A quick inventory of my home shows much more Tupperware than Ziploc, a reusable water bottle rather than several plastic bottles and even bamboo bedding that reduces my trips to the washing machine. But when I walk in my bathroom, even with all of my low-flow fixtures, I grimace at the sight of my recycling nemesis...the disposable razor.
Americans obtain over 2 billion disposable razors a year, the majority of which end up in landfills. Add the amount of water used for shaving and our need to stay smooth is costing Mother Earth quite a bit of her resources.
For any person brave enough, there are eco-friendly waxes available despite the fact that the word "friendly" and "wax" rarely go hand-in-hand for me. Some spas are opting to work with ingredients like pine sap, beeswax and aloe vera. Several spas, take it one step further using organic wax and recycled muslin waxing strips which can be cleaned and sanitized. Soy wax is also a well-liked option among professional waxers who prefer to make use of the renewable resource in lieu of oil-based paraffin. The entirely botanical soy wax even has all-natural antimicrobial properties.
But if waxing is not for you, consider limiting your water use by filling up the sink rather than running the water (or in case you shave in the shower, try to make it quick). Also, have a look at these eco-friendly razor options:
Choose razors produced from recycled materials: As most razors themselves will not be recyclable (dismantling the blade appears to be the problem in accordance with BIC), it is nice to see that some razors exist on the flip-side of recycling. Utilizing recycled plastic for razor handles demands fewer natural resources, less energy in manufacturing and diverts waste from the landfills.
Go energy-efficient electric: Electric razors lessen waste and water usage but still demand energy to charge. That may differ from as little as 4 watts to as much as 15 watts. If feasible, choose a solar-powered electric razor which allows you to save both water and energy.
Get straight: Straight razored that is! Straight razors generate the least amount of waste because you just sharpen and reuse the blade with each shave. A close second is a disposable razor with replaceable blades since you only discard the blade.
Be kind to the bunnies: Look for third party verification that merchandise will not be tested on animals for any company that you are considering buying razors from as well as other beauty supplies.
For those ready to be done with razors, shaving cream and all the packaging that comes with it, think about permanent hair removal with electrolysis. Electrolysis involves inserting a tiny needle into every single hair follicle and "zapping" it with an electric current. This "zap" renders the follicle incapable of supporting hair growth. A little time-consuming as well as a bit more expensive than other possibilities, but once you consider that the common expense of shaving more than a lifetime can add up to $15,300, it may possibly be worth the investment!
Douglas Michaels Jr. writes educational articles for Green Earth News, the authority on everything Bamboo. For more information on Environment. Check out Green Earth Bamboo for bamboo sheets, bamboo clothing, duvet covers, towels and baby products, all made from the world's most sustainable and renewable resource on the planet.
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