Day 52: A little lesson on sustainability from Japan


Mount Fuji, Japan. Source: Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Yesterday when I was trawling through the Internet looking for another brave person that would endorse using a handkerchief instead of single-use tissues (by the way, I found her, and she’s amazing), I came across several little snipets and stories about the role of the handkerchief in Japanese culture. It would seem that the handkerchief in Japan is still in wide use, and what’s more, it’s out of practicity, not fashion!

The Japanese use their handkerchiefs in two manners:

  1. To wipe sweat/makeup from their faces (understandably, as Japan is a hot and humid country in the summer).
  2. To dry their hands on after they wash their hands in the bathroom. Apparently, there aren’t that many single-use paper towels in Japanese public bathrooms to dry your hands on.

Isn’t that great? Instead of requiring bathrooms to load themselves with dead trees that came from beautiful forests, only to turn into trash for a single consumption, everyone could carry little handkerchiefs with them to dry their hands on after using the bathroom!

Challenge accepted. This is another eco-item I’ve added to my purse. That brings the total of three items I’ve added to my purse this year (water bottle, mesh bag, and baggy with handkerchief).


How about you? Think you can handle this eco-action to make the world a better place?

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