Shaving. It’s a word that fills women and men alike with dread.
From ingrowns, to razor rash, to nicks that just won’t quit bleeding – it’s a burden we must bear.
But, did you know this little grooming ritual is also a major bane to our planet?
That’s right, razors, those small three-to-four-bladed tools are an environmental burden; one that contributes to the plastic pollution crisis, as well as climate change.
But there’s a silver lining.
Sustainable razors are an easy switch to make for conscious consumers who want to do more for our little blue home.
In this blog post, we will run you through everything you should know about eco-friendly razors – Australia is girt by sea, so it makes sense to make the swap.
So, it’s time we shine a spotlight on the dirty business of shaving.
Traditionally, disposable razors are made of three components: a plastic handle – normally hollow – the razor blade and the plastic head of the razor that holds the blade.
And it’s recommended they’re tossed in the bin every three to 10 shaves.
Anyone who knows anything about pollution would have honed in on one little word in the sentence above: plastic.
Our world is literally drowning in man-made non-biodegradable stuff.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, at least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year, and plastic makes up 80 per cent of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.
In the ocean the impact of plastic is huge. Marine species like whales, turtles, sharks and more, commonly ingest plastic debris. If sharp enough it can actually rupture organs, or lead to death by starvation as it fills the stomach.
Following the NSW floods disaster in March, a baby green sea turtle ‘Pretzel’ was found washed ashore in the state’s north. Upon being taken to the vet his stomach was x-rayed. Sure enough, plastic particles were found in his digestive tract. He was estimated to be just one-two weeks old at the time he was found.
Concern is mounting that tiny microplastic particles have entered the human food chain as well. Not to mention that long after it’s discarded, plastic can emit greenhouse gases.
Scary stuff we know. And sadly, razors only contribute to this crisis.
In the US it’s estimated 158.10 million Americans used disposable razor blades and shavers in 2020. This figure is projected to increase to 160.16 million in 2024.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, ‘cause one simple product swap can help the planet – and save you money in the long run.
We need to make the switch to sustainable razors – Australia, being an island nation, is one of the best places to start.
Eco-razors don’t use any plastic. Instead, they are typically made from the following sustainable materials;
- Wood – such as bamboo.
They also come with sustainable razor blades that can be either recycled or reused instead of contributing to pollution by being thrown away after three plus washes.
You just need to care for them correctly.
To make sure they last, you need to store them in a dry place (otherwise known as not the shower/bath… however convenient it may be).
After a shave, you then need to run the razor under water to remove debris and pat it dry.
It’s as simple as that, folks.
But it gets better.
There are multiple sustainable women’s razors as well as sustainable men’s razor to choose from on the market so you’re sure to find an option you like – just look at our own offerings if you don’t believe us.
So sustainable razors also go by another name: safety razors.
They are great at producing a long-lasting, smooth shave but there are a few tips you need to know to get that perfect finish.
First things first; before shaving you MUST soak your razor in hot water and either douse your skin or heat it with a wet towel. If your hair isn’t hydrated it’s harder to cut and increases the chance of razor burn, cuts, and other skin nasties.
Now the biggest tip of the day when it comes to sustainable razors is you don’t need a lot of pressure. If you have a metal or wooden blade it’s heavy enough on its own to do the work, so please, don’t apply force.
Take the time to find the correct angle. As sustainable razors are heavier than their plastic counterparts, starting out, you may find them a bit strange in your hand. Take the time to familiarise yourself with the tool. You can do this by finding the angle that works for you. Generally, we recommend people hold the blade at roughly a 45-degree angle. But everyone is different!
Always shave in straight lines. Safety razors do not have heads that pivot and contour so it’s best to shave in straight lines rather than diagonally.
And lastly, always shave with the grain. Going against the grain can create ingrown hairs and can even lead to nicks as the skin is being pulled taut.
Before we forget here’s a link to a video tutorial showing how to safely replace sustainable razor blades.
And just because we want the process to be as easy as possible, we also have a video tutorial showing how to shave with a safety razor for men, start to finish, and there’s even one for the ladies too. You can find that one here.
Thanks for reading. If you found this blog post useful check out this article, on whether soy candles are eco-friendly.
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