How often do you shave, people? I’m not one to pass judgement on you for following the social norm of shaving, but disposable razors? Well, we can’t let that slide.
Most disposable razors are only good for 6-9 shaves before becoming blunt and ending up in the trash. So a person who shaves often can go through 40-50 disposable razors in a year. Over the course of a lifetime of shaving, this adds up to 2,400 razors (or more).
If each razor weighs half a pound, each person generates about 1,200 pounds of waste.
But, I’m not here to make you feel bad if you prefer your trusty disposable; rather, I’m here to urge you to look at other options. Yes, it is correct. Eco-friendly razors are a thing! Yes, they’re just as good as a traditional razor—but much more environmentally friendly.
Disposable Razors: A menace to the environment
Attention! Plastic razors are the new plastic straws.
Consider the following if you’re still not convinced that such a tiny object may have such a huge impact on the environment.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, around 80 million disposable razor cartridges are discarded each year, with most of them ending up in landfills.
In fact, the EPA estimates that discarded shaving products generate more than 2 million tonnes of plastic trash each year, which subsequently ends up in our waterways or oceans, harming species!
According to a poll conducted by Statista.com, over 60 million razors were sold in the UK in 2017, with the majority of them ending up as landfill garbage and eventually microplastic pollution. This means that all of those little particles of micro-plastic can be consumed by sea organisms like plankton or small fish, and then end up as food on someone’s dinner table.
Not only this, 163 million people in the United States used disposable razors in 2018. It’s safe to suppose that the vast majority of those 163 million disposable razors are discarded.
High time to reduce shaving waste- but how?
Use Eco-Friendly Shaving Cream
Unfortunately, many shaving creams available in supermarkets are not very environmentally friendly.
A lot of shaving cream comes in aerosol cans. The cans contain aerosol propellants to help push the cream out of the can. These propellants are frequently hydrocarbon propellants like butane and propane, which emit greenhouse gases as well.
There are more environmentally friendly alternatives to shaving foam, such as a soap shaving bar, which is biodegradable and usually comes in cardboard packaging that decomposes naturally and is considerably less expensive!
Another example can be Dr. Bronner’s soap bar. This zero-waste soap bar may be used as a body soap as well as a face and body shaving soap, making it suited for both men and women.
All of the soap’s ingredients are cruelty-free, paraben-free, and responsibly sourced. Furthermore, its packaging is free of plastic, making it simple to recycle.
Use Eco-Friendly Aftershave Alternatives
Many aftershave products, like shaving cream, contain elements that are hazardous to the environment, such as artificial chemicals.
Many are also packaged in bottles or containers made of plastic.
Bio park Cosmetics’ Organic Sandalwood Hydrosol aftershave is an eco-friendly aftershave that’s worth checking out. They use only natural components in all of their products.
You might be amazed at how many alternatives exist in the wide world of eco-friendly razors.
So, if you choose to shave (which is completely up to you!) and believe it’s time for a more sustainable solution; you’ve come to the perfect place! In 2020, 158.10 million Americans used disposable razors; by 2024, that figure is expected to rise to 160.16 million.
Investigating environmentally friendly alternatives such as metal, brass, and bamboo razors can help reduce the quantity of plastic that ends up in landfills.
The EPA estimates that 2 billion disposable razors were thrown away in the 1990s; as a result, you should invest in a reusable razor. Safety razors, unlike many modern razors, are built to endure a long time and are almost always plastic-free!
Because most of these reusable razors are constructed of stainless steel, they last a long time. Others are constructed of bamboo and are non-cruelty, plastic-free, and easily recyclable.
There are a variety of disposable razor alternatives available out there if you wish to reduce your disposable razor usage. Let’s dive right into them.
Eco-Friendly Safety Razors
For individuals who wish to get rid of their plastic razors, a safety razor, also known as a double-edged razor, is an amazing solution. Because the razor has a double-edged blade, it may be used on both sides. The majority of safety razors are constructed of brass or stainless steel.
If you prefer to shave, a steel safety razor, which uses replacement blades and can last for years, is a wonderful alternative. Safety razors, in addition to being more environmentally responsible, are easier on the skin and known to cause less skin irritation, making them ideal for persons with sensitive skin.
Eco-Friendly Reusable Razors
Are you worried about switching to a heavy-duty razor? Not to worry, there are other alternatives too!
There are razors that shave just like disposable razors but are made of recycled plastic.
You can look for companies that make disposable products out of recycled materials. Preserve, for example, provides disposable razors manufactured from recycled materials as part of its mission to create sustainable household items (yoghurt cups, to be more specific). Their razor handles are also returned for proper recycling. It is a good environmentally friendly razor at a fair price.
For example, Gillette recently partnered with TerraCycle to launch the Razor Recycling Program, which gives an address to send any used disposable razors from any brand for recycling. Gillette also sells a reusable razor that is manufactured from recycled bottles, as well as packaging that is 85 per cent recycled plastic.
If you prefer a multi-bladed razor that will last you a long time over a safety one, there are metal razors that will accomplish the same job as a disposable razor, just without waste.
Eco-Friendly Disposable Razors
Even though majority of disposable razors are not eco-friendly, some disposable razors are created from recycled plastic.
Ak Hippy Chic manufactures an eco-friendly disposable razor for those who don’t want to give up their throw away razors. Because it’s made of a wheat straw handle and shaves with stainless steel blades, this product is better for the environment than your plastic one.
Eco-Friendly Electric Razors
A high-quality electric razor should last a long time, making it a more environmentally responsible option than the bulk of disposable razors on the market.
Electric razors, unlike safety razors, will eventually wear out with use. A good grade electric razor should last about ten years before needing to be replaced.
Electric razors can be recycled, which is a good thing. You can send your electric razor to one of numerous electric razor recycling programmes, but you will be responsible for the shipping charges, lol.
But don’t you think mailing out an electric razor every 10 years or so is better than sending out disposable razors almost every day?
This hefty metal razor is entirely plastic-free, including the replacement blades. The head pivots to get every little spot, and by choosing your color and one, two, or three blades, your shave is totally customizable.
The nuances, like an extra-long handle (for hard-to-reach locations) and a silicone cap for safe transport, makes this lovely pink razor stand out. You’re free to use it without water or with the brand’s Shave Pillow moisturizing stick, either way!
If you’ve always used standard razors, safety razors will take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of the heavier handle, you’ll be a convert! While the razor may appear to be an investment at first, replacing blades are less than $1 each, bringing the whole cost down significantly over time.
This razor that is completely plastic-free and built entirely of metal. The powder-coated handle won’t rust when wet (which, if you’re a shower shaver, happens all the time) and has handy finger grooves to keep your hold firm. Another fascinating feature is that the curve of the razor head is specifically geared to fit that tough, bothersome underarm area.
This chrome razor is highly regarded for the price and has a hefty grip for a safe, easy shave.
Oui The People
This razor is not just one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen (All sparkly!), but it’s also made to shave even the most delicate skin without causing irritation. Even better, it includes ten replacement blades that will last months.
If this razor appears to be hefty, it is, and that is exactly the point! While lightweight plastic razors require a lot of extra strain to cut through the hair, eco-friendly razors rely on the weight of the thick handle to offer you a super-close shave without any additional pressure. To avoid sensitive, inflamed skin, simply slant the edge about 30 degrees and let the weight lead you.
One change you’ll have to get used to with a safety razor is switching out the blade periodically. But unlike other hair removal methods (hi, DIY waxing), it’s simpler than you think. This one has a butterfly opening, which means you twist the bottom of the handle to open up the doors on top so you can set a new double-ended blade inside and twist it shut. See? Easy.
Rather than the adhesive wall hangers that come with plastic razors, this shaving equipment comes with a weighted stand that makes it simple to store, handle and keep it organised after use.
This little razor—only it’s four inches long—glides over every nook and corner in a way that regular razors can’t. The chrome coating also makes cleaning a breeze. This chromium-plated brass base makes this razor more durable and easier to clean.
Are Eco-Friendly Razors More Expensive?
You may think that disposable razors or cartridge razors are less expensive. If you only look at the sticker price, this may be accurate.
Many disposable razors are at $1 each, however eco-friendly razors, be it- electric razors, safety razors, and even straight razors can cost somewhere from $10 to hundreds of dollars. But wait you need to consider the long-term costs. An electric razor can last up to ten years. Safety razors and straight razors can last a lifetime. Yes, that’s right, a lifetime.
The only additional cost would be the blades for a safety razor, which are rather inexpensive, compared to the cost of purchasing disposable razors on a regular basis.
I’ve laid down the facts, time for you to make a wise choice.
Ditch your Plastic Razor now!
When it comes to shaving, throwaway plastic razors aren’t the only option. It’s also the shaving foam, and all of the shaving essentials come in big, difficult-to-recycle plastic packaging.
Our obsession with disposable products must come to an end. They not only generate waste for landfills, but they also pollute our waterways by leaking harmful chemicals. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, disposable razors are responsible for over two billion five hundred million pounds of plastic trash each year throughout the world.
While you, as one person, might not feel like you can make a huge positive impact by ditching your disposable razors but something has to be said and done for a heightened awareness of the environment and society’s collective shift in attitude. Changing to an eco-friendly razor can make a difference.
Shaving is one area where green has been slow to catch on. With disposable plastic razors and razor blades that need to be replaced on a regular basis, many of the essentials we use end up in the garbage after only a few weeks of use.
It’s no secret that disposable razors squander a lot of money. They’re designed to be used a few times before being discarded. They’re also difficult to recycle. Companies will continue to produce them if we continue to buy them. Because most of them are made of plastic, this means that fossil fuels are still being used to make a product that will most likely end up in a landfill.
In general, becoming more conscious of your consumption and restricting and substituting items like your razor when possible can make a substantial difference, believe it or not.
The real solution to this problem is to change our lifestyle choices and minimize the number of things we buy in general, not only switching to metal safety razor blades! It’s pointless to invest in eco-friendly razors if we continue to use more plastic in our shaving routine.
Alas, the goal here is not only changing the products you use but also reducing your overall consumption so that we may leave the world in a better state than we found it. Buy less, choose well and make it last.
It’s not easy being green, but it’s easier than dying unclean.