How to Shave Waste-Free in 4 Simple Steps

By Jamie Skinner, co-founder of UK-based sustainable brand Jungle Culture

How to shave waste-free in 4 simple stepsHow to shave waste-free in 4 simple steps. Save this pin for later!

Look around a “normal” British bathroom, past the stoneware tiles and porcelain tubs and what reveals itself is a collection of plastic-cased toiletries lining every available surface.

Clustered in one corner, our shower gels, shampoos and conditioners. Above the sink sits our tubed toothpastes and bottles of Listerine. Peer round the toilet and tucked in discreetly sits an assortment of cleaning supplies.

Open a cupboard and out falls our plastic razor, Gillette, Venus or Wilkinson no doubt. As a society we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that those are the only available options. A study conducted in 1990 and shared by USA Today estimates that more than 2 billion plastic razors and blades are thrown away every year in the US alone.

Staggeringly, that figure is from just one country and was predicted at a time when the world population was just over 5 billion. With global populations soaring and our thirst for grooming products rising, imagine how many throwaway razors are being produced in 2023 ...

Many will argue that the solution is simple. Don’t shave. But in a world where judgments are made quickly, a world of 280 characters and 15 second video snippets, who can afford to make a bad first impression?

For those of us that prefer no hair and no waste, here is a simple step-by-step guide that will help you rid at least one plastic problem from your bathroom.

Step one: Switch your razor for a waste-free alternative

Razor alternatives, unless you are daring enough to shave with a knife (like this guy), are broadly separated into 3 options.

Option 1: For the purists

Straight razors for the shaving purists.Straight razors for the shaving purists.

What is it?

Straight razors are the OG of shaving tools. Also known as cut throats (not great for PR), the first steel version of this classic shaving tool was produced in Sheffield in the 1600s.


Starting at £4.99 or $6.00 on Amazon for a basic straight razor, this is your most budget option, although we’d advise to invest around £15-20 ($18-24) to nab yourself a high-quality and long-lasting razor.


  • Gets the job done
  • Available anywhere in the world
  • Looks cool (we think)


  • More of a learning curve than our other options
  • Easier to cut yourself
  • Extreme care needed when shaving your unmentionables

Option 2: For the purists who don’t like shaving injuries

Safety razors are safer than cut-throats but still require some practiceSafety razors are safer than cut-throats but still require a bit of practice

What is it?

Safety razors are the next generation of shaving tools and clearly razor producers learned from their mistakes when naming this clever little instrument. Like cut throats, safety razors use double edged blades and no electricity. The key difference is the ridged guard placed underneath the razor head which protects the user, making it more difficult to cut yourself.


Safety razors start at around £10.00 ($12.00), but we’d recommend spending a little bit more to guarantee a long-lasting and well-built product. These reusable safety razors from Jungle Culture will set you back £18.99 ($22.86) but come with a 5-year guarantee.


  • Safer and easier to use than a straight razor
  • Can be used by women and men
  • No issues shaving down below
  • Cheaper than our third option


  • Still has a learning curve
  • Doesn’t have the same bad-boy appeal commanded by cut throats!

Option 3: For the who-cares-about-purists

Electric shavers are the modern solution for the safety-conscious man or womanElectric shavers are the modern solution for the safety-conscious man or woman

What is it?

Electric razors are the ultimate modern shaving solution. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are normally rechargeable, but some also run on battery power. Unlike our previous two options, electric razors do not generally have replaceable blades, so the price you pay for the razor includes everything.


The cheapest electric razors come in at around £20.00 ($24.00), but we’d suggest paying a lot more than this. For a reliable electric razor, £60.00+ (around $72.00) is a good starting point. Here is one at the lower end of the scale that we can vouch for.


  • The safest option
  • Does not need additional blades
  • Options for men and women


  • Big initial outlay for a quality razor
  • Not the closest shave

Step Two: Accessories

Shaving waste is not limited to the razor base. Blades, shaving foam and aftercare balms all contribute to our overall household waste, so here are a few options for waste-free shaving accessories:
Razor blades - £0.13 ($0.15)/ per blade
Shaving soap - £6.49 ($7.81)/per 6 months
Shaving balm - £17.95 ($21.61)/per 6 months

Step Three: Learning Curves

Now that you’ve got the tools, you need to learn how to use them!

In the past, barbers would shave a balloon to see if they were able to shave a customer without cutting them. Testing on balloons may sound fun, but we’re trying to avoid waste, so test your skills on your arm or leg.

You can learn how to use a straight razor with this video tutorial: Straight razor tutorial
Here is a video guide for using a safety razor: Safety razor tutorial

Electric razors vary by type, but read the instructions that come with your razor and you should be okay!

Step Four: Aftercare

When your razors and razor blades come to the end of their life, you should recycle them to make sure that they don’t end up in landfill sites.

Sadly, all razor blades are coated with a Teflon-esque material that prevents recycling at a normal recycling facility, but you can collect together your shaving waste and send everything (cost-free) to Terracycle who are a specialist recycling company.

And there we have it, waste-free shaving in 4 easy steps!

If you have any other tips for reducing bathroom waste, leave them in the comments on social media or send me a message!

This post was written by Jamie Skinner, co-founder of UK-based sustainable brand Jungle Culture. Jamie started Jungle Culture after being inspired by eco-friendly alternatives he found in Vietnam, where the company was born. He now writes articles teaching people how to make the switch to plastic alternatives. You can read more about the company here:

Want to make your home toxin-free, healthy and sustainable, too, but not sure where to start?

If you want to make your home toxic-free, healthy and safe for your children as well but aren't sure where to start, I'd love to help you! Email me on or click here. In the meantime, check out my blog post about my Zero-Waste Coaching, here!

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