By Danielle Kirk
In a bid to be more eco-friendly I started looking at each area of my life and seeing what zero-waste hacks I could make that weren’t too out there. When making a lifestyle change it’s easy to give up if you bite off more than you can chew; nobody likes feeling overwhelmed. For me, the bathroom seemed the easiest place to start (because who doesn’t like mixing up their own perfect body wash) and that’s when I stumbled onto my new favourite thing: stainless steel safety razors.
Safety razors may look scary but safety is in the title for a reason; they’re as safe as any other razor. However, unlike other razors that are made from bright plastic cartridges that take hundreds of years to break down and what seems like only two shaves to be useless, safety razors never need to be replaced! Made from stainless steel, they can be kept for years and years without ever going rusty or breaking. In the unlikely event something gets caught in the metal, cleaning them is as simple as taking it apart and washing it in warm soapy water to get rid of the residue or hair.
The benefits are unreal. It is easily the closest shave I’ve EVER had and while the first few times you use it will be a bit nerve-wracking, you won’t cut yourself any more than you would with a disposable razor (Confession: I’m almost 30 and have never NOT cut myself shaving but this is entirely my fault!). Just go slow, use a DIY shaving cream and use short strokes rather than long ones. The best part though is safety razors are zero-waste! Since I’m not throwing the blade out and the individual razors can be recycled (please put them in an aluminium can or sharps disposal box when throwing away though), I’m not contributing junk to landfill every time I need a new razor, which used to be very, very often.
The blades are the only mildly scary part because yes, they are double-edged razor blades and they look a little intimidating. But if you handle them carefully like you would anything sharp, replacing them is the easiest thing. You just twist off the handle of your razor (I use the long handled Merkur safety razor but there are plenty of others on the market), divide the casing and set aside your old blade, drop your new one in and put it all back together. Simple!
Cost wise, it’s a dream come true. A good quality safety razor will set you back about $50 and blades are approximately $15 for 100 of them (yes, that’s 15 cents per blade). I use Astra Superior Platinum Double Edge Blades for no other reason than they are a bargain but the brand really doesn’t matter since they all mostly come in cardboard cartridges and are wrapped in paper for added eco-friendliness. Blades last a long time too, and if you buy a sharpener you can make them last even longer. Unlike disposable razors, I’ve been using the same double-edged blade for 3 months and it still feels brand new. Normally with a disposable razor, I’d be lucky for it to last a month before it was dull. If you do the maths, over three years of shaving it will cost you $1.55 a month to shave with a safety razor, while disposable razors will cost you $5 a month at a minimum! $44.95 vs. $180 over three years? I think the choice is obvious!
Safety razors may seem a little intense but after one use I promise you’ll be converted. In fact, I went out and bought my sister one after my first shave with mine because I was so impressed and now she’s obsessed too! It’s a low-cost, zero-waste product replacement that’s a great starting point for anyone looking to be a bit more eco-friendly.
Banish recommends Parker safety razors.