The ‘usual’ shaving blades are often single use. And where do these single use items end up? Right, landfill. That just so happens to be the place where I don’t want to see them. What’s the alternative? The safety razor, the zero waste way of shaving!
Going through my waste
When I went through my trash to see what’s mostly in there, just like with my cotton pads, I saw all those awful single use razor blades. And so, I went to look for an alternative and found a safety razor quite soon. I ordered one new at bol.com (a massive Dutch site which sells basically anything).
Buying a Razor Blade
Yes, unfortunately I bought this item new (even though I try to avoid buying new things, because new things have the biggest negative impact on our planet). But as a zero waste beginner, the idea of a secondhand razor didn’t really appeal to me. And with little experience in zero waste shopping yet, I also thought I was never going to find a secondhand safety razor. Anyway, bol.com. I simply bought the first simple safety razor I could find. I figured there wouldn’t be much of a difference. Boy, I was wrong! Stupid, stupid, stupid. I received the safety razor and a big part of it is black plastic (which is non-recyclable and ew, plastic). I just hope this plastic will last me a lifetime then (in my head that makes up for it a little bit).
The safety razor I bought cost me 47,37 euros at bol.com. Yes, this is a loooot of money for one razor. But here it comes, because why did I buy this safety razor and how does this apparently crazy thing work? To make it more visual I added a photo of a safety razor. The thing you see is basically just the shell. This is the thing you reuse and inside of this you will place the blade. You only change the blade and so it is zero waste!
The old situation:
– Hundreds (thousands?) of single use razor blades are thrown away in a lifetime. They’re made out of plastic, which is made out of oil. Oil is a non-renewable resource and burning things made out of oil pollutes the air and warms the climate. Recycling is not the solution, I’ve written more about that here. Besides, recycling is not even possible since single use razor blades aren’t made out of one material and so you can’t separate those and recycle them yourself.
The new situation:
– Bye bye buying new plastic! That’s a win itself. This safety razor will last me forever and so I never have to buy plastic razor blades again.
– The only waste that’s still left are the blades, since these do need replacement. They’re made out of stainless steel and are 100% recyclable. You have to order those stainless steel blades and I’ve done this twice now. My best guess is that one blade lasts me 3 months. It really depends on how often you shave and how you take care of the blades. Drying them after use is one way to make them last longer.
– The blades I bought are from Astra and cost me 7,50 euros for 30 blades. That lasts me 7,5 years! That’s 1 euro each year for shaving (I use soap as a shaving cream in addition). I choose to buy 30 blades to save transporting emissions (rather than buying 5 blades each time and them being send to me 6 times, this now happens in one ride when I buy 30 blades). I chose the blades from Astra because they’re packed in cardboard and paper (which are both renewable and 100% recyclable). Mind you, if you’re looking for another brand, watch out, some suppliers send the blades in plastic.
That investment from 47,37 euros will be returned because of the low costs of the blades and it’s all zero waste!
Good luck with zero waste shaving!