Wednesday, May 7, 2008

#219 - Safety First

Switching From a Plastic Disposable Razor to a Safety Razor

This is the fifth change in my month-long pledge to give up plastics for Crunchy's Extreme Eco-Throwdown.

The timing on this change just happened to be perfect. For several years I have been using a Venus plastic razor with disposable blade heads. These heads are made of plastic and come individually sheathed in mini plastic cups. The whole package of six blade heads is, of course, then wrapped in more plastic. None of which is recyclable in my area.

Last week, I finally used my last plastic blade. Like I said, the timing was perfect.

So instead of purchasing more plastic replacement heads, I hopped on eBay and purchased a "vintage" (translation: "used"-but-can-charge-double-because-"vintage"-sounds-cool) woman's Gillette Safety Razor. It's a butterfly twist-to-open model that takes a single, stainless steel blade. So far, my source for the blades has been a bit disappointing -- they are sold in a plastic container at Walgreens-- but if I continue my search I'm hoping I can find them in a cardboard box (translation: little help here!).

Surprisingly, I have not cut the crap out of my legs with the new razor. But I also am not getting as close a shave as I'm used to. From what I've read, though, using a safety razor does require a certain technique that takes time to hone.
Yeah, sometimes I just write these posts to amuse myself.

14 comments:

artbystrongheart said...

I have purchased packs of 25 blades at an art store near the mat cutters, and a friend found a box of 50 or 100 blades at a fabric store (I think) - both were packaged in cardboard boxes. I'm not sure if these would work in that particular razor but it might be worth a look.

eco 'burban mom said...

Why just not give up shaving all together! Blech, I KID, I KID! No way would I ever... unless it's winter and pants season. Don't look under my pant legs about January. Hey - it's Michigan! We're all bundled up and no one cares.

But, seriously, I use the same Venus plasti-razor. I would switch, but that metal safety razor scares the crap out of me. Geez - I can saw my legs to death with one false move of the venus! Imagine the damage with the real, big girl razor? YIKES! Stitches, anyone? Good for you burban mom - you're one brave girl!

Beany said...

I bought a new Merkur one on amazon and have used it to shave my arm pits. I haven't cut myself but am scared. Between a razor cut and my baking soda usage, I will probably have a raging fire in the pits.

I did a search for "Double Edge Safety Razor Blades" on amazon and found some the appear to arrive in cardboard containers. Sharp is one company.

I was wondering how you moms got to do all the work you do (cooking, cleaning, canning) _and_ write good blog entries...Chile Chews suspected that the kids were being used as slave labor...now I know that your readers are also being used. Need to keep this in mind next time I wonder about blogger moms' superpowers.

Beany said...

Uh..the url for sharp

heather t said...

check at Fake Plastic Fish - I'm pretty sure she uses the same thing and got her blades online(eBay?), wrapped in paper or cardboard.

I'd link for ya but I'm at work. (look busy!)

Matt said...

Try Lehmans. Follow the link below.

http://www.lehmans.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=1936&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=680&iSubCat=731&iProductID=1936

Burbanmom said...

OMG, you people are ALL ROCKSTARS!!! Thank you so much!!!

Anyone up for folding my laundry? No? That's asking too much, isn't it?

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Man, speak of nostalgia! That is the very brand and type razor I started slashing my face to ribbons with lo these many winters ago. Actually, the reason they called those things "safety razors" was that you can only cut so deep with them. So no worry about stitches. Unlike straight razors that can take your chin off. I used to scrape the crap out of my jawline and adams apple with those. Lots of blood, no scarring. Be wary of cheesy brand blades! And don't use them when they start to feel dull, the sharper they are the less they nick. The technique preferred by the ancients was to go lightly and repeat. If you hurry or press too hard you nick and scrape. Also look for some vintage styptic pencils, you will need them. Best of luck.

JennCoomber said...

OK, I'm going to dare to give you an alternate in case the saftey razor turns out to be not so safe.

Homemade leg wax. Add some strips of reusable linen and you're good to go.

1 cup sugar
2 Tbl. lemon juice
2 Tbl. water.

Mix in a saucepan and boil for 8-15 minutes, or until 250 degrees (soft ball stage). Then pour it into a little container and leave it to cool down a bit. Keep refrigerated. It can be heated up in the microwave...but be careful not to get it too hot and burn yourself. Also, don't do this if you're not familiar with how to wax, haven't done it before, etc...

JennCoomber said...

Just in case someone wants to try it:
Here are some sites to teach you how to wax your legs!

http://www.naircare.com/howto/wax.asp
http://www.free-beauty-tips.com/waxlegs.html
http://beauty.about.com/c/ht/00/07/How_Wax_Legs_0962934048.htm

Going Crunchy said...

I have a shiver going up my spine looking at the picture. Brrr....... I'm willing to give it a go though and will look for one.

daharja said...

Actually, I've sort of wondered about this one, when plastics start to get more expensive. I don't fancy cutthroat razors much...

I don't really know what the 'green' option is, besides going hairy. Maybe a one-off laser treatment?

Have you managed to find razors that fit the shaver now? Everyone I know uses disposables or an electric (or one of those epilator things).

blondeoverboard said...

i was cleaning out drawers some weeks ago and came across dad's old safety razor, a beautiful silver contraption in a silver carrying case. for the last idunnohowmany years he'd been using a disposable and had put this one away for safe keeping. there's something nice about using his things now that he's gone. it's nice to know i'm not using so many plastics and keeping him a part of my daily life.
~just another suburban mom~

Anonymous said...

Best way to buy blades AND sample the various brands is from http://westcoastshaving.com

Several come packaged in paper/cardboard including the red Personnas. The owner of the company & his wife are very helpful.