Eco-Saturday: Razor rant

This week’s Eco-Saturday is less a suggestion than a rant masquerading as a question:

Why are razor companies going out of their way to trash the environment as fast as they can go?

I would like very much to minimize the amount of trash we generate around here, and I’ve taken many steps to that effect, most of which I’ve shared on this blog. But I shouldn’t have to take out a second mortgage on the house to accomplish that.

A package of eight cartridges designed to fit Gillette Sensor razors retails at $22.29; two packages of four disposable Sensor razors will set you back $14.78. The same dynamic holds true for women’s razors, albeit usually in a less dramatic fashion: $17.49 will buy you five Venus replacement cartridges or six whole disposable Venus razors.

WTF, Gillette? You can’t tell me it costs less to make a whole razor than it costs to make a razor cartridge. Not when the design is virtually identical, and the cartridges use less material.

I thought I’d found a workaround a while back, when I picked up a package containing a Bic razor and several refills at a reasonable price. Then I got the damned thing home, opened it up, and found out Bic does not sell refills independently of the razors, so you’re still tossing it out and buying a new one way more often than necessary.

I’m not keen on trashing the planet or rewarding companies for implementing a price structure that actively discourages environmentally responsible behavior, so I did a little online research to see what it would take to tell Gillette to kiss my arse.

The answer?

About $30. That’s what it costs for an old-fashioned safety razor and a pack of five blades.

At worst, if I can’t figure out a safe way to recycle them, I’ll be throwing out one very small piece of metal every couple of weeks. Contrast that with the Bic semi-disposable I’ve been using lately:

razor

No contest — especially when I can buy 100 replacement blades for $9, and they come wrapped in tiny slips of paper I can toss in the recycler when I’m done.

I’ll try to remember to do an update once it comes in and I get a chance to use it and determine whether it’s as good a product as I’m hoping it will be.

Emily

P.S.: Here are days 12-18 of my Lent project:

I bought this for my classroom library when I taught. For some reason, I brought it home instead of giving it to another teacher. S.E. Hinton needs to be on a classroom shelf for a kid to enjoy, not languishing in a former English teacher's living room, so into the box "Rumble Fish" goes.
I bought this for my classroom library when I taught. For some reason, I brought it home instead of giving it to another teacher. S.E. Hinton needs to be on a classroom shelf for a kid to enjoy, not languishing in a former English teacher’s living room, so into the box “Rumble Fish” goes.
What is it with me and picture frames? I have no idea when or why I bought this one, but I think it's moved with me twice and still hasn't found its way out of the shrinkwrap.
What is it with me and picture frames? I have no idea when or why I bought this one, but I think it’s moved with me twice and still hasn’t found its way out of the shrinkwrap.
Cute shirt. I haven't worn it in years. I don't remember why, but I'm guessing I didn't like the fit.
Cute shirt. I haven’t worn it in years. I don’t remember why, but I’m guessing I didn’t like the fit.
Love this shirt. Too bad it's two sizes too small. Bye.
Love this shirt. Too bad it’s two sizes too small. Bye.
I have a picture somewhere of myself wearing this shirt at a festival in 2002. Or as I call it, "30 pounds ago."
I have a picture somewhere of myself wearing this shirt at a festival in 2002. Or as I call it, “30 pounds ago.”
I meant to leave this at our old house so the buyer could take advantage of the woodstove, but I forgot. I'll either ship it to him or give it to Mom.
I meant to leave this at our old house so the buyer could take advantage of the woodstove, but I forgot. I’ll either ship it to him or give it to Mom.
I think I bought this when I didn't own any pans with lids that fit right. Don't ask me why I thought that made more sense than buying a damn lid.
I think I bought this when I didn’t own any pans with lids that fit right. Don’t ask me why I thought that made more sense than buying a damn lid.

Belated Vegetarian Friday: Seven-layer nachos

As usual, my week got away from me. I’ll do an Eco-Saturday and a catching-up-on-Lent post shortly. In the meantime, here’s a good recipe for a quick meal on a busy night. Not exactly health food, but probably better for you than the version you’d get at a Mexican restaurant, and it comes together easily. I’ve listed amounts only for the refried beans (which double easily if necessary) because the amounts depend entirely on your personal taste and the number of people you need to feed.

Ingredients
2 tbsp. olive oil
Small onion, diced
Can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Can of tomatoes
Taco seasoning
Tortilla chips
Shredded cheddar or colby-Jack cheese
Salsa
Avocado
Lime juice
Sour cream
Sliced black olives

Saute the onion in olive oil until clear. Add pinto beans, tomatoes and taco seasoning to taste and mash together. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick and bubbly.

Mash avocado. Stir in a couple of tablespoons of salsa, a tablespoon or two of lime juice and a healthy sprinkling of taco seasoning.

Layer tortilla chips, a scoop of beans, and a handful of cheese on plates. Microwave each plate 20 seconds to warm the chips and melt the cheese. Top each plate with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and olives and serve immediately.

If you want an extra protein boost, stir some taco seasoning into a handful of frozen TVP, microwave until hot and layer between the beans and cheese.

Not quite the same as Del Taco’s “Macho Nachos,” but probably as close as I’m going to get between now and my next vacation.

Emily