Don’t let the ads fool you. Disposable razors are not better than zero waste razors.
They give you a closer shave.
They’re also better for your pocket and for the environment.
Let’s talk numbers.
Cheaper disposable razors cost a buck and will last you a few weeks.
But, what happens after?
You chuck them in the trash and they end up in the landfill, right?
Now, just imagine, over $1 billion worth of disposable razors are sold every year in the US alone.
That’ll be hundreds of millions of razors just like yours sitting in landfills across the country.
Sitting and waiting as the plastic they are mainly made out of takes centuries to break down.
Mind you, they only break down into smaller pieces of plastic called microplastics. And those tiny pieces are entering our water supply, food chain, air, and our bodies.
Can we agree leaving a plastic-filled dump for our kids is a bad thing?
A simple change from the disposable razor to safety ones can stop five to ten razors from ending up in the landfill per year. Ten years later, you’ll likely stop 100 razors.
If we convince friends and family to join in, that’s even less waste!
Of course, another solution would be to grow out your hair and embrace the fuzz life.
But that life isn’t for everyone. Hubby prefers these zero waste razors and swears by them.
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Don’t Be Intimidated by Zero Waste Razors
The first question anyone asks when they’re thinking about switching: is shaving with a safety razor dangerous?
No! It’s not dangerous. The razors of today are different from the ones your parents and grandparents used. Today, they are designed with metal guards for your safety. You won’t nick your skin! Actually, you have to tilt the razor 45 degrees before it can cut anything. And, if you’re still worried, just move slow until you get the hang of it.
Quite frankly, the most intimidating part of using these safety razors is changing the blade. And guess what? It’s simple!
This one is hubby’s.
To add the blade, simply turn the razor upside down, unscrew the handle and remove the top. Place the new blade in position and reassemble. Simple, right?
As for the actual shaving part, you just need to angle the razor about 45 degrees to your skin and shave.
Dry shaving is fine but it can irritate your skin. Wet shaving is better with lots of foam. Use a shaving brush and soap to get that foamy action going. Check out these options on Amazon.
Wet shaving actually reduces razor burn and skin irritation when compared to disposable razors – at least that’s from my own personal experience.
The zero waste razors only have a single blade in contact with your skin. Less blades equal to less razor burn. And, mind you, I have very sensitive skin! So, these razors are great for me.
Materials Used in Safety Razors
Zero waste shaving razors and blades are usually made with metal. Some are stainless steel and others a chromium plated.
Stainless steel and chromium are both corrosion resistant so the razors are designed to last of a really, really long time. I’m talking about decades here.
The blades, however, do get dull over time and you’ll need to change them out.
There are recycling options for the blade, and I’ll get into that part a little later.
By the way, if you’re looking to reduce bathroom waste, check out these zero waste toothpaste options too.
Now, let’s get into the razors you should try for zero waste shaving.
Zero Waste Razors
Hubby has this one.
It isn’t stainless steel. It is likely chromium plated. That’s why it isn’t expensive at all. And, as long as you keep the razor dry when not in use, it’ll last you are really long time.
The long handle is really an important feature of the razor – it makes it so versatile. You can use it on any part of your body.
All the instructions on how to change the blade and how to shave are all right there for you to read before buying. You’ll see how easy it is when you get this razor.
Here’s another inexpensive, sustainable alternative to disposal plastic razors. This one is made with a long bamboo handle and stainless steel parts.
That combo guarantees the durability of the razor. It is pretty much going to last you a lifetime.
The razor also comes with wonderful resources and tips for shaving all areas of your body, after shave treatments, and homemade shaving recipes.
They have you covered on all fronts.
This one is a beauty.
It comes in both rose gold and charcoal so you can get a his and hers set.
The razor is stainless steel and coated with rust-resistant compounds. And it comes with five free razor blades too, so you can start using it immediately.
Can Razors Be Recycled?
There are a couple companies that recycle safety razor blades. Usually they ask you to mail them the blades in adequate packaging – they don’t want blades cutting your favorite mail person.
Albatross is one of those US companies that has a ‘Blade Take Back Program.’ And, mind you, the blades you return don’t have to be the Albatross brand. They accept all brands.
Mail them in a double envelope and they’ll recycle your blades into metal cutlery. Their mailing address is Albatross Designs, Berkeley, CA 94702. There’s no excuse, check them out!
What can you do with old disposable razors? Look at TerraCycle.
They teamed up with Gillete to create their own razor recycling program. All you have to do is register and request a receptacle for your blades and razors.
They accept all brands of disposable razors, replaceable-blade cartridge units, rigid and flexible plastic packaging too.
The company says it sorts the waste. The plastic is cleaned and pelletized. The metal is sent for smelting and conversion to new alloys.
Alternatives to Zero Waste Razors
Razors aren’t your only option for hair removal.
Tweezing is one you can try. If you can get the full hair follicles out, they won’t grow back. It is time consuming for sure and a little painful, but worth it.
Sugaring is another zero waste hair removal option. Ever heard of it? It’s like DIY waxing, without the wax or the strips.
To make it, heat sugar, water, and lemon juice together. Let cool until it is safe to touch but still warm. Apply it to your skin and allow the mix to grab hold of the unwanted hair. Then, pull!
This Youtube video explains how to do sugaring:
Finished? Drop that sugar hair ball in the compost. The bacteria will love all that sugary goodness.
Threading is another one to think about. It’s an old East Indian beauty trick that’s easy to do.
All you need is thread – any type of thread works. Check your sewing kit! Or you can get organic thread on Amazon.
Check this Youtube video from Ami Desai. She explains the technique for using the thread to remove those unwanted hairs.
I hope these zero waste razors and hair removal alternatives will help you on your low waste or zero waste journey.
Remember to be kind to yourself as you transition to a low waste life. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to try!
Do you have any other zero waste shaving options to share? Please share them with me!