Sunday, October 25, 2009

Getting Greener

I try to be green or to reduce my carbon footprint but some things are harder to do than others.

Easy: I'm not in a postion to replace my Jeep - it gets about 17 mpg on a good day but then I have only driven 53,382 miles since getting it in June of 2002. I live two blocks from work so i don't have to drive or even take public transportation.

Very Easy: I use reusable bags for all my shopping - including trips to CVS, Petco and the ABC store. I used LED or fluorescent lightbulbs.

Easy: I recycle, do all my laundry in cold water (I buy dark colors for towels and underwear so I don't have to do white loads or use bleach,) I try to buy products that use recycled paper or plastic, I try to buy locally grown produce and/or organic.

Hard: I have always said it is easier to put on a sweater or coat buy you can only get so naked. I'm a very warm person and at night I'm like a furnace and where I live, if you open your windows, you either get a ton of pollen or a ton of soot. So I use the AC a lot - during the spring, summer and fall I have the AC on but I balance it out by never turning the heat past 60 during the winter.

Hardest: My latest attempt to go greener involves shaving. Like most men (bears excluded) I shave about 5x a week. I have since I was about 14. I don't have a fast growing beard but it's full and was dark auburn  colored until a few year ago when my chin hairs started turning gray (no more goatee or soul patch for me.) The hair on my arms and legs is very blonde, my chest hear is black and the hair on my head would be a mix of mousey blonde and gray if I didn't used Loreal Light Blonde 01, Extra Light Ash Blonde - Cooler. So I'm calico and yes, the carpeting matches the drapes but no grays yet.

I've been using the Gillette M3 Power Nitro razor for years now and it does a great job but every time I have to open a new package of blades, I feel a bit guilty. And poorer.


               Gillette M3power Razor Nitro                       Gillette M3power Cartridges

I use a new blade every 10-14 days. If I go longer than that, my shaves aren't as smooth and I'm more likely to get nicks. A 5 pack costs about $15 and over the course of a year it adds up - to about $85, however the bigger cost is to the environment.

First, the blades come packaged in enough plastic to survive an eternity which you need a really good pair of scissors to get open. Second, blades are not recyclable. Third, it takes a lot of hot water ( I shave in the shower, I've tried the sink but just can't.) Forth, shaving cream - no matter what kind you use you are using more chemicals and packaging. So this week I purchased an electric razor - The Braun Series 3 electric razor.

From what I can tell, there is no difference in the quality of the shave among the various models but the cost varies from $120 - $260. Also, with the series 3, you have to clean it your self. So far it has been a bit of an adjustment. First, you have to shave BEFORE you shower. I forgot once and couldn't finish shaving that morning. Then, it shaves my face well enough but not my neck. I've had to shave my neck twice as a touch-up. I'm thinking this is temporary until my neck hair adjusts to the cutting pattern of the razor. This week I hope to find some tips for getting a better shave on the web.

Overall, I hope this is greener. No water, packaging, blades (blades last for 18 months,) no shaving cream or packaging and no energy to heat the water.

6 comments:

Stan in NH said...

Great idea. Those replacement blades are expensive. I have had several electric shavers over the years and have never been satisfied with any of them. So I always went back to hand razors in the end. However, I think that technology may be such that new razors may surprise me. I might give it a try, too as a show of solidarity. But let me know how you adjust first! :)

Sean said...

That would be great! I'll be sure to let everyone know. I didn't throwout my razor yet.

Davelandweb said...

Great post, Sean. The shaving this is a difficult one. I used electric for a long time but it just didn't seem to do as good a job and I found myself having to shave more often. However, I found that shaving in the shower (with the water off while actually shaving!) means I don't have to use shaving cream.

Larry Ohio said...

I do all my laundry in cold water too. I think they got all those detergents optimized for cold nowadays. But to counter me, Greg uses hot and due to some kind of obsessive compulsion, he needs to wash each of his loads 3-5 times. There, I said it.

Kyle said...

Hey Sean, green talk, that's what I love to hear!

I've had very poor performance from the electric shavers I have tried. I have very dark(well some of it is turning gray now),thick face hair and it grows back at an alarming rate. Shavers also tend to cause acne breakouts on my face. I always end up going back to razors, though I wish I didn't have to.

I would have to use a razor on my nether regions anyhow, as I manscape down below, so it isn't like I could divorce myself from razors all together.

Geoff said...

What a great post! I've been trying to do the green adjustment over the last couple years, and I admit I haven't tackled this one yet. Electric razors make me break out. Again, GREAT post!

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