Day 202: Razor Sharp

razor1This is an example of what our bathroom looks like.  Yup, you can see we have a little hoarding problem.  Each of the three of us have at least 2 to 3 razors on the go.

I think we’re all too guilt-ridden to throw them in our bins.  As long as they stay in the shower, we remain blissfully guilt-free and can ignore the fact that we have been partaking in such a disposable cultural monstrosity.  I haven’t thrown a razor out in 6 months, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been using them.

Maybe wrazor2e’re scared that we’ll run out, so we don’t want to be throwing potentially useful things in the garbage.  What is considered a dull blade now, may be the sharpest one on hand in another 8 weeks.   After all, we’re only half way through our year.  I have to ration my razors.  

Grant is actually officially out of blades.  He is just rotating the same 6 heads over and over, pretending they’re new.

If this were simply a waste-free project, I would probably buy one of those old-fashioned safety razors with the changeable blades. My Grandpa used to have one, and I distinctly remember putting pieces of cardboard in it and pretending to shave my face.  They seem easy enough, and from what I’ve read they are waste-free and cost razor3effective.

But, the Clean Bin Project being what it is, we can’t buy anything. . . . so we’re into rationing.

Sometimes I think this whole hairless thing we have going on in our Western culture is a bit silly.  Women shave their legs but not men?  Who came up with this?

This may be too much detail for some of you, but I’ve given up on my legs for the winter.  Seriously, if I want to have baby smooth skin come the summer, I need to save my last few blades until the sun comes out.  True, my leg hair looks ridiculous sticking through my nylons, but I’m willing to opt for pants for a few months.  No one needs to know what is growing under my long johns, except Grant, and my legs are nothing compared to his!

And lest we forget the underarms, I tried the hairy armpit route back in my treeplanting days, but it just wasn’t for me.  I think it’s better to shave under there, and save water because I don’t have to shower as much.

So waste-freers.  What do you do?  Do you use a sexy straight blade?  Or a safety razor?  Do you go for the interchangable head or buy the Preserve razors where they actually pay your postage to mail your used razors back for proper recycling? Do you wax or trim electric? Heck, maybe you forgo the smooth style altogether and ditch the blade.

What’s the most eco method?  Or is it a balance between the environment and fashionable preference?

10 Comments

Filed under Hygiene

10 responses to “Day 202: Razor Sharp

  1. I replace the cartridges less often and double up on lotion after the shower. That seems to help. I would love to switch to something like a Preserve razor, but I’m so klutzy that I really need the safety blade — and even then I cut myself a lot.

  2. inchingalong

    Drying the razor after use helps keep them sharper (I won’t say they don’t dull at all) and for me, I just bought a “razor saver” and used it on about 10 razors that were floating around my bathroom drawer. The big test will be this week when I try one out. I shave about twice a month, some times less in the winter, so you aren’t alone with the “I’ll just wear pants.” I do wear knee-hi nylons, which I find slide down more when the hair is too long. (Side note: through a lot of care, I have been using the same box – 10 pairs of knee-hi’s and 2 pairs of pantyhose for over a year).

    I have never really used shaving cream, so I reduce waste there. I was looking at my husband’s can and it says it can be recycled, but not according to my recycling companies guidelines. Ho hum. He is currently sporting a beard and uses a rechargable trimmer and just tidies us his neck now and again.

  3. I got fed up with all the plastic I was burning through with disposable replacement heads and disgusted with their hefty price. So, back in October I started using a safety razor. I have to say that I absolutely love it! I have only changed the blade once so far and I shave nearly every day with it. I stopped buying shave gel, too. Now I just use Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap for everything: shampoo, body wash, and shave gel. It really gets a good lather going. These two things have drastically reduced my waste and saved me a butt load of money.

    For anyone scared of the safety razor, my 12 year old daughter started using one at Christmas and she is still alive. Have no fear!

  4. Hi Jen,

    The steel safety razor is ace. Having used one for about 6 months, with only 1 change of double blade, I would recommend it for all shaving scenarios. The vastly reduced waste is another big plus. For soap, a quick lather from left-over soap does the job fine.

    Switch blade razors are an older alternative for men. With these you sharpen the blade as often as necessary. These are true Zero Waste. I have one but have not tried it yet as the 100 blades for my steel razor will last years.

  5. Ruben

    I switched to a double-edged safety razor several months ago and have seen my razor burn disappear and my quality of life skyrocket.

    I had tried safeties before and got wicked burn, but some more googling and youtubing sorted it out. The key is many short strokes, not the sweeping arc that you see on razor commercials. Also, true shave afficionados shave four times–down, at an angle one way, at an angle the other way, and up.

    I also got some really nice shaving soap and a badger brush. I use a heavy bowl to work up a nice lather in and then keep the bowl in the sink of hot water so the lather stays warm.

    So, my morning is now a luxurious experience instead of an obligation…so much nicer.

    • Inching along – I find lots of companies put “recyclable” on their container without regards to where recycling facilities actually exist. Why the heck are they allowed to do that?

      Green Sheep and John- Thanks for the safety razor promotion. I’m becoming convinced that this is the way to go. Can you recycle the blade or is it banned because it’s too sharp?

      Ruben – I have never heard a more poetic pronouncement in favor of a simple razor. Skyrocketing quality of life? This must be worth it. Thanks for the razor burn tip. Come July 1st, I’m looking forward to my own “luxurious experience”.

      • I phoned my municipality and hazardous waste drop off after purchasing my safety razor to inquire about recycling the blades. They do not. Bummer. But, I have been using my safety razor daily for over six months now and am only on blade number three. Far more economical and ecological than disposables or plastic razors with replaceable heads. I am 100% confident that I made the right choice. Go for it!

  6. Pingback: Getting Smooth the Vintage Way « The Clean Bin Project

  7. Melanie

    I bought an epilator about 8 years ago and I have only needed to buy razor blades once since I have had my epilator. For those who don’t know an epilator is basically a collection of electric tweezers and works like waxing. You do it and hair is gone for weeks. I only shave for times that I can’t wait for the hair to be long enough to epilate. I highly recommend them.

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