Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Green Choices Wednesday

Green Shaving

I've been looking for additional opportunities to eliminate "disposable" products from my lifestyle.  The latest thing that's been bothering me is the use of disposable razors.  A disposable razor is just a blade on a plastic handle.  Use it and throw it away.  The problem is that there is no such place as "away."  Everything goes somewhere.  Disposable products convert the Earth's precious resources into trash, one piece at a time. 

I have half of a package of disposable razors left.  I've decided to buy no more of them.  Here are the options I'm considering:
  • A system with reusable handle and disposable blade head, such as Gillette Mach 3 or Fusion, or Schick Quattro.  Greatly reduced waste, but still throwing away the blade head.  A better option than I'm using now.
  • A classic safety razor.  The head opens, allowing replacement of the blade only.  I could dispose of the used blades with the rest of my metal recycling.  No waste, and fairly inexpensive.  The classic safety razor is making a comeback, and is considered to be a closer shave than possible with a disposable.
  • An "old fashioned" straight razor.  At one time, the main method of shaving.  Used by few in recent years, also currently making a comeback.  No waste, but requires a little more investment, $100+ for entry-level models, plus a strop.   Still considered to be the ultimate close shave.  Not to mention the cool factor!
I also understand that traditional wet-shaving glycerin-based shaving soap, as applied with a brush, gives a superior shave compared to shaving foam in a can.  From a green perspective, a shaving mug and brush is reuseable, compared to a can that is used and thrown away.  I plan to look into this also, and discontinue using canned foam.

I'll post again when I have chosen and purchased a new system, along with a review of the system's performance. 

Think Green and Live Green!


Keith Peters said...

Oh yeah! I have been using a safety razor for a few years now. Nothing better. I have a 1959 Gillette Fat Boy. Twist the handle and the top opens up. Ultimate retro-cool. If you go that route, get a nice badger hair brush. I've grown to love's shaving cream - lavender or sandalwood. The key is prep. Massage shaving cream into your beard for a minute or two, then hot, wet towel for 2-3 minutes. Then re-lather and shave with the grain, then against. I could go on forever. :)

Vern said...

Cool-- you have a real classic razor there, Keith! I'm going to change to brush and lather, whichever razor I choose.

Everything I read talks about the classic methods giving a much better shave and an enjoyable shaving experience. In the name of progress and saving a few precious seconds, we've changed a luxurious (and greener) activity into a crude, mundane (and wasteful) function it seems...

And now I know whom to ask for tips and info, since you've already explored the topic!


Keith Peters said...

This write up on shaving prep is the single most important thing I've read on wet shaving.

When I follow that I have a great shave always. When I skimp on it, try to hurry it, it's bad.

Vern said...

Thanks for the link, Keith!