Leaf Razor is my Favorite Zero Plastic Shave

I’ve been trying to cut down waste this year (especially single use plastic) and unfortunately in many cases solutions aren’t very cheapass friendly or come with other compromises. Fortunately today’s topic is an easy win – the Leaf razor is the best razor I’ve used and way cheaper over the long run than a cartridge razor. 

The Environmental Impact

I’ll admit the tiny bit of plastic in a razor cartridge seems small compared to say a laundry jug. But then you have to remember the plastic tray, the plastic packaging, etc. In the US alone estimates are we use billions of cartridges and disposable razors annually. So it may not be individually huge, but it all adds up. 

What’s a Leaf Razor?

Basically the Leaf has the pivoting head of a cartridge type razor but instead of being disposable it’s a permanent metal head and holds halved double edge razor blades. One screw holds it all together, then you can pop in new blades. This is a real game changer because while a safety razor is retro cool, it’s really hard to shave your head using one. 

I’ve been using the Leaf a few months now and I can confidently say I actually prefer the Leaf to any cartridge razor I’ve ever used. I’ve found I’m getting a cleaner shave, fewer nicks, and zero clogging. 


I was worried the Leaf would be cumbersome to swap blades but it actually only takes a few seconds more than a cartridge. Their blades are pre-halved but I wasn’t in love with their blades. Fortunately you can use any double edge razor blade snapped in half, which is surprisingly easy to do. 

Speaking of blades, Amazon has great blade sample kits so you can easily find a blade to your liking. I also recommend picking up a razor bank so you can safely store and recycle your used blades. You can even send in razor banks a few places to recycle, though I’m not sure the shipping is worth the recovery of a small mount of metal. 

The Cost and Savings

Using highly regarded Derby blades, each 3 blade swap is just 18 cents. If you like the high end Feather blades you’re looking at 50 cents. Considering cartridges often cost $1-4 each someone who uses just one cartridge a week could save $43-182/year. 

So what’s the catch? You’ll spend $84 on the Leaf but it’s not hard to see you’ll quickly make up the investment in a Leaf. The good thing is Leaf has a lifetime warranty and I know from a friend who dropped and broke theirs that they stand by the product. 

The Downsides and Tips

Common complaints about the Leaf are some find it slippery in the shower and hard to get tight spots like under the nose. Fortunately they now offer a silicone sleeve for the handle to address the grip. They also offer a new Twig razor which is ideal for detail work, you can get both razors for $128.

Bottom Line

To me Leaf is a no-brainer zero plastic option – it works better, costs less usually in the first year or two, and should be with you for a lifetime. Now to find the perfect zero plastic shaving cream…

roll of TP

The One About Poop (and receipts)

My inner child is, of course, overjoyed to write a whole article about poop and TP. On the flip side my journey to this article was riddled with disappointing TP, BPA where I didn’t expect it, and American’s odd phobia of bidets.

The Problem with TP

Its estimated 27000 trees are cut down daily to make toilet paper. You’ve likely read recently about how more trees can help combat climate change, so its hard to justify cutting down forests for a quick wipe.

On the flip side sustainable forestry isn’t a bad thing – grow trees to capture carbon, replant, then use the trees. But we’re talking around 50 acres daily and decades to regrow for harvest – some very serious land is needed for just TP. Personally I think its better to use trees for more permanent uses like home building so we can ensure we aren’t using more trees than we can grow.

Much of our toilet paper in the US comes from Canada’s old growth Boreal Forest which is not just a huge carbon sink but also home to Indigenous Peoples and animals. If you use brands like Charmin, Kirkland Signature, Quilted Northern, etc your TP is probably from these kinds of sources rather than sustainable forestry.

The Options

Alternatives generally fall into two categories – recycled paper and alternative plant based products (bamboo, hemp, etc).

Starting my search for an alternative TP I quickly found Who Gives a Crap which sells recycled paper TP, bamboo TP, recycled paper tissues, and recycled paper towels. I really appreciate their efforts to eliminate plastic packaging and giving 50% of profits to help build sanitation for the billions of people without access to toilets. Not to mention they’re irreverent AF on social media.

I really, really wanted to like Who Gives a Crap but I found the TP so-so (the wife was less gracious), the tissues pretty good, and the paper towels terrible.

While there’s no shortage of FB memes about the virtues of hemp toilet paper, I can’t actually find any hemp TP to purchase. There’s a variety of brands of bamboo toilet paper (Galaxy Green, Who Gives a Crap, etc), I tried a few and was left underwhelmed.

So I tried a few brands of recycled TP and settled on Seventh Generation – its readily available, reasonably priced, soft enough, and strong. I wish I could give a more enthusiastic suggestion but just can’t find one.

But There’s a Downside…

Now for the downside of recycled TP – BPA. BPA is in receipts and other heat sensitive paper, people recycle them, and now we have BPA in our recycled paper products. Which leads to my next point – throw away receipts instead of recycling and take an e-receipt whenever possible.

Get a Bidet.

Having said all that I’m also going to suggest a wild idea for most Americans – a bidet. I don’t know why we have a hang up about them, but we need to get over it. Consider the flip side – if you got poop on your arm, you wouldn’t just wipe a dry paper on your arm and consider the job done.

While you probably imagine the $1000 japanese heated bidet, I’m a big fan of the cheap mechanical bidets which cost around $30. They’re reliable, no power use, and work great. You’ll save a lot of TP with a bidet (just to dry off) and have a cleaner bum than ever.

Also bidets can be fun! Our house guests are often unaware of bidets and we’ve had many good laughs because our guests got sprayed trying to figuring out what that knob does next to the toilet.

The Eco Friendly Affordable-ish Baby Guide

When shopping our baby last year we found a lot of guides for eco friendly baby gear at outrageously high prices ($1000+ cribs, etc). But we don’t think you need to spend lavishly to ensure your baby skips offgassing furniture, toxic paints, etc.

As a general rule we’ll favor solid wood over particleboard (due to VOCs), unfinished or non-toxic finishes, avoiding polyurethane foam (also due to VOCs, phthalates), avoiding chemical flame retardants, and favoring polyethylene over vinyl for waterproofing.

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