SudsPosted: January 22, 2011
It’s been a pretty long time since we’ve posted anything that wasn’t directly food related, but I wanted to mention a frugal and more sustainable home tip that has been working really well for me recently. During the holidays, I stopped using a cartridge razor and switched over to an old-fashioned safety razor that I got as a gift. This is in addition to having switched over from cans of shaving cream or gel to bar shaving soap and a brush about a year back.
Environmentally, bar soap has a much lower environmental footprint as it both lasts far longer and necessitates far less packaging that shaving cream (or any liquid soap for that matter). My sense is that the safety razor should also more ecologically-friendly, since rather than dealing with the replacement cartridges that contain lots of plastic parts and extensive packaging, you’re just buying small boxes of paper-wrapped razor blades.
Frugally speaking, the bar and brush will save you some money over the long run after a relatively modest initial investment, but it’s the safety razor that really benefits your wallet. Instead of a 5-pack of Mach 3 cartridges that can run (here in Brooklyn) anywhere from $10 to $15 ($2-3 each), a pack of 50 double-edge razor blades for about $15 (30 cents each).
There is definitely a bit of a learning curve when starting to use the safety razor – it requires more technique than the extensively-designed cartridges. But after a couple mediocre shaves (and, yes, a few nicks), I have the hang of it now and am getting just as good a shave as with the cartridges. It also doesn’t really take much longer than using the cartridge razors.
On a sidenote, I was reminded to post about all this when I saw a really great design for a bar soap dispenser intended as a more eco-friendly alternative to liquid soap (while more hygienic than public bar soap by itself).