metal safety razor in focus in front of four blurry disposable razors

5 Ways to Have a Low Waste Shave

Week 17

Most of us use disposable razors for our shaving routine, which by definition, are not low waste. In 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that America produces 2 billion throwaway razors and blades every year, but I'm certain that number has since gone up since. And the problem isn't solely coming from plastic razors. Shaving cream, aftershave, and waxing strips all produce waste. Fortunately, there are low-waste replacements for all of it!

Safety razor

4 leaf brand safety razors in different colors

You probably haven't seen a safety razor since your grandfather's day, but thanks to their sustainability they are making a huge comeback. While there are many safety razors on the market, The Leaf Razor is easily the most popular thanks to it's pivoting head and multi-blade system. At $85, it is among some of the pricier options. However, it has a lifetime guarantee, so you should never have to replace it. If you do have to dispose of your Leaf Razor for any reason, both the body and the blades are 100% recyclable with metals, although you may have to find a spot that accepts scrap metal.

Not quite ready to spend big on a safety razor? Package Free Shop offers a more traditional model for $25. While this is still more expensive than a disposable razor, remember that you'll save a significant amount of cash and plastic waste in the long run.

Whichever safety razor you end up with, you can collect the used blades and send them to The Albatross Blade Take Back Program. For details on how to participate, head to their website.

The one drawback to safety razors is that they aren't allowed on planes. Normally I recommend using what you have and only replacing it when necessary. However, in this case, it's best to save your disposable razors for travel.

Shaving soap

round bar of shaving soap

Shaving cream containers may be recyclable, but because they are aerosols, they release chemicals that contribute to global warming into the atmosphere. A more sustainable option is a shaving soap bar like this one for $10 from Package Free Shop. You can also make shaving cream with a few simple ingredients.

Shaving brush

wooden handle shaving brush

You obviously don't have to use a shaving brush, but if that's your method of choice, opt for a wooden handle with natural bristles. I like this $12 one from Brooklyn Made Natural because it is made of 100% biodegradable materials.


glass bottle of lovett sundries brand aftershave tonic

Most grocery store aftershave options come in a plastic bottle with a laundry list of ingredients. Instead, look for something in an infinitely recyclable glass bottle with ingredients you've heard of. Package Free Shop offers a six ingredient, glass bottle aftershave tonic for $20 or you can use something you already have at home like witch hazel or aloe vera.

Sugar wax

wax made from sugar being used to remove hair from a leg

If you prefer waxing for your unwanted hair removal, try waste free sugaring. All you need is white sugar, lemon juice, and water to make the "wax", which spreads on your problem areas and peels off without any plastic waste. For complete instructions, check out this tutorial from Gippland Unwrapped (pictured above).

Make Shaving Cream →