Waste Free Shaving

Day 22 of the zero waste challenge
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Welcome to day 22 of the zero waste challenge. Today it’s getting hairy.

All of us have to do it sooner or later, shave whether you like to wear a full beard or prefer to shave your facial hair into a crazy design, with racecars and stuff. Or perhaps you like that scruffy hippie look with hairy legs, ladies? Yeah, didn’t think so, strangely it is not considered “normal” to have hairy legs as a woman anymore. But, whatever rocks your boat.

At some stage, we all have to pull out the razor and shave. But how waste free is our shaving?

Most of us have heard about the “dollar shave club,” and most of us know the aisle in the supermarket with the hundreds of different shavers in all shapes or forms. That’s a great example of non-waste-free shaving 🙂 Sorry dollar shave club!

Often, the supermarket razors are only a couple of bucks, but they get you with the expensive refill blades. When you look at the aisle, you will notice that every single one is either wrapped in plastic or totally made out of plastic, except for the blade itself.

shaving aisle 1
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But why not opt-in for a razor that:

  1. last for life
  2. looks great
  3. doesn’t destroy the environment
  4. is 100% zero waste ???

Are disposable razors recyclable?

Disposable razors are not recyclable. They typically end up in the landfill after a few uses.

2 billion razors end up in landfill each year.

Disposable razors are often made from several different materials. The handle contains different types of plastic and some rubber for grip. Then there are the cartridges, which include the metal blades embedded in plastic. (Aside from the recycling challenge, the sharp edges also pose a safety risk to waste workers if they’re not disposed of properly, which is another thing to keep in mind.)

As you know, plastic is derived from crude oil, which is a nonrenewable resource. Innovative thinking is needed, and there are some great solutions.

Double-edged Razor vs. Cartridge

The double-edged razor uses stainless steel blades, which are 100% recyclable. They cost cents rather than dollars. My grandpa used to have one and my wife has one that is 100 years old. How cool?

double edged razor 1
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The cartridges are blades embedded in plastic, which are not recyclable and just end up in the landfill. Companies like the dollar shave club have made the cheap throwaway razor even less expensive, but it comes with a significant environmental price.

cartridge 1
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We can now see the impact of our throw away-society everywhere you look. If you go for a stroll through a forest, chances are you will find some plastic wrapper on the ground. If you go to the beach, chances are you will find cigarette butts and bottle caps.

Every seabird has plastic in their stomachs. And then you read statistics like this one:

The Razor market is expected to reach 20.2 billion, $$$ in 2024. I think it is time to interrupt it. Honestly, since I have a metal shaver in my house, I feel a bit more manly.

What is the solution?

A small step is all it takes to create some momentum. Today, start and get yourself a safety razor made from metal. They last for ages to come, are stylish, and make for a great shave.

“If you have sensitive skin, fewer blades will be more gentle on your skin. More blades mean that more razors are scraping across the skin, more risk of irritation and more stripping of oils,” says Dr. Jeremy Fenton, a dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology Group NYC. ~ Huffpost

Since I have moved over to the double-edged safety razor and my wife, I have no complaints. This thing is sharp as hell, and we bought some blades that will last us for a decade to come. Cheap as well.

While the razor itself might cost a bit more than your $15 supermarket Gillette. It will pay off in the long run. The refill blades are $6 for 100 compared to $20 for 15.

The double-edged safety razor

safety razor
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This model unscrews the top part to make room for the blade.

The Butterfly Open Razor

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This one has a screw on the bottom that will open the top area like a butterfly to make room for the blade.

You can choose between these two styles of safety razors. We have the standard screwing one. It works totally fine. Nothing fancy does what it is supposed to be doing, hold the blade in place.

Will ditching disposable razors really make a difference?

This is like everything. If you are the only one on the planet that stopped using disposable razors, then no. You wouldn’t have an impact. But the more people are doing it, the more of a result we can have. Together we can make a difference, and waste-free shaving is one step closer to a greener planet.

If you feel like you have more to say and contribute your ideas and tips to the zero waste community, we welcome you.

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