Cutting a Hair Too Close to Environmental Harm


Not a chore; a chance to slow down.

If you spend any time at all thinking about where “away” is when you throw things there, you probably realize that there really is no “away”.

Take, for example, the dilemma of shaving. 2 billion disposable razors are purchased annually in the U.S. and I think we all know where they end up.

If you aren’t about to part with shaving, here are some other alternatives:

Straight Razors

Not just for the boys (or are they?). Live dangerously while enjoying the ritual of swirling the brush into the bar soap before lathering up. Honestly, if you’ve ever heard of a woman using a straight razor, I want to hear about it. They’re “fetishy” and quite expensive.

“Safety” Razors
Definitely our mother’s razor; not quite as adventurous as the straight razor. You will have to dispose of the blade, but compared to all that plastic, this seems a small sin. Typically about $25.

Recycline Recylables
Made of recycled plastic from yogurt containers and, in its next incarnation, your razor is destined to serve as building material for plastic decks and stairs; the company has a mail back program. $7.25 for a pack of four.

Wally Rubber Shower Razor
Good in theory and approved by PETA, but this one left me in hot water. It wouldn’t stick to my shower and every time it fell, the blade would pop out and I’d have to pick it up, risking injury. Finally – mercifully – the plastic that held the blade in place broke. Not my finest moment in the shower. $6.95/blades sold separately.

Solar Shaver: Now here’s a great idea: an automatic shaver you don’t ever have to throw away! All roads lead to the U.K. for purchase.

Don’t forget your eco-friendly organic shaving cream!

Image: Scott Feldstein

Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa Barrington is a San Francisco based writer and communications consultant specializing in environmental, social, and political issues in the food system.