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New Product Innovations

I bought a safety razor that a friend recommended. I shaved for the first time with it today! It was a bit nerve-wracking after using a few brands of cartridge razor for the past 20 years. The result was not the closest/cleanest shave I've ever done, but it's fairly comfortable and I didn't cut myself, which I'm going to count as a victory for now. It's weird to have to adjust to the weight distribution and learn where the blade is-- there's just one? one blade? So if I don't angle it correctly all I do is push some shaving cream around on my face.

If I can stick with this, that's one fewer use of plastic in my life, which seems like a win. I think I read some COVID stuff in 2021 about personal reponsibility vs what a government/society can do and it got me thinking about my relationship with waste-reduction. I do believe that the only way to make any useful progress towards slowing climate change to a non-disastrous velocity is making change at an industrial/corporate level, rather than a consumer level. But I was thinking about COVID and my thought there is... just because Oregon is likely to remove its mask mandate sometime this spring (whether temporary or not) doesn't mean I'm going to stop wearing a mask indoors. So along those same lines, I turned an eye towards where I can reduce waste in my own life, especially without an appreciable difference to my lifestyle.

I don't know how I'm going to dispose of all the used razor blades, though.


I also bought a couple of metal filters for my coffee maker. I've been drinking coffee regularly since sometime in late 2020, a habit my doctor actually encouraged (one cup) me to redevelop for blood chemistry reasons I won't get into here. For a number of years I've owned a coffee maker and a giant stack of filters, little paper circles that fit inside the chamber's screw-on cap. Since I very rarely made coffee that stack of paper seemed infinite, surviving 4 moves from Connecticut to New York to also New York to Portland to also Portland. But it's actually about to run out, weirdly, and when faced with buying more of them I was like "I have heard that there are people who use metal filters". Now I am one of those people. The coffee this morning tasted fine. The coffee maker is plastic, but I suppose it's reusable in the best possible way. Maybe that's okay?


I bought the same brand of jeans for years. I was under the impression that these were THE jeans, and I could have them, so I should buy them, that there were no better jeans possible. But the sizing was never quite what I wanted and it took me years to admit that no, these were not the jeans for me. I ordered a pair from a popular mail-order catalog and found them much more enjoyable. They also don't age by developing holes in the inseam, which seems like a good thing for jeans to not do. There is a small downside to the compatibility between me and these jeans, though: the way I pull them up involves grabbing them by two rear belt loops, and without fail, the left rear belt loop tears off after a couple years of me using them in this way. I could probably learn to be more careful, but it's not a huge deal to me to lose a single belt loop, and old habits etc etc.

An interesting thing that I have discovered about myself, though, is that as I've grown used to this, even when I have a newer pair of jeans and it still has the belt loop, my instincts have just taught me to skip that portion of threading the belt through. It feels weird to have such an eccentricity, the kind of thing that Sherlock Holmes would notice and over-explain in a montage that demonstrates his cunning.