Use an eco-friendly razor
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, but 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).
PETA-approved, this stylish (it has a permanent place in the Smithsonian's Museum of Design) little hair tamer from Hok2 provides a close, clean, cruelty-free shave. The suction cup hanger allows for easy-to-find storage in the shower. Available in clear or green non-slip solid rubber.
Do your local landfill and your checking account a favor by using 75 percent fewer razors a year. Impossible, you say? It's not with the Razor Saver, a money-saving gadget that sharpens regular or disposable razors.
Recycline's Preserve Razor Recyclable's handle is crafted from 100 percent recycled plastics (65 percent coming from old Stonyfield Farms organic yogurt cups) and can itself by recycled locally or sent directly to Recycline with a postage-paid label.
For clean-cut campers who don't want to blend in too much with the wildlife (unless you're looking to get up close and personal with local Ursidae), the Sol Shaver Solar Razor is the perfect green grooming tool. Powered by energy provided by the sun, the razor's compact design is ideal for travel.
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. 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.
- Mindful Momma - Eco-Shave
- Righteous (re)Style - Eco-neurosis: Shaving or Waxing?
- Eco-chick - Beards Are the New Hotness
- Eco Joe's - Save Money and the Environment with Immortal Razors
- ChicagoTribune.com - Extending life of razor blades leaves users dry
- Shaving Stuff A shave-centric weblog for men and women