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Use an eco-friendly razor

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While the verdict is still out on which type of razor—electric, safety, or straight—has the smallest environmental footprint, you can get a green shave every time by choosing razors that are made from recycled materials, reusable razors with a long lifespan, and those that are powered by renewable energy.

What to look for when choosing an eco-friendly razor

When seeking an eco-friendly razor, consider the resources required to produce the razor, the water and energy the razor will use throughout its lifetime, and how much waste the razor will create at the end of its life. Additional considerations can be made for the tools that will accompany your new razor: for example, disposable razors require the use of petrochemical-based shaving gels and creams that can harm the environment and human health. Straight razors require the use of safer-for-the-earth shaving soaps, but they require additional tools, such as a shaving brush and soap dish. Overall, when shopping for a green razor:

  • Look for razors that are made from recycled materials: Disposable safety razors, by their throw-away nature, require the most raw materials to produce and generate the most waste over time of all shaving tools. The handles of the 2 billion disposable razors sold annually in the US are usually constructed from plastic, which is a petroleum-based material that can pollute soil, groundwater, and the air during production. Recycled plastic handles require fewer virgin resources, use less energy in manufacturing, and keep plastic waste out of the landfill.
  • Find energy-efficient electric razors: Electric razors require energy to charge—one green blogger reports that his uses as little as 4 watts from the outlet, while other sources report them using as much as 15 watts—but they do not require the use of hot water that straight and disposable razors do. Solar-powered electric razors offer the best of both worlds, allowing you to save water and energy.
  • Go reusable and prolong the life of your razor: Straight razors, by design, create the least amount of waste of any of the shaving tools available today—you just sharpen and reuse the blade time and time again. Disposable razors with replaceable blades also decrease waste associated with shaving since the only part you pitch is the blade itself. By purchasing a blade sharpener (they're even available for disposable razors!), you can prolong the life of any razor blade and decrease the amount of waste associated with your shave.
  • Look for razors from comanies that do not employ animal testing: While you're contemplating green attributes, you may also wish to join the cruelty-free movement. Just keep in mind: a company may claim that they don’t employ animal testing for their products, Leaping Bunnybut without third-party verification, it’s hard to know whether these statements are in fact completely true. So stick to those products certified as cruelty-free by looking for products with the Leaping Bunny Logo or the Certified Vegan Logo.

Find it! Eco-friendly razors

No matter which type of razor you choose, there are options available that are designed to minimize waste (think reusable), conserve resources (think recycled), and reduce energy use (think solar powered).

Using an eco-friendly razor helps you go green because...

  • Disposable razors and blade cartridges find their way into landfills after several uses. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) projects that an estimated 2 billion disposable razors enter US landfills each year.[1] Eco-friendly alternatives are made to last longer and/or be recycled.
  • A sizable amount of packaging (and money) is wasted on disposable shaving products. With the right care, an eco-friendly razor can last for the long-haul.
  • Although electric razors don't require water or shaving creams and last longer than their disposable brethren, they consume energy and/or require batteries made from dangerous heavy metals.

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Comments

11/02/2009
9:07pm
elijahcraig

You have neglected to mention the vast array of Double Edge safety razors available. One can buy a new razor from Merkur, Muhle-Pinsel or Edwin Jagger to name a few, or acquire a used vintage Gillette.

The DE Safety razor blades often come in cardboard packaging and it is far better to recycle one blade than a plastic holder and/or a cartridge with mega thin strip blades.

04/07/2010
10:17am
Dave

You might want to check out EverBlade http://www.greeneverblade.com They have a great product to keep your razor sharp and their shaving products are the best I've tried.

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