As one of the most industrialized nations in the world, America produces more than 30 percent of the world’s trash, even though its citizens account only for 4 percent of the global population. In a study, by Columbia University, Americans produce seven pounds of waste per person every single day. That’s about 2,555 pounds of garbage per individual every year.
This trash is conveniently burnt in incinerators or buried in landfills. In previous years, some of these trash, at least 40 percent of the recyclables, are exported to countries like China, where they’ll process anything remotely useful into other products, often using dangerous methods.
Never mind if incinerators and landfills don’t really solve the problem. Landfills emit greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide which worsen global warming. More dangerously, incinerators release toxic gases which are by-products of the incineration process. These gases are not only deadly for the environment but also for the health of communities and local wildlife.
And what’s inside these trash? Well, everyday ordinary materials, ranging from the biodegradable (like food scraps) to the recyclable, like single-use plastics and disposables.
Yup, especially disposables. Like for instance, disposable razors.
Say what you will about the convenience of disposable razors, but here at Naked Armor, we firmly believe that it’s not worth it to risk the health of our environment in exchange for a little bit of convenience.
Which is why, we have always been proponents of using the old-fashioned straight razor. Not only does it give you a closer shave more than any kind of razor, but it’s also eco-friendly, especially since we’re commemorating Earth Day this month.
Straight razors are generally made using high quality stainless steel and durable timber wood.
Stainless steel makes for an excellent material for a razor blade because it can be honed and stropped quickly to the sharpest edge. And because it’s an alloy of carbon and iron, steel has a high tensile strength and very tough. It’s what makes it last long.
The variety of timber wood that is usually used for razor handles range from cedar to juniper. These softwoods are preferred because they’re more lighter to use than hard wood while still durable. They also have additional qualities that add more value to the straight razor.
For instance, razor handles made from pine can absorb oils and preservatives more easily than hardwoods. So pine wood can be made even more durable from termites, moisture or fungal attacks by treating it easily with preservatives.
Sandalwood razor handles are also durable but they have a unique quality that makes them a popular choice for luxury razors. The wood secretes an essential oil which makes your skin smoother while having a host of other medical and therapeutic benefits.
Because it’s made from quality steel and wood, straight razors can be more expensive than your usual disposable. But the good news is, it’s just a one-time expense.
When you buy a straight razor, you won’t need to buy another one again in a long time. That means you don’t have to spend weekly for multi-blade cartridges which can easily cost more in the long run.
When it comes to shaving cost per year, using disposable razors tends to cost more than cartridge razors. But with straight razors, you don’t need to spend regularly for blades at all. The Cutthroat Club’s shaving economics gives an excellent breakdown of shaving expenses but the gist of the matter is that, if you want to save more, use a straight razor.
And it also makes for a good investment. High quality straight razors often become valuable heirloom pieces throughout the years. Because they’re durable, all you need to do is hone them properly and the heirloom straight razor can be used as new. Hardcore collectors though, prefer to display or store their heirloom pieces.
In theory, straight razor blades are recyclable. That’s because stainless steel can be melted down and recycled to be used as material for a new batch of steel products.
In practice, however, nobody really recycles straight razor blades because there’s no need to. It won’t break and will continue to shave sharply as long as its honed and stropped properly. Just like that Energizer rabbit, a straight razor can go on and on shaving its way through countless beards.
Razor handles are another matter. As woods go, there will come a time when a straight razor’s wood handle needs to be replaced. When that happens, you can, in good conscience, get rid of the old wooden handle because it’ll just degrade harmlessly into the environment.
A straight razor will have a lower carbon footprint than an electric razor or a disposable. Because stainless steel production usually uses recycled steel, there is a significantly reduced carbon emission when compared to a production process that uses raw materials.
A straight razor’s design is simple and practical. It doesn’t cost much energy or carbon emission in order to produce a straight razor. In fact, the best straight razors are produced by artisanal means which means it’s handcrafted with care for the environment.
In contrast, the design, manufacture, transport and disposal of electric razors and disposable razors all generate significant amounts of carbon dioxide. And when you think how big, corporate and ridiculous, the shaving industry has become, it’s only logical that companies will prefer mass production over environmental impact.
Because a straight razor is long-lasting, you’ll never need to throw it away. And that’s why using a straight razor can be a small but very meaningful way of protecting the environment.
Plastic razors, on the other hand, have been polluting the environment all these years. In 2017, industry statistics showed that there are some 161.2 million Americans who used disposable shavers for their daily shaving needs. Where do you think all those disposables went after being used?
At your local landfill. The EPA has in fact estimated that at least 2 billion disposable razors are thrown into landfills each year. And because they are not biodegradable, these razors add to the widespread problem of plastic pollution.
Best of all, straight razors give the cleanest and closest shave without negatively impacting the environment.
A straight razor blade is so sharp, you can shave off your stubble easily and quickly so you don’t have to waste water while shaving.
It’s also manual, so you don’t need to waste electrical energy while shaving each morning.
And because you’ll never need to throw it away, you won’t be polluting the planet any further.
So this Earth Day, if you’re not already using one, consider shifting to a straight razor. In these times of plastic pollution and climate change, we need to do everything we can in order to stop the impending collapse of our environment.
And if you’re looking for awesome eco-friendly, luxury razors, check out Naked Armor. We carry the best handcrafted stainless steel straight razors and organically produced shaving products which will give you the best shave ever at no cost to the environment.
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