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Shaving 101: 5 Reasons to Consider Eco-Friendly Razors

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More than 5 billion disposable razors are used each year. Every single one of these is disposed of after a few uses. In the best of circumstances, they end up in a landfill. At worst, they end up in storm sewers, waterways, or simply on the ground.

That’s not the worst thing about your disposable. They don’t biodegrade. They cannot be recycled. Maybe it’s time to upgrade to something eco-friendly. If you’re open to reconsidering your shaving habits, here are five reasons to adopt eco-friendly razors. 

First: What Are Eco-Friendly Razors?

merkur 43c

The most common, eco-friendly razor is a safety razor. These are the shavers your grandpa used, maybe even your dad. You buy the razor you want, then keep it forever. All you have to do is purchase the replacement blades.

You might also consider a straight razor as an eco-safe option. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, those are a very advanced choice. Jumping from a mass-produced disposable to one of these is a pretty big leap for most people. Because of that, this piece will focus on the more popular, beginner-friendly, safety razor.

1. It’s an Important Step Towards an Eco-Friendly Grooming Routine

Take a look around your bathroom. The sad truth is that most of us haven’t adopted environmentally friendly grooming habits. Chances are, your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and other products are in plastic containers. Then there’s your cotton swabs and other immediately disposable stuff. 

So there are plenty of changes you can make to fix your daily grooming routine. Yet, switching up your razor is a great first step. It’s not something you do simply to be ‘green’. You also gain a better shaving experience and nicer-looking results. Later, you can consider this a first step towards making some other changes such as:

  • Using bamboo toothbrushes
  • Switching to shampoo and body bars
  • Changing to a natural deodorant
  • Making an effort to use products in metal or glass containers

2. Eco-Friendly Razors Last Longer And Are Easier to Trash


A disposable razor is supposed to last between 3 and 10 shaves. Guys with thick beards beg to disagree. Thick beard or not, your safety razor can last a lifetime, especially if you invest in one at the top of its class. All you have to do is swap out the blades. That’s a small thin piece of metal rather than a large chunk of plastic. In some places, you may even be able to find recycling or special disposal options for your blades.

If you’re interested, you can even find a more retro solution. Look for blade blanks. These are special containers that will hold up to 100 spent blades. Do you live in an older house or apartment? Check your medicine cabinet for a disposal slot for your razors.

3. Better Aesthetic

Yes, functionality is more important than form. That doesn’t mean that form is meaningless. There’s just an undeniably, masculine look and feel to shaving with a safety razor and collecting all the accessories that can go along with it. 

Be honest. If you bring a date home, would you rather they see a 7.99 cardboard and plastic clam shell full of the same plastic disposables you’ve used since you were 14 or beautifully crafted shaving set up. Of course, the latter! That starts with a great razor and high-quality accessories. Next, you can add a shave brush, soaps, creams, and aftershaves.

4. You’re an Adult Who Should Care About This Stuff

Shaving is an adult activity. Are you old enough to do that? Are you old enough to know what a good shave looks and feels like? If so, you’re also at the age when you can and should care about your impact on the environment.

Look, it isn’t always easy to do the right thing. Sometimes, adopting the environmentally friendly version of things can be expensive or complicated. You may even find confusing or contradicting information in terms of the right thing to do for the planet. 

This isn’t one of those situations. It’s a no-brainer. Ditch the single-use plastic razors. Upgrade to a good quality safety razor that will last for years. Reduce your impact on the local landfill by some small amount. Now, get your friends to do the same. None of you will miss the disposables, just like you don’t miss your old disposable water bottles. You are using a metal or glass water bottle, right?

5. You’ll Improve Your Shaving Technique

Learning to shave with a disposable is like learning to play the piano on a fisher price piano or listening to Tool on a pair of dollar store headphones. It might work but isn’t transformative. Now, pick up a nicely weighted, razor that feels absolutely amazing when you use it. If that doesn’t get you in front of the mirror every morning, nothing will. Before long, you’ll have a shaving routine that gets your beard or lack thereof exactly how you want it. Even better, you’ll feel confident in the way your face looks.

Other Problems With Disposables

The troubles with disposable razors begin before you ever put them in your shopping cart. There’s also an environmental cost of manufacturing them and shipping them. Each disposable is made up almost entirely out of plastic that is a product of fossil fuels. The majority of them are loaded onto trucks that also burn fossil fuels. They are then sent, sometimes over hundreds of miles to your nearest store to be delivered to your home.

Now, let’s talk about that shave. It sucks. Disposable razor companies have been relying on this silly gimmick that more blades somehow make up for poor design quality and lack of durability. Five blades? Come on! That’s not a recipe for a close shave. That’s a recipe for skin irritation, and a razor you’ll pitch in three days. One, a well-made razor blade can take the place of five skinny blades that will rust and wear out.

The Best Ways to Make The Switch

The key to making the switch to a safety razor is selecting one that you love. Consider a razor that is highly rated for beginners. You should buy two. Keep one in your bathroom. Throw another one in your dopp kit. This ensures you have a spare for travel, or in case you lose one. That will help you prevent backsliding into your disposable razor habit out of convenience.

Before you shop, it can be helpful to understand some basic features of these razors:

  • Double or Single Edge Blade
  • Razor Opening: Butterfly, Two Piece, Three Piece
  • Head Type: Open Comb, Closed Comb, Safety Bar, Scalloped Safety Bar, Slant Head, Single Edge

Finally, take a look at the grip of each razor you consider. Safety razors are heavier than disposables, which makes them much more comfortable. Choose a handle that feels comfortable in your hand, and shaving becomes heavenly.

Getting The Most Out of Your Eco-Friendly Razor

The more you enjoy using your razor and the better shave you get, the more likely you’ll be to stick with your new shaving habit. Your blade will work best if you take care of it. Rinse it off and pat it dry when you’re done using it. Don’t leave it in the sink or shower. 

If you screw up and allow it to stay damp, it could rust. Don’t panic. You can restore your razor just like you can restore a cast-iron skillet. It just takes a bit of care. Try scrubbing it with a toothbrush and a bit of Castille soap. If the rust is a bit more stubborn, try a soak in a vinegar and water solution with a small amount of baking soda. After an hour, the rust should come off easily.

Now that your razor is in great shape, you need the perfect shaving ritual. Your face deserves its own products. Don’t grab the same bar of soap you use on your pits to shave your face. Get a good quality shaving cream. Do you have sensitive skin? What about a thick beard? No worries! There are conditioners, beard softeners, and all sorts of post-shaving balms to soothe your skin. Finally, please wash your face and exfoliate regularly. Your blade will work better and last longer if it isn’t scraping away layers of dead skin.

Of course, preparation isn’t the same as the process. Your shaving method is the most important part. Don’t rush things. Give yourself time to master the technique. Treat it as an experience, not something you rush through.

Final Thoughts

There are many things you can do to be a bit more environmentally friendly in your daily life. Many of these come with at least cost or loss of convenience. But, that’s not the case when it comes to switching to an eco-friendly safety razor. Over time, this choice is less expensive, more convenient, and better for your face. It’s an easy change to make, and it’s a great way to start living just a bit greener.

Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.

Jessica Fender

Jessica Fender

6 thoughts on “Shaving 101: 5 Reasons to Consider Eco-Friendly Razors”

  1. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

    Growing a bear, and not shaving at all, is the most environmentally sound approach. No?

    1. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

      “beard” not “bear”. I’m not sure growing a bear would be that good of an idea.

  2. This is so full of fallacies it’s hard to know where to begin. Are you equating plastic razors with a fixed head to those permanent razor handles with removable heads? Further, I doubt most serious shavers use disposables anyway. Third, I should switch to a metal razor to impress a lady I bring home on a date? Hey, babe, how would you like to see my metal razor? Doubtful that’s a winning strategy. Fourth, yes, I do find multiple blade cartridges superior to other devices and I don’t pitch it in 3 days. My multi-blade cartridge lasts me a month and the handle maybe years. I throw away the cartridge instead of 5 or 6 razor blades and their packaging. Bamboo toothbrushes? Why? Wouldn’t a better idea be having edible toothbrushes infused with vitamins? What happens to all those people employed making razors? They won’t be recyclable for years. I could go on forever but I must stop. I’m sure I have more important things to do.

  3. “5000 billion disposable razors” per year? Sure? Assuming 7.5 billion people on this planet, that would be about 666.7 razors per year or 1.8 razors per day for everyone, shaver and non-shaver. In fact, your linked source claims “5,000 billion disposable razor blades”, citing an report named “Award Catalogue 2020 of BEYONDPLASTIC”. However, I could only find a Google cache HTML copy of this BEYONDPLASTIC PDF document, and there it says in the entry for “ecoSHAVE – The First Sustainable Disposable Razor”: “Around 5 billion disposable razors are currently used worldwide every year and ending up in household waste.”

    5 billion, not 5,000 billion. Your secondary source erred in it’s quoting by a factor of 1000.

  4. Great read. a 20 ounce water bottle with a hole at the top holds over a year. of used double edge blades. Blade bank? Nah.

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