Stock in Kleenex

I’m giving a disclaimer right now that this particular post might not be acceptable for those with weak stomachs.  It involves large quantities of snot.

Since I was quite young I’ve had slight allergies.  It’s not really been something that has impacted my life much.  I swell up a bit when I get stung by a bee, and the spring snifflies last a little longer for me.  Like year round.  When I was young my dad used to joke that he should’ve bought stock in Kleenex – that my very existence raised the price.  I never found this very funny – not only was it a grown-up joke about investing, it wasn’t very respectful of my snot condition.  I did end up repaying him in kind however.  As a child I tended to be a little forgetful, leaving various watches, bracelets, toys, hairbrushes, and used Kleenex in odd places.  I can remember stuffing wet handfuls of them into the little flip-top ash trays in the back of our family car.  My parents would find them months later when they were sweeping out the car, completely hardened.

Eventually I learned (after arguments and guilt for years) to pick up after myself a bit better.  My forgetfulness however, continued.  I often forgot to bring tissues with me to school or on long trips.  I learned to make substitutions – toilet paper, paper towel, napkins.  I found that broad green leaves worked better than dried oak ones, but that even dandelion leaves could be used safely in a pinch (I was also allergic to dandelion pollen).  I discovered that crinkling a sheet of notebook paper in your hands repeatedly for several minutes broke down the fibers enough to make it soft, almost the consistency of a hankie.  I also learned how to spit accurately.

Due to my parents early injunctions not to waste and their fear of the amounts they spent weekly on facial tissue, I became an expert on using fully and re-using Kleenex.  That frugality continues today, as does my attempts to remember to take tissues with me everywhere.  I have gloves and at least one pocket pack of tissues in every coat I own.  Every purse comes supplied with its own pack, whether I’ve used it recently or not.  Nowadays I’m more likely to forget my watch in the morning.

I would like to be a little more environment-conscious, so I’ve been looking into tissues made from recycled materials.  I heard a few rumors about CVS brand tissues being 100% recycled, though there was no word on how much of that was post-consumer.  Also various large tissue brands make eco-conscious products, while eco brands like 7th generation have itchy, but more conscious, products.  So far I haven’t tried any of these out, but this will give everyone some starting places for their own trials.  First, my personal favorite, Kleenex. They make a ‘Natural’ tissue product that is 20% post-consumer materials.  So, not high on the recycle-o-meter, but still something.  So far though I haven’t seen them in local stores, so I haven’t been able to test the softness.  Puffs comes up next as the second most well-known brand.  Their online product list didn’t contain anything in the eco area though.  Hopefully they will get on the ball with that soon… I did check out CVS  tissue as well.  Unfortunately only the boxes are 100% recycled.  But hopefully they will be under pressure soon as well to come out with something more eco-friendly.  The real 100% recycled hero here is Seventh Generation – at least 80% of thier facial tissue is made from post-consumer waste.  And they do make some great products elsewhere.  I still need to give them a test run though.  In the end, the nose knows.



  1. Allen Taylor said,

    February 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Allen Taylor

  2. Shannon said,

    February 18, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    dear sister, I think you lied when you typed “slight allergies”. Just a thought. I didn’t want your readers to get the wrong perception, or those who actually know you to feel cheated. Just a thought. Also, you were HORRIBLE at getting the tissues into the trash can in your room. I know, I had to pick them up. Wet, or dry; it was my hand that deposited them in the waste bin. Gross, and I still hate thinking about it. yecht

  3. Your Boyfriend said,

    February 19, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    THANK YOU, Shannon. Amen.

    Stacey — hit the trash can.

    Just for your readers edification, Stace and I went through 6 boxes of tissues in 2 weeks while we were sick. I claim killing of ONE of those.

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