a photo of a letter board with the words cost vs. save on it

My Cost Vs. Saves series continues, this week I am asking Which Is Greener, Tissues or Hankies?

In this series, I take a look at specific products and compare them based on the financial cost and the cost to the environment. Going green doesn’t have to be expensive. Let’s get a close-up on the savings to your wallet AND the environment by going green!

COST- Kleenex Boxes

Financial Cost: 1 Kleenex box costs $1.34 for 144 tissues. The average household of 4 uses approximately 32 boxes annually, totalling $42.88 annually. If you think you use less, or more, just multiply the price by your number of boxes!

Environmental Cost: Tissues can come from wood pulp or recycled paper. If it’s white, it has likely been bleached. In the case of recycled paper, it goes into a giant pulper, which breaks up the paper and adds water. The next machine injects the pulp with air, which causes air bubbles that drain off, removing ink. Ink-free pulp gets rolled and removes excess water, breaks up the pulp and rinses it with MORE water. Then it becomes a thin ply of paper, and the converting machine changes it into tissues: bonding the 2 papers together, suctioning and cutting them. 2-ply meets another set of 2-ply to create 4-ply and folds them in half, interlocking.  

SAVE- Hankies (DIY or purchased)

Financial Cost of DIY: ZERO! Upcycle! I’ve taken an older sheet, cut it into squares, and put it in a mason jar in the living room or bathroom. Great to dab a drippy nose, and throw in the laundry. The cost of producing the fabric itself has already been spent, so by repurposing, you are diverting from the landfill.

Financial Cost of Purchased: One hankie lasts a lifetime, but if it’s in the laundry bin, it is helpful to have a spare on hand (or, “in pocket!”). There is an upfront cost ranging from $10.99 for a 6-pack to $36 for an organic cotton 8-pack from EcoFreako, and the cost of laundering in-house. Organic cotton is the best fabric to choose from. 

3 Bonuses: 1- Skip resource-intensive production of single-use paper products 2- Gentler on your skin 3- Avoid bleach found in many facial tissues! 

Total Cost-Save: $42.88 for a year’s worth of Kleenex, or $0-$36 start-up cost for hankies that will last indefinitely. It’s a no-brainer. By going green, you can save! 


which is greener, hankies or tissues

Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.
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