Last week on this blog, a man--namely me--dared to suggest to suggest that a reusable "feminine hygiene" product--namely, the menstrual cup--might keep billions of tampons out of the landfills. It only seems fair, therefore, to suggest a product for men that would keep millions of plastic razors out of the landfill.
According to Grist, 2 billion disposable razors end up in U.S. dumps every year. Furthermore, the disposable razor blade, invented by King Camp Gillette, helped usher in our disposable culture back in the early 1900s. That’s why I adopted the straightedge razor during the No Impact year.
I use hand soap to make a lather—no disposable shaving foam cans—and use my hands to apply it since most shaving brushes are made from beaver fur. If you want to know how to shave with the long blade, go here. It took a while, but the emergency room nurses no longer know me on a first name basis and I get as close a shave as I used to.
Not only that, but there is an added value to the straightedge. Think about it: mine was given to me by my father as a Christmas present. I shaved with it throughout the No Impact year and beyond. I shaved with it before our wedding anniversary. I shaved with it before my little girl's birthday.
Over time, the razor has become like an old friend. It accumulates memories and has a familiar fit in my hand. It has become an intimate possession like my grandfather's cuff links. This is part of what is good about getting away from the throwaway culture. We come to value what we own.
Not only that, but how much better is it for both the pocket and the planet to buy a razor that lasts your whole life than hundreds of plastic razors or razor heads that don't?
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.