products. This rate is not sustainable.

Also not sustainable is a person’s high-tech lifestyle without countering it with high-touch components—such as interaction with real-live people, nature, and/or spirituality. We need balance in our lives. Too much Twittering makes one twacky! One antidote: go outside and sit under a tree to restore your sanity.

In addition, walking in nature has also shown to improve cognitive function. You can’t say that about a field of computers.

Most important: trees exhale the oxygen that we inhale—which is why humankind needs TREES badly—for self-preservation. Which is why conserving them is of paramount importance. Which is why using a handkerchief instead of a Kleenex will save millions of trees per year.

Kimberly Clark, maker of Kleenexes, uses 3.3 million tons of ‘tree fiber.’ No trees are destroyed in the manufacturing of handkerchiefs. Kleenexes are used only once, then thrown away as they are non-recyclable. Handkerchiefs can be used over and over for years (decades possibly?) and launder easily.

If you use a vintage hankie instead of purchasing a new one, there is no carbon footprint to worry about. The cost of a vintage handkerchief is far less than the number of boxes of Kleenex you would have to buy to equal the lifespan of one hankie.

In the world of style, hankies have panache. Kleenexes have lint. Can you see Audrey Hepburn (in a classic role like in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”) wiping a smudge off her nose with a facial tissue?

Lastly, vintage hankies are beautiful—even works of art. Kleenexes are schlubby-looking.

Ladies, which would you rather take out of your purse? This:

or this?

And gentlemen, you know that a fresh white handkerchief (monogrammed or plain) is the only option to use (for whatever reason) in public.

Now the fun part…I collect vintage hankies—mostly floral ones—in cotton or linen. I especially am fond of ones with crochet or tatting on them.

More of my favorites — like the green one with the Celtic design and the ones with pansies:


And hankies with purple flowers:

Handkerchiefs also make lovely gifts for any occasion or “just because.” They’re inexpensive and the selection can be tailored to the individual. For instance, here are the hankies I sent to my friend Diane:

Diane is an enthusiastic fan of Rafael Nadal, tennis superstar from Spain. The national flower of Spain is the carnation and the Spanish flag colors are red and blue. Now when Diane runs into Rafa on the tennis court and he is sweating and needs to mop his forehead, she can lend him a pretty handkerchief with Spanish significance! The yellow one is because Diane’s Grandma gave her hankies with tatting.

I sent these to my friend Georgene, who loves all things Victorian, and has written a book on Victorian weddings (based on her own). She also has a wonderful (and well written!) blog site: “Romancing the Everyday” at  One of Georgene’s recent blogs showcased the artist J.W. Waterhouse (of whom I am now a huge admirer). The hankie on the left reminds me of a painting he did called “The Soul of a Rose.” The hankie on the right looks like another blog by Georgene about squash flowers.

You get the idea.

Now how about this idea? Let’s start a movement: Save a tree. Use a hankie.

Vintage ones are preferable. They’re easy to find at thrift shops or online at The end of Kleenexes will help save our planet—and our selves.

If you would like to join the Save a Tree Movement but can’t find a vintage hankie, I will send you one of the above. I’m giving away for FREE at least 16 hankies (maybe more?). Just email me your name and address.

Thank-you for your participation! Mother Earth thanks you, too.


More hankies, just cuz they’re so cool to look at:

Vintage black and white collection including a Victorian mourning hankie and white lace wedding hankie.

Hankies for Devyn:


Hankies for Laurice:


Hankies for Jo:


Hankies for Dagga:



Hankies for Gaylen:


Hankies for Aspen:

For Diane’s birthday on March 14th:

Here’s The Movement —

Use this:


to save this:



  • Ha! And she’s off! We’ve sparked a campaign. Your collection is just something. I’m behind.

    And what a great giveaway. I’ll mention it on my blog today.

    But can I have a few paper tissues for those icky times? I promise to use my hankies for the rest.

    Friday, September 16, 2011
  • Yes, I agree that there are when times facial tissues are necessary — like lying in bed in the throes of the flu or a nasty head cold. You don’t want to stack up your pretty hankies and blow through them, tossing them on the floor like a pile of snot rags. Not pretty. And germy, too. Eeww!

    Friday, September 16, 2011
  • Diane said:

    thank you again for my hankies !!!! I love them. RAFA will love them when I wipe his brow !!!! what a terrific collection you have ! Allergy season is due….hankies are just in time. I will check out Georgene’s blog too…thanks.

    Friday, September 16, 2011
  • Luanne said:

    Good for you! If anyone need new or vintage hankies they can visit my website here for a great variety

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014
  • Hi Luanne,
    Just read Dr. Mercola’s article today about another reason to save tress — besides the obvious need for oxygen. Trees remove millions of tons of outdoor air pollution… which cuts down on health problems including asthma, lung cancer, stroke, heart and pulmonary disease. So, use a hankie to save the air AND save your life!

    Saturday, August 16, 2014
  • Heather Gale said:

    I’d love a hanky please

    Monday, September 14, 2015
  • Happy to send you one. What is your address? Send it to
    Thanks for saving a tree. 🙂

    Thursday, November 5, 2015
  • Richard Williams said:

    I would love to have one please, thanks greetings from Germany 🙂

    Sunday, January 10, 2016
  • Doris said:

    Please would you be so kind to send me
    a handkerchief, l would like to participate. Thank you. Doris

    Sunday, January 10, 2016