What Is The Best Alternative to Disposable Razors

alternatives to disposable razors reduces waste
Photo by Nacho Fernández on Unsplash

If you’re looking to make your self-care routine even more green, you need to find an alternative to disposable razors.

We’ve seen some big-name brands cook up some greenwashing schemes to make their disposable razors look more eco-friendly. Schick recently launched a new disposable razor with recycled steel and a bamboo handle.

However, even those bamboo disposable razors still use plastic parts and are clogging landfills with waste and pollution. You can technically compost bamboo, it is a hearty “brown” to keep your compost balanced. But how many people are snapping off the plastic heads and composting their Schick bamboo razors? Not many.

Safety razors use interchangeable recyclable blades, allowing you to shave sustainably.

Let’s jump into why you should try safety razors as a sustainable alternative when it comes to shaving.

Why We Need an Alternative to Disposable Razors

It’s no secret that disposable razors are bad for the environment. However, most people don’t know how impactful disposable razors are when it comes to pollution and waste. Despite being made out of plastic and metal, most disposable razors aren’t even recyclable.

The problem of disposable razor waste is much bigger than we think. America produced 2 billion disposable razors back in 1990 and that number has only gone up from there.

Finding an alternative to disposable razors helps us find ways to keep our bathrooms green. Every change we make can help us create a greener future—even when it comes to how we shave! Besides, who doesn’t want to have the classic sense of cool that comes with shaving with a safety razor?

Save Money While Saving the Planet

Though there is an upfront investment, in the long run you will save money in addition to saving the planet from plastic waste. With new blades for a safety razor a fraction of the cost of a new disposable razor, you can make your money back in a less than a year with some of the lower cost safety razors below.

But even with an expensive safety razor, you earn your investment back within two years and forever afterwards. People discard razors a different rates based on the thickness of their hair and how quickly it grows back, but let us assume you use a new blade each week. By switching to a safety razor, you will save around $16 per year. Every penny counts!

Our Top 5 Picks for Reusable Razors

We’ve done our research and tested some of the best safety razors on the market. These make great environmentally friendly gifts and can be part of how you make your personal hygiene more sustainable. Let’s get started.

1. Edwin Jagger Safety Razors—The Overall Best Reusable Razor

Edwin Jagger has created a line of safety razors that combined the reusability we are looking for with an elegant design. These are timeless safety razors that make the perfect addition to any modern self care routine.

You can find a variety of styles that also come with safety razor stands and even brushes so you can work up a great leather of your favorite shaving soap (read on for more on shaving accessories). We found this to be some of the best safety razors on the market. They’ve got a great reputation for durability as well as a classic style.

The price tag might be a little higher than some options, but you’re definitely getting your money’s worth when it comes to value. Treat yourself to an Edwin Jagger safety razor and you won’t be disappointed.

In my household, we have shaved with our Jaggers literally hundreds of times over the years and they look like new. You will get your money’s worth, we guarantee it.

2. Van Der Hagen Safety Razor Kit—The Best on a Budget

One of the biggest hurdles people have when it comes to switching over to safety razors is that there can be a pretty big start up cost relative to disposables. The bag of disposable razors at your local drugstore only cost a few dollars, but some of the bigger safety razor brands can cost you $40 to $80 up front.

This is where Van Der Hagen safety razors step in. The Van Der Hagen brand creates affordable safety razors that are long-lasting, but won’t have a long-lasting impact on your wallet. You can switch over to a more sustainable way to shave without putting an unsustainable burden on your budget.

These safety razors are able to last you for years. You might grow out of their style as you get more into shaving with a safety razor, but these are more than capable of standing up to years of use.

We’ve known people who shave with Van Der Hagen safety razors for nearly a decade without noticing much wear and tear on the razor itself.

3. Gillette Heritage Safety Razor—Best Safety Razor from a Big Brand

The Gillette Heritage safety razor kit is a great choice for people who want to jump into a more sustainable way to shave, but don’t want to give up on some of the brands that they trust. Sometimes making the best environmentally friendly move means sticking with what you know is reliable.

This is great for people who are a little apprehensive of some of the new names you find when you shop for safety razors. The Gillette Heritage safety razor kit comes with everything you need to get started in one convenient package that’s perfect for travel.

4. Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor—The Classic Your Grandfather Used

Now we’re really talking. One of the biggest benefits of shaving with a safety razor is that you get a timeless sense of cool. This is the way our granddads and great-grandads shaved. Long before the days of disposable razors the safety razor was the king of shaving.

Merkur is a classic brand when it comes to shaving with a safety razor. They make a product that’s reliable because it’s been tested for generations. We’ve even known people that have handed down Merkur safety razors from grandfather to father to son.

This is another big sustainability feather in the cap of safety razors. When you pick up a reliable safety razor like Merkur, you’ll be able to pass it down to the next generation of shavers in your family. That’s the kind of sustainability that disposable plastic razors just won’t ever be able to achieve.

5. The Barber Straight Razor—Straight Razor Shave With Safety Razor Convenience

Straight razors are an old school alternative to disposable razors
Photo by Allyson Carter on Unsplash

You have another option when it comes to shaving with a more sustainable type of razor. Straight razors are an alternative that creates virtually no waste, but they can be a little intimidating to jump into. They require a certain type of shaving skill that just isn’t very common these days.

You will pay more for a quality straight razor, up to hundreds of dollars since many have handles made of high-end materials, such as mother of pearl. But you can find a straight razor for a little over $100.

Looking for a baby step into straight razors? This is where barber straight razors come in. These use disposable blades just like a safety razor, but they have the straight razor style.

If you’re looking for something a little bit more cool that’s still sustainable, you should try out a barber straight razor.

What are the Best Safety Razor Blades?

Safety razors still use disposable blades, but these blades are the best alternative to disposable razors. Safety razors are steel, which is a valuable commodity and is recycled at high rates.

They can be recycled at your local recycling center and create less plastic waste than disposable razors. This makes them a great addition to self care routines that include other eco-alternatives like our picks for best environmentally friendly toothpaste alternatives.

There are plenty of options out there for buying safety razor blades. Most of these have flashy branding and are shipped from all over the world, but one of them is time-tested and made right here in the United States. These blades are recyclable and they consume less fossil fuels by having a smaller shipping footprint.

Personna safety razors blades might not have the flashiest branding, but they are affordable and one box will last you through years of shaving. Save money, look your best, and protect the environment—what’s not to love?

How Do I Recycle Safety Blades?

If you toss your blades into the recycling can one by one, recycling centers will likely miss them. It is best practice to consolidate the blades before placing them in your recycling bin.

You can find safety razor blade “banks” or “safes,” such as Rockwell’s safety razor bank. There is also a DIY option, use any small metal container you have laying around to collect old blades.

Altoid mints come in a perfectly shaped metal container which you can use for old blades. When full, put a small piece of tape around the outside to hold it together and you will increase the chances the metal will be melted down and reused.

Other Accessories to Leave Plastic Razors Behind

Photo by Austin Jackson on Unsplash

Once you start using an alternative to disposable razors, such as a safety razor or a straight razor, we are confident you’ll love the change. Your next purchase to round out a new environmentally-friendly routine can be a shaving soap, shaving brush, and if you really want to get fancy, a soap bowl.

We recommend an organic shaving soap in our list of eco-friendly gifts for under $10, or we also like Taylor’s of Old Bond Street. But here is a secret, you really do not need a special type of soap for shaving with a safety razor. You can use Dove or some similar type of soap if you want to keep it simple.

Adding a shaving brush to your bathroom cabinet is the last step. These are easy to find on Amazon or online. If you are the type of person who accepts only the best of the best, shaving brushes can get very serious.

For instance, you can purchase a top of the line, handmade shaving brush with real badger hair from Simpson’s Shaving Brushes in England. According to the manufacturer, this “supreme instrument” in your “arsenal of shaving requisites” is a “potent symbol of masculine presence.” Um, ok, sounds like you are going to war with your beard each morning.

You can also find shaving brushes for much less, easily under $20. We took the chance with a less potent symbol of our masculinity and it worked out just fine since our cheap shaving brush is still working years later.

Lastly, you can add a shaving bowl to help you lather up the soap on your brush. Again, totally optional, since you can easily create a lather in the palm of your hand, or directly on your face or wherever on your body you are shaving.

Don’t be scared off by all these optional accessories. When you switch to alternatives to disposable razors, feel free to keep using your regular shaving cream. Shaving cream cans are recyclable in most municipal or local recycling programs. But disposable razors are not.

Wrapping Up The Alternatives to Disposable Razors

If you’re looking for more ways to make your lifestyle environmentally friendly, why not check out these tips for eco-friendly dental care or our recommendations for a substitute for toothpaste that cuts out plastic waste.

A small change that cuts out plastic waste, when combined with other small changes in your routine, can eventually equal big reductions in landfill waste.

It is especially gratifying when the changes you make, such as making a switch to non-disposable razors, results in a superior experience and saves money in the long-run. It is a sustainable no-brainer!

Here at R&R we only endorse products we have owned, tested, and fell in love with. If you end up making a purchase through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a very small commission that offsets a portion of the cost of hosting, building, and maintaining this site.