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Most people don’t think about the environmental impact of shaving. However, shaving creates a fair amount of waste. Millions of plastic disposable razors are thrown away each year. Add in those cans of shaving cream and you are left with a lot of trash just to have smooth legs. Want a green shaving routine? These sustainable shaving tips are a great way to minimize the impact of achieving that super smooth skin.
From bamboo or steel razors to using shaving cream or soap that comes in a recyclable container, start your journey towards a green shaving routine without giving up that close, smooth shave.
Is it better to not shave?
Yes, I know that some women are all ‘We refuse to shave because hair is natural’. Okay, I get it. Yes, hair is natural. I also detest the way my hairy legs feel as they rub up against each other. I have no desire to have legs as hairy as my husband. It’s not my thing. If it is YOUR thing, that is awesome. You don’t need these environmentally friendly shaving tips.
So, is it better not to shave? It’s a common question with no easy answer. Some people believe that shaving causes more hair to grow back, while others find that it leaves their skin feeling irritated. So, what’s the verdict? Is it better to shave or not shave?
There is no definitive answer, as everyone’s skin and hair type are different. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when making the decision.
First, shaving does not cause more hair to grow back. This is a myth that has been perpetuated for years, but there is no scientific evidence to support it. In fact, shaving simply cuts the hair at the skin’s surface.
Second, shaving can be beneficial for some people, as it can help to exfoliate the skin and remove dead cells. However, it’s important to be careful when shaving, as it can also irritate the skin and cause razor burn.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to shave is a personal one. But, if you do want to shave, it’s best to do it with a small carbon footprint bu following a few simple yet sustainable shaving tips.
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The facts about disposable razors
Although disposable razors are extremely convenient, there is a downside to them – they can have a negative impact on the environment.
Most disposable razors are made from plastic, which means that they will not decompose. This means that every disposable razor blade that has ever been used is still sitting in a landfill somewhere.
In addition, the manufacturing of disposable razors requires the use of fossil fuels, which can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
For these reasons, it is important to be aware of the environmental impact of disposable razors before you use them.
There are alternatives to plastic disposable razors. By choosing eco-friendly razors over disposable ones, you can help to reduce your impact on the environment.
What is the most environmentally friendly way to shave?
There are a few different eco-friendly options when it comes to shaving.
The first, and perhaps most obvious, is to simply use less water. I’ll share a few tips on that later in the article.
Another eco-friendly option is to use a razor with fewer blades. While five-blade razors may provide a closer shave, they also require more energy and resources to manufacture. A two- or three-blade razor will get the job done just as well and be more eco-friendly.
You can also opt for a reusable razor. These razors can be made of steel, bamboo, or even recycled plastic. However, make sure to choose a razor with replaceable blades, as this will help to reduce waste.
Finally, the type of shaving cream you choose makes a difference. Shaving cream often comes in non-recyclable cans, however, there are several zero-waste alternatives as well.
Let’s dive in and take a look at each of these factors a little more closely.
What makes a razor sustainable?
When it comes to sustainable living, every little bit counts. And when it comes to sustainable razors, there are a few things to consider.
First, eco-friendly razors are made from materials that can be reused or recycled. Or that have already been used once and been remade into a razor. This includes everything from the handle to the blade.
Second, the MOST sustainable razors are designed to last longer. This means that they are made from durable materials and can be sharpened or repaired instead of being thrown away.
Finally, the manufacturing of sustainable razors often comes with a smaller environmental footprint over the long term. This means that they use less energy and resources to actually make and they generate less waste.
As a result, sustainable razors can help you reduce your impact on the planet – without sacrificing a close shave.
From plastic-free packaging to programs that recycle disposable razors, many manufacturers are getting on board and creating eco-friendly razors because THEIR CUSTOMERS are demanding it.
Look for razors made from recycled materials:
Most disposable razors have handles that are made from plastic which is not the best for the environment – especially for how often we sometimes need to replace them.
Try choosing a razor that is made from recycled plastic instead. Recycled Razors are not as cheap as the ones you find in the grocery store but there are many that allow you to change out only the blade head, which will reduce your overall cost in the long run.
While sustainable disposable razors are not yet widely available, there are a few brands that are making an effort. Finding a plastic-free razor might take a little more work, however, finding the best eco-friendly razors is worth the effort.
While these options are often more expensive than conventional disposable razors, they offer a more sustainable option for those who are looking to reduce their impact on the environment.
What about bamboo razors?
Do bamboo razors work well?
Bamboo razors are a great eco-friendly alternative to disposable razors. Less plastic in this world is always a good thing.
They are often made with replaceable blades, which means that you can use them for years without having to replace the entire razor.
Additionally, bamboo razors are often biodegradable, which means that they will break down over time and will not clutter up landfills for decades.
Finally, they are often more affordable in the long term than disposable razors, which makes them a great option for those who are looking to save money. Try Schick Xtreme Bamboo Razor if you would a change from traditional razors.
Try a Stainless-Steel Safety Razor
What’s the difference between a regular razor and a safety razor? A regular razor has a blade that is exposed and can be very dangerous if not used properly. A safety razor, on the other hand, has a blade that is hidden inside of a guard. This makes it much safer to use, as the risk of cutting yourself is reduced.
Safety razors are also generally more sustainable than disposable razors, as they are designed to last for years. In fact, many safety razors can be passed down from generation to generation, even if you have to replace the blade itself occasionally.
While safety razors may take a bit of getting used to, they offer a more sustainable option for those who are looking for an eco-friendly razor.
If you want to go plastic free, a metal safety razor is a great choice. Because the best eco-friendly razor is the one that you don’t have to replace often.
While plastic razors end up in landfills, a stainless-steel razor can be used for years to come.
Reusable razors like a stainless-steel razor are also a great eco-friendly option because you can replace just the head. This means that you don’t have to throw away the entire razor when the blade gets dull.
In addition, stainless steel razors are often less expensive than disposable razors in the long run. They also offer a closer shave, which means that you may not have to shave as often.
Replacement blades are available when they do get dull. They are not truly zero waste since you will eventually need to replace the blades. For true zero-waste razors, buy a straight-edged one.
Safety Razors vs Straight edge razors
So, we discussed safety razors which are made of metal, but another metal razor option is a straight edge razor.
A straight razor is another sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to disposable razors. They are made of metal and can last for years with proper care, which reduces waste and saves you money in the long run.
In addition, straight razors provide a closer shave than disposable razors.
If you are new to using a straight-edged razor, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, be sure to use a sharp blade for the best results.
Second, start with small strokes and gradually increase the pressure as you get comfortable.
Third, shave with the grain of your hair to avoid irritation.
With a little practice, you’ll be able to achieve a close, comfortable shave that is eco-friendly and sustainable.
Are electric razors eco-friendly?
Every time you plug something into the wall outlet, you are using energy. There are a few ways that you can reduce the environmental impact of your electric razor.
Buy one that uses a rechargeable battery rather than a disposable one. Look for one that specifically says energy-efficient on it. I am still searching for a solar-powered one. If you find one, let me know! It would be a great way to get smooth summer legs with almost zero environmental impact.
How to make your razor last longer
One of the best green shaving tips I can give you is to prolong the life of every razor blade you use. You can still use your disposable razors if you can’t bear to part with them and just work on disposing of them less often.
If you want your razor to stay sharp, you need to keep it clean. A dirty razor will quickly become dull, and it will also be more likely to cause skin irritation.
The best way to clean your razor is to rinse it after each use in warm water. In addition, you should dry your razor thoroughly after each use. While it’s important to keep your razor clean, you also need to be careful not to damage the blades.
Avoid dropping or banging your razor. If you take good care of your razor, it will stay sharp and provide a close, comfortable shave for years to come. Purchase a razor blade sharpener to prolong the life of any razor blade.
Sustainable shaving cream options
While there are many eco-friendly razors on the market, finding sustainable shaving cream can be a bit more challenging. However, there are a few options out there for eco-conscious shavers.
There are also a few brands that offer eco-friendly shaving cream in recyclable packaging.
Finally, you can always opt for the old-fashioned bar of soap! While it might not be as luxurious as some of the other options, it will get the job done and it’s much better for the environment.
Choose organic shaving cream when possible. Since our skin is porous, everything we apply to it has the potential to get absorbed into our bodies and everything that washes down our bathroom sink can eventually end up in our water supply.
In addition to organic, look for one that is cruelty-free if at all possible.
Another factor to consider might be choosing one that is palm oil-free since palm oil is bad for the environment. Palm oil ingredients are common in shaving cream. Companies use it as a foaming agent as they know consumers expect lather and foam.
Are razor blades recyclable?
You might be wondering, what do I do with my old razor blades? Are they recyclable? Well, this depends on your location and the type of used blades you want to recycle.
Recycling disposable plastic razors:
TerraCycle and Gillette have partnered to create a free recycling program. Send in your blades, razors, and plastic packaging, and they’ll recycle it.
Recycling metal razor blades:
You may be able to recycle metal razor blades along with metal in your curbside recycling program if they are in a metal tin. Just first check your municipality’s website to be sure this is OK. Also, consider asking your local pharmacy if they accept razors in specially designed sharps disposal boxes.
How to conserve water while shaving
If you shave in the shower, consider turning off the water while you lather and shave. Some eco-friendly showerheads often have a ‘pause’ button so that you can stop and start the flow of water easily without having to readjust the water temperature. This is a great way to skip the mess of shaving in the bathtub but still use less water.
Turn off the tap if you shave at the sink. Just plug the sink, fill it with warm water, and wet your face and razor before you start shaving.
5 best sustainable razors
So, you want to try these sustainable shaving tips but aren’t sure about the best razor to buy yet? Here are a few eco-friendly razors. Whether you have sensitive skin or suffer from ingrown hairs, buy quality shaving products and a sharp sustainable razor blade for a smoother shave.
- Albatross: Help eliminate plastic waste and get a better shave with 100% metal plastic-free safety razors or check out their stainless steel razor on amazon
- OneBlade: OneBlade offers a sustainable razor blade made from surgical-grade stainless steel that will last for years with proper care. They also have a recyclable razor blade disposal system so you can recycle your blades when you’re done.
- Bevel: Bevel is a shaving system designed for people with sensitive skin or who suffer from ingrown hairs. The eco-friendly razor blades are made from stainless steel and can be used with the Bevel Shave System or any other double-edge safety razor.
- Bambaw: The Bambaw bamboo safety razor is a great alternative to plastic disposables.
- Standard Razor: Standard Razor is a modern aluminum razor with a smooth shave geometry.
As you can see, there are a number of sustainable razor blade brands on the market, all of which offer a more environmentally friendly option than traditional plastic razors.
More shaving products for an eco-friendly shaving kit
So, you know a guy or gal who would love to go green and stop tossing all that plastic waste in the trash. What do you put in a zero-waste shaving kit for them?
A zero-waste shaving kit can help you reduce your impact on the environment while still getting a close, comfortable shave. The key is to choose eco-friendly products that can be reused or recycled. Here are a few items to consider for your zero-waste shaving kit:
Metal Double Edged Safety razor: A metal double-edged safety razor will last for years with proper care.
Sustainable Shaving soap: Shaving soaps come in solid form, which means they generate zero packaging waste. Plus, they typically contain natural ingredients that are good for your skin. There are many options available in both solid bar form and cream. Try Lather and Wood Sandlewood Shaving Soap if you want a rich lather.
Marble shaving bowl: Upgrade your shaving experience with a marble shaving bowl with horizontally cut grooves on the bowl interior to help better whip shaving cream or soap into a dense lather.
Wood-handled Shaving brush: A good wood-handled shaving brush will last for years and help to create a rich lather with your shaving soap. Be sure to choose a brush with natural hair bristles.
Sustainable After-shave: Try the Proraso Post-Shave Stone, Natural Alum Block. It creates an immediate astringent effect that helps soothe redness and irritation from shaving, and tones and tightens the skin. If you suffer from razor bumps this may be a smart product to try. You could also try aloe vera or tea tree oil and cold compresses for razor bumps.
By investing in just a few key zero-waste items and following these sustainable shaving tips, you can drastically reduce your environmental impact without sacrificing the quality of your shave.
Final thoughts on these sustainable shaving tips
Smooth summer legs are a must when you want to throw on those cute little shorts or a nice bathing suit. However, shaving can have a negative impact on the environment, depending on the products and methods you use.
Finding sustainable alternatives for a good shave can help you get rid of unwanted hair and get the closest shave ever. Without having to feel guilty about it!
So, ditch that disposable razor (unless it’s recycled plastic!) the next time you shave.
Have any other green and sustainable shaving tips to share?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.