Thoughts on Shaving, Socks and Water Conservation....

| 11/8/2010 2:31:43 PM

Twenty years ago Michelle and I began a mission to reduce the amount of garbage we were producing. Eventually we reduced our output to just 1 garbage can every 3 months, so our family of four made just 4 cans of garbage a year. We accomplished this by taking a look at every item we put into our garbage can and wondering “How can we eliminate this?”

I used to shave using shaving foam – the kind in an aerosol can. You end up with an empty aerosol can that isn’t recyclable and so I decided it was one item that I needed to do without. So I began to just use soap when I shaved. About this time I had a personal epiphany that not everything corporations were telling me in television ads was true. I was devastated. It turned out that soap worked just fine for shaving. I didn’t need the magic stuff in the aerosol can after all. And since the cans of shaving foam cost a lot more than a bar of soap, I ended up saving myself a whole lotta money too!

I’ve done with this shampoo too. I like to buy the bars of shampoo that you get from places like LUSH or from small local soap makers which foam up and work really well. You don’t end up with a huge plastic bottle to dispose of.

I’m not perfect though. I haven’t gone all the way and switched to a straight razor. I still use the Trac II razor I got in high school in 1978. Two blades -  what an innovation! I’ve stood back and watched as newer razors have been introduced that use 3 blades, 4 blades and recently 5 blades! Come on, now it’s just getting silly. When will a 6-blade razor come out and then an 8 or 10 blade one? As I’ve just learned in the book “The Collapse of Complex Societies” you ultimately hit a point of diminishing marginal returns when adding more “things” like blades, just doesn’t make any sense. I think with razor blades this happened in 1978. From then on it’s just been stupid.

The downside of shaving with soap is that it doesn’t have all the moisturizers and emulsifiers and cellular expansion factors that are allegedly part of the shaving foam in the aerosol cans. Finding some moisturizer around my house hasn’t generally been a problem because when my daughters were still living at home they would buy the latest, greatest moisturizer and then grow tired of it before moving on the next new product. So there was always bottles of the stuff that they had stopped using, and so I would take it over. Nothing goes to waste on my watch! Then my daughters moved out and the gravy train of reject moisturizer ran out. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy some, and have another big hunk of plastic end up in the recycling bin. So I started thinking about these products, and I remember seeing an advertisement for some moisturizer that promoted the fact that it had “oil olive” in it. So I decided to go straight to the source and I began using olive oil directly on my face. And it’s worked great. It’s a little greasy when I first apply it, but as long as I don’t rub my face on anything it’s no big deal. The only problem is that I start craving pasta as soon as I put it on. I use it on my hands after I do the dishes too.


11/8/2010 6:35:29 PM

Oh and get yourself some thread for those holy socks lol Why destroy a pair of socks if you can darn them.

11/8/2010 6:28:56 PM

Hey Cam, I have a possible suggestion to save even more. Do as I do grow a beard! It saves on soap, water, razorblades (I use twin blades when I do shave) and would save you olive oil as well! Your beard would produce all the oils your skin would need provided you don't strip them all away by over bathing. Not to mention a beard will help keep your face a little warmer in the winter.

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