Eco-Conscious Alternatives to ‘Not-So-Eco’ Disposable Razors

Disposable razors are the ultimate throwaway. Two billion of them are sold and tossed every year in the U.S. alone, along with the paper and plastic packaging they come in. So shifting your spending to one of the many green and ultimately money-saving options is something of a no-brainer.

What to look for when you shop:

Rechargeable electric razor. Rechargeables can be expensive to purchase initially, but their long life usually warrants the up-front cash outlay. If you recharge them using a solar charger, you reduce the amount of energy they use considerably. Unlike other models, the Braun Pulsonic Shaver contains no cadmium, lead or mercury in its components. Its Smart Plug technology has earned it an Energy Star rating for energy efficiency from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NOTE: Though an electric razor does use electricity, it reduces the amount of trash you toss since you don’t discard empty shaving cream cans or soap boxes every few weeks.

A straight razor uses no energy other than your own, but be careful! Keep a box of band aids at the ready. You can reduce scratches by sharpening your razor on a stone. In place of shaving cream, many men use a shaving brush and soap they can lather in a dish or jar, for a very low cost, low-tech approach. (NOTE: You probably can’t take the straight razor on an airplane. If you travel a lot, you will still need an electric razor or a reusable razor with disposable blades. If you use a reusable razor but disposable blades, consider a “razor saver.” This little gadget sharpens blades so you can extend their life from the normal 5-10 shaves per blade to 130!

If you absolutely must use a disposable, choose one like Recycline. The handle is made from recycled plastic and can be recycled in any community that allows recycling for #5 plastics.

Get more eco-friendly personal care tips here.

Published on: November 05, 2010
About the Author
Photo of Diane MacEachern

A best-selling author, Diane’s “how to go green” books have collectively sold almost a half-million copies. Her most recent, Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World identifies the many ways that women can protect themselves and their communities by shifting their spending to the greenest products and services available.

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