In my quest to find an ecothrifty shaving alternative for my husband, I began looking for a non-disposable razor online. First I searched for straight razors, which can be sharpened and honed and with good care will outlive the owner. Aficionados of straight razors swear a good one will provide a closer shave than any disposable razor on the market because they can be angled to glide smoothly across the face. Because of the safety shield, a disposable razor can be held against the skin at only one angle.
Although a straight razor is definitely an earth-friendly choice because it will not contribute to the two billion disposable razors that go to the landfill every year, it didn’t seem to be a frugal choice. The best ones cost a few hundred dollars. When I asked men about the quality of the less expensive ones, they said they did not last and didn’t provide a close shave. When you actually do the math, however, the straight razor does pay for itself over time.
Coming in at second place for an ecothrifty shaving option is a non-disposable safety razor. I had no idea these were still around, but like the straight razors, they have an enthusiastic following, and they are not difficult to find online. The razor handle and the part that holds the blade are made of metal and will last for years. Only the double-sided metal blade is disposable, but it is very thin and can be purchased in packages of ten, reducing the amount of packaging that goes into a landfill. The razors generally cost $30 to $100, depending on brand, and the replacement blades can be purchased online for 50 to 75 cents each.
This is an excerpt from Ecothrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life.