Let’s Talk about Razors

In the continuing theme of personal care products (because I’ve kind of got an obsession) let’s talk about razors. While this post is not expressly for fans of Battlestar Galactica, I am also open to talking about other kinds of razors.

Look at all the pink options!

Since starting this blog, I’ve been more conscious about how my choices as a consumer have an impact on the environment. For example, I had to buy some new razors the other day. I wouldn’t say it’s my “thing” to shave, but having tried multiple times to quit cold turkey, I’ve found the social pressures too great. So I shave every couple months, more in the summer, and try not to give myself too hard of a time about it.

The spendthrift in me always wants to buy the crappy disposable razors. But the environment-conscious lady in me decided that it’s time to buy a decent, reusable razor, even if I only use it a few times a year. I thought, “hey, surely buying a reusable razor will be a better choice for the environment, producing less waste and making Mother Gaia shed a single tear of pride and joy.” NOT THE CASE, AMIGOS.

I chose the blue (but apparently not green) option.

I mean, can you believe all the packing on this crap? Each individual refill is wrapped with plastic and aluminum foil, not to mention the ridiculous plastic sheath the razor comes in, and the suction-cupped holder that you’re supposed to mount to the wall. I spent way more money on this razor in an attempt to do something good for the environment, but without any great success. It looks like not shaving at all might be the best choice environmentally, but it’s not that easy to put the razor down altogether. 

So while we wait for a radical shift in social norms and practices, feel free to check out some other blogs for more discussion on shaving alternatives. Or drop a comment in the comments box! I love to talk razors… seriously, all kinds.

16 thoughts on “Let’s Talk about Razors

  1. I’ve got a Preserve razor (made from recycled Stoneybrook yogurt containers) and a Gilette Mach 3. While the Preserve is okay for travel since it comes in a plastic container that doubles as a travel case, it’s not my fav b/c there’s little give in the head; it’s brutal on contours. The Mach 3 is hands down the best razor I’ve ever used in my life. Replacement blades are costly, but they come in a plastic insert that snaps into the back of the razor holder, so you will always have 1-3 spares on hand. The packaging around the insert is boxboard, so I think you can recycle it.

  2. I wanted to get a Mach 3 (as that’s the one my partner uses and it kind of rules) except they didn’t have any. They only had the refills for it, or the new juiced-up, more expensive “turbo” version of the razor. And man, I feel like enough of a consumer jackass buying personal care products, let alone one with “turbo” in the name.

    So I bought the more basic “lady” version. It’s equal in quality, but with a shocking (and at first unapparent) difference in packaging. I was disappointed for real. I suppose that much was apparent.

    I’m interested to learn more about this “Preserve” razor of which you speak. Did you make it yourself or can you buy them?

      • Thanks for posting this, Heather! It’s great to see some good alternatives, and P’lovers is such a neat store too. http://www.plovers.net/ I went there to do some of my Christmas shopping, and defo wanna check out more of their wares.

        Only thing I notice about the Preserve products is that they are all made with #5 plastics – so is it that they themselves are recycled? Cause that is rad. But as far as I understand it, we can only recycle #1 and 2 plastics in Halifax. Either way, this still seems like a preferable alternative to some of the crap they sell at the grocery store! 🙂

  3. Maybe if your partner’s got an old Mach3 kicking around, you could take that handle and just buy some new blades. Of the few dudes whose bathrooms I have visited, it seems there’s always a couple old ones around.

  4. Yeah, after the moving purge there isn’t a whole lot of old stuff kicking around. Hence, why I found myself without any razors at all! But I defo would have preferred the Mach 3, as the refills haven’t got nearly as much packaging. Oh well. I probably won’t need to buy a new one for another decade or so.

  5. I use an Intuition and while the refill blades do come with excessive packaging, I haven’t had to replace the handle yet (around 6 years). I might even venture to say that it might be a slightly greener option because it eliminates the need for an aluminum container of shaving cream or gel.

  6. I’ve been toying with the idea of buying an epilator. Shaving is costly and I hate stubble, but I just can’t get into the idea of having someone else wax my legs for money (why would I pay someone to inflict that kind of torture!!!). Bed Bath and Beyond has a 20% off coupon, and they sell an electric epilator (basically a rotating tweezers machine that looks like an electric shaver) for $109.
    Inspired by this post, I just googled the hell out of it, and after pages and pages of paid for results, and several youtube “reviews” that were obviously paid for by the marketing division of these devices, I found this girl… http://youtu.be/ocCsbqXLbME (apologies for my weak HTML skillz – I’m not gonna try and hyperlink that; you can copy and paste). I guess there’s no such thing as easy hair removal. Sigh.

  7. Krista, thanks for mentioning shaving cream – I hadn’t even thought of that. You can tell I’m a real expert in the area of shaving. At least I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, reading and writing about it! The Intuition definitely wins points as far as removing the need to buy shaving cream in an aluminum aerosol can. I’ve also seen some less offensive shaving cream options that seemed to do the trick: http://www.kissmyface.com/moistshavepages/moistshavepage.html

    Alternatives to shaving – like waxing, sugaring, threading, electrolysis and such? I’ve never done any serious research into these options. Epilation (the removal of the hair at the root) definitely has its perks, but it’s not without its troubles as well. I would be SO INTERESTED to see if there are any studies done on the environmental impact of these different methods, like shaving versus waxing over the long haul.

    I was able to find this: http://www.goodguide.com/categories/152787-shaving-hair-removal##products which basically rates the shaving cream products according to their environmental impact. No idea if it’s legit, but it seems interesting. Might be a fun 20 minutes poking your nose around to see how your products of preference rate!

    • Yeah, it would be interesting to compare since I was told when I tried getting my legs waxed a few times when I was around, oh, 14, that if I stuck with waxing that I wouldn’t need to do hair removal anymore by the time I was probably 18-20.

      • Also, it’d be interesting to see some kind of feedback on the laser hair removal. I remember seeing a Groupon or something with a crazy deal on it recently.

  8. Shauna, I’m starting to get the impression that electric razors (or epilators) might be the best option for the environment. But as you say, no option is perfect! And that’s okay. When it comes to hair removal, I am more than sympathetic to women (and men) doing what they are most comfortable doing. I guess I’m just a little discouraged that there aren’t better options more readily available.

  9. My friends, we are the sad victims of engineered obsolescence; in the museum in Burns Lake there were a few razors that had seen -generations- of use. Straight razors might not appeal to the moderno on the go (if you’re in such a hurry, why are you shaving at all!?), but I imagine all you Freaks who want to lop off their natural decoration and insulation can probably devise a blade (or 5-MAXXAWESOMEBLADES, for softness!) that will last long enough to become interesting pieces of bloodstained family history.

  10. Heather – thank you again for some wonderful information. It’s awesome that Halifax will start collecting more plastics this fall! I might even start hoarding yogurt containers to recycle when the time comes. As for the razors, also awesome that you can mail it back to them. It’ll be nice though when people won’t have to go through the extra work to get them recycled properly.

    Andrew – you took the words right outta my mouth, hombre. Planned obsolescence really grinds my gears. And funny you should mention the straight razor; I was just chatting with a friend about the virtues of these things. I wonder if it’d be possible to use one of them for legs? Probs not armpits… eek. But yeah. Not shaving? I’m much more a fan of that. Stupid industry-produced social norms! Yarg.

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