A few days ago I was checking out at the grocery store. As I was waiting in the checkout line I started browsing the impulse buying shelf, on one of the shelves happen to be an eco friendly razor. I didn’t pay enough attention to know for sure what brand it was, but I’m pretty sure it was Schick. However, I did find it interesting that the razor manufacturers think there is a big enough market for environmentally friendly razors to start producing them, I agree with them.
Today’s world is becoming more and more aware of how the actions of humans affect the planet and other species on the planet. Sure there are a lot of people that could care less about the planet, but there are a lot of people that really do care about the planet and try to minimize their impact on the planet as much as possible.
When people start talking about minimizing their footprint on their planet, one thing that usually doesn’t get brought up are razors. It’s not hard to see why because there other more pressing issues that hurt the environment more. However, if you take the approach that every little thing helps, you start to realize why looking for eco friendly razors matter.
I believe around 10 years ago the EPA came out with a study that around 1 billion disposable razors go to the landfill each year. That’s a lot of razors. That’s a lot of plastic packaging. When you sit down and think about it you can see how the cumulative effect of little things just start to add up.
What can we do to start taking care of the small things aside from shaving with rocks, obsidian, or shards of glass? Well, there a few things we can do.
From a purely “what ends up at the landfill” standpoint I think straight razors and safety razors can be some of the most environmentally friendly razors out there. A straight razor if taken care of will last for a lifetime(or two). It’s just a piece of steel with some celluloid scales.
Now I can’t say that I’ve done all of the research on the exact manufacturing processes, chemicals used, etc, to know what the carbon and other footprints are, but I can’t imagine it would be worse than what the cartridge razor factories do.
A safety razor might be more environmentally friendly than a cartridge razor. These are made completely out of metal. The packing for the razors tend to be cardboard and paper packaging, which is a lot more environmentally friendly than the plastic-intensive “blister packs” that cartridge razors come in.
I know one of the major drawbacks to shaving with a straight razor or safety razor that matter is the intimidation factor. It can be down right scary to put a knife-like object to your throat or legs to shave. However, if you give it a try you realize that it’s really not that scary. Sure it takes some practice to learn, but so did riding a bicycle.
I firmly believe that just like riding a bicycle, once you become proficient at shaving with a straight razor or safety razor the reward is well worth the minors nicks you got while learning.