The BONSAI – A Water-Saving Shaving Accessory


Bonsai (Image Courtesy Indiegogo)

There’s a shaving-related project trying to get funding on Indiegogo: the Bonsai, a shaving accessory that is supposed to save water.  Take a look at the link.  I’m in touch with the inventor and I’m trying to get a demo or pre-production unit (assuming it gets funded).  I mentioned it over on Reddit and got some negative comments, such as “This is ‘greenwashing‘ at its worst. Save water? Why not just turn the tap on only when you need it? Oxidation? Dry your goddamn razor.”  Personally I think that “greenwashing” opinion is a little extreme: I’m willing to give it an open-minded evaluation.  It would think it could be useful in areas where water is difficult to obtain or for people who don’t think about the water they’re using (and wasting).  What do you think?

mantic59 mantic59 (545 Posts)

also known as "Mantic59." Shave tutor and sharpologist.

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  1. Tourettes Tuna says:

    As with most things that have a “green perception factor”, it is the entire product life that must be considered in order to determine the value of it’s enviroment saving features. Thus, as others have said, the battery becomes the problem. As long as it has that it isn’t really all that green.

    However, I am reminded of the vintage vibrating razor that used a mechanical wind-up system rather than batteries. It may just be fanciful thinking on my part, but what if the system could be made to use something like that in lieu of batteries? I could be wound as needed, and you wouldn’t have to “charge your mug”.

    On a seperate note, I like to use the water in my sink to rise my face between passes so that I get more water into my beard by the emolients from the spent lather. The trouble is that the water still has my stuble in it. If the system could somehow be made to filter out the stuble and provide access to the emolient rich water for inter pass rinsing I would be interested.

  2. Interesting idea, but I see flaws…

    1) The cost is huge for a mug with a battery
    2) I’m not sure what’s worse, using a bit more water or throwing 2-3 batteries a year into a landfill
    3) There is a filter that has to be changed
    4) It’s another “thing” you have to keep in your washroom

    I’m all for new inventions, but I think the should simplify life and make it easier.

    I’m not sure about everyone in the world but when my water goes down the drain, it makes it’s way into the sewer and back to get treated and re-used.

    Occam’s Razor in this case, IMO, is the DE safety razor…

    I can shave my entire face with 4-5 quick rinses of the DE razor (using one side and then the other before a rinse). The DE razor also means less landfill waste, less irritated skin and ingrown hairs and I can shave all year with $5-10 worth of blades; equivalent to 1-2 Fusion cartridges at my local Drug Store. Also, the upfront cost is 1/4 to 1/2 of the Bonsai.

    I have NOT used this Bonsai but at this very moment I would NOT buy one.

  3. WeaselWeaz says:

    Michael D is completely right. When you factor in the resources for manufacturing, shipping, and maintenance (battery, parts that may need to be replaced) it seems more responsible to just pay attention to your water usage or use a mug.

  4. Obviously he’s not figuring the manufacturing cost and the ecological loss thanks to the relatively short lifespan and throw-away battery of this device vs a mug. I use my 64 year old baby mug for this job, and it works fine.

  5. bsmyn0708 says:

    More junk to leave by the sink? My brush and razors already take up 1/2 of the space.

  6. retro.joe says:

    When I was using cartridge razors I preferred the Gillette Power Fusion not because I felt the vibrations somehow made the shave better but because they made the blades much easier to clean (this made the shave better). This miniature hot tub is nice but a better design would have been based around an ultrasonic cleaner.

    I use ultrasonic cleaners when cleaning mechanical watches and fountain pens (and TTO razors fresh from ebay). The things get every nook and cranny clean. It would be much cheaper to make and more effective as the razor head need only be immersed in the water not put in the stream of the jets (which won’t ever hit every spot). If you’re going to do something, you may as well do it the right way.

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