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I believe in adopting sustainable practices in our daily or recurring maintenance activities. Recently, I measured the amount of water I spend at the sink and shifted to mug-based shaving (rinsing the razor by dipping it in a mug of water). However, there is another thing that troubles me, the use of plastic in my preferred razor.

Mostly, I use the Gillette Mach 3 razor . I have tried other cheaper razors as well, but I have settled with this for a balance of cost and skin care. I am aware of stainless steel blades that are cheap that'll go into steel razor slots but I am afraid they may cut my skin, I tend to be careless and lost in thought while shaving, LoL.

The Mach 3 lasts a month or so for me and I shave once in three days. Is there an equivalently comfortable (not-cutting-skin guaranteed) razor that does not use plastic, and at comparable (or little higher) cost, i.e. $2 per cartridge ? Come to think of it, I won't mind spending more for a sustainable alternative with equivalent benefits ?

  • The true master of knives shaves with a cut-throat razor. Such razors used to be passed on from generation to generation, so they are pretty sustainable, but require skill, both in use and in maintenance. I prefer cut-throat razors to multi-bladed razors (razor burn) and getting a close shave is also a matter of skill, but you have to invest more time. – Earthliŋ Dec 10 '15 at 23:29
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    FWIW I suspect that the production and disposal/recycling of the metals have a similar or perhaps even bigger environmental impact than the production and disposal of the plastic. – THelper Dec 11 '15 at 8:02
  • oh is it, dint know this angle, i thought we are better off with metals than with plastic. – Whirl Mind Dec 11 '15 at 11:16
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    If you care for your razor heads, they'll stay sharp and last for months. You take care of them by rinsing well, tapping the water off and storing them so the air can move freely around them. I change my razor heads once per month or two when they start tugging more than cutting. – Escoce Dec 11 '15 at 17:20
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    @Earthliŋ yes, often from the user of a cut-throat razor to their male next of kin, or from the user's widow to his son. – Ⴖuі Dec 11 '15 at 21:20
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I'm an energy consultant - I'm also aware of the environmental impacts of plastic - however; I still have to ask, what is the issue with plastic?

The only thing more sustainable than plastic is SOME wood IF it is carefully cared for.

The carbon embedded in the production of plastic is VERY low compared to say aluminium, stainless etc... Plastic is a great material with a lot of bad press and an unfortunately low price.

Sustainability comes from the whole life cycle of a product and a consideration of the materials with the lowest embedded energy consumption. If the life cycle is correctly managed - plastic is hard to argue with - even the disposable heads.

My suggestion: look at how you dispose of plastic - and aim to do so more sustainably.

  • I keep aside all throwaway items with reusable material separately, and give away to the scrap dealer once in a few months. Between the two, metal and plastic, is it true that metal has a chance of recycling better than plastic ? Is plastic as reusable as steel/aluminium ? I was thinking of the decay time also as a consideration apart from carbon component. – Whirl Mind Dec 13 '15 at 9:46
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    Correct - most plastics tend to degenerate each time they are processed. Whereas metals are more stable. – user20110 Dec 14 '15 at 15:14

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