We are often caught in a trap of creating waste, paying too much money for unnecessary things, and not even realising there’s a less wasteful, cheaper way to go. Shaving is a classic case. We’re stuck in the disposable plastic world of shaving and have forgotten that there’s a simpler way. It’s crazy! It is possible to organise your shaving without plastic and it’s been around for centuries, and it’s cheap. Maybe all we can say is it’s less convenient, but it’s not really.
How I used to shave
I’ve been concerned about disposable (whatever that means!) plastic involved in shaving for many years now. Way back in 2007, I purchased a plastic razor from a company called Preserve because it was made out of recycled plastic already and because you only needed to replace the razor head when it got blunt. The idea was to keep the razor handle for a long time (I used mine for 12 years without the need to replace the handle) and only “throw away” the small head with the blades. The following three images are some photos of the razor I was using and its detachable blade head.
While shaving in this way, I was happy to not be discarding so much plastic but I became more and more concerned about a couple of things – I was still discarding the blade head that was surrounded in plastic, and these replacement blade heads are expensive. Today a pack of four replacement blade heads would cost me about £6-7 here in the UK.
My experience with a safety razor
One day, I happened to find this very well written web page – Shave like it’s 1899 – (on plasticfreeplanetuk.co.uk) and I realised the solution was right there in front of me. The “old fashioned” safety razor. I couldn’t wait to order one and I found what I needed at traditionalshaving.co.uk and bought a new safety razor for just under £25 (there are cheaper ones, but they are going to last a lifetime, quite possibly) and seven sample packs of razor blades, totalling 35 blades, for £8. Only £8 for 35 blades whereas I’d pay £6.99 for just four replacement heads on plastic razor. On average, a blade for a traditional safety razor costs only 20p – compare that to what you’re paying for your disposable razors and try to come up with an argument for how you’re not being ripped off.
When it came to using this new safety razor, it was a lovely experience. I wish I’d been using one of these years ago. Have a look a the web page – Shave like it’s 1899 – for some good tips on how to use a safety razor.
One of the other great things about using such razor is that the blades are 100% recyclable. There’s no waste. I’m keeping all the blunt blades in a tin and will take them to a recycling centre when it’s full. There is no plastic going out in the bin now as a result of my shaving.
Here are some photos of the razor and blades that I bought.
Where to now – shaving without plastic
From my experience, I can’t see why everyone shouldn’t be shaving without plastic. Sure, some people will say “I like a pink one”, or “this plastic razor just feels better”, and things like that, but that can’t be a good enough reason to allow billions of plastic razors to be added to our pollution pile every year. This is one thing that could easily be eradicated and it wouldn’t cause any real, long-term problem. Plastic disposable razors should be just banned – I can’t see any reason why not. Are we serious about rectifying our pollution problems? Here’s an easy way to make progress.
Before the world’s governments find these simple solutions to making real progress, you still have the opportunity (responsibility) to begin shaving without plastic. That will certainly contribute to using 10 percent less and reduce our pollution burden on the world. The added nice surprise is that you’ll save money at the same time!