Plastic Free July Day 19: Shaving

 albatross butterfly razor

(Picture credit: Albatross Designs)

(Back to the challenge summary)

Day 19 already! After toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss, make-up and menstrual products, now is the time to talk about shaving with Madison from Zero Waste California.

For many, shaving is a necessary part of everyday life. For those of us not willing to give it up, here are some sustainable alternatives to disposable razors and shaving cream.

The Facts

disposable razors gillette plastic

  • According to the EPA, the United States go through approximately 2 BILLION DISPOSABLE RAZORS annually! That's a lot of plastic going to landfills.
  • Disposable razors are usually not recyclable in most municipalities (not even in San Francisco!).
  • Commercial razors with disposable razors are designed cheaply with overpriced replacement razor heads, often causing the consumer to purchase a completely new razor set.

Ironically, King C. Gillette, the creator of the Gillette disposable razor, wrote a book called  The Human Drift in which he described a utopian, socialist society that was completely pollution free. Source

Solution #1: Stainless steel razors

Stainless Steel razors like safety razors are the most sustainable solution to the shaving problem, besides not shaving at all. However, using these razors does require a bit of practice. Especially for ladies shaving all over.

Carefully stored, the razor blades are recyclable stainless steel. Collect and label them properly so those handling them do not get injured!

These lovely gals give some great tips for ladies using safety razors



Solution #2: Electric Razors

electric razor epilator zero waste shaving

Another option is using an electric razor. They're easy to use and I've never had to replace mine. It works great on dry legs!

(Note from Stéphanie : Electric epilators are also a good option when like for me it's a pain to shave every 3 days, especially in summer time! I bought mine in 2014 and it still works perfectly, it will probably last for many more years!)

Solution # 3: Waxing 

I am not a waxer, nor have I ever been. Mostly because I don't like pain. But for those brave souls who do, here is a zero waste sugar waxing recipe I can't say I have tried but others seem to have found effective: Zero Waste Wax Recipe

Now Shaving Cream

shaving soap zero waste plastic free july

I have never used shaving cream in my life. I don't think it's necessary. All you need for a good lather is some soap, or even lotion if you're in a pinch. Nothing fancy here, but if you have never tried shaving without shaving cream, give bar soap a try. You'll save money and avoid toxic chemicals put in aerosol cans.

For the record, my partner (male) does not use shaving cream either on his face, just bar soap.

I get my bar soap from either Whole Foods, LUSH, or, which all have package free/plastic free bars. Buying bar soaps is like going to the candy store for me. It's exciting. I buy several bars at a time and leave them out in the bathroom to make the loo smell lovely.

One last thing...

Did you know women pay more for their products than men do?

It's called the pink tax, and it is a form of sexism. What is the Pink Tax?

Ladies, consider the pink tax when shopping for products, and when looking at packaging and advertising for women's products. The differences in men and women's products is quite astounding when you are armed with this information.


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