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.
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3 thoughts on “Eco-Saturday: Razor rant”

  1. If you have a medicine cabinet, open it up and check to see if there is a little slit in the rear wall. That is where people have dropped in their old blades for decades, before disposables hit the market. The blades become part of the house, kind of.

    1. That’s wild. I had no idea such a thing existed. I gotta go look. Our house is pretty old, and our medicine cabinet is built into the wall, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find one.

      1. There was a little pile of razor blades in the stud wall of the old bathroom here when we tore it out.

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