By AMANDA WHEELER
10:03 AM EST, November 7, 2011
By now, you've probably heard of "No-Shave November," the month when "manly" guys agree not to shave their beards for a month.
The Internet always fills up this time of year with photos of facial hair, as men track the growth of their “Novem-beards” over the course of the month. Often, the beards are grown in an effort to raise awareness about prostate cancer.
Is it a little silly? Absolutely. Is it sexy? That depends on who you ask. But whatever your feelings on this humorous tradition with good intentions, here's an angle you might not have considered: not shaving (or at least shaving less often) could actually be good for the environment.
When guys aren't shaving, they aren't using electricity for their electric shavers. If they normally use razors, they're reducing the amount of stuff they use like shaving cream and aftershave and avoiding a small amount of water use. While spray cans like the ones that are used for shaving cream are no longer as bad for the environment as they once were, anytime you can reduce your waste, it's a good thing.
I've heard people put down No-Shave November and bash it for being dumb or silly. If you go on Facebook or Twitter you can see all kinds of people suggesting that men who participate will also involuntarily participate in losing their girlfriends or getting the cold shoulder from their spouses.
But I think the event goes a little deeper than people give it credit for — it's about cancer education and I think we can also make it about environmental awareness.
It's always important to think about your bathroom behaviors and come up with ways you can lessen your water and electricity usage.
You can lessen your water usage by turning off the faucet whenever it's not in direct use, like while you brush your teeth or as you lather your hands.
If you aren't charging your razor — and who would need to during No-Shave November? — then unplug it. Even if the razor is fully charged, the charger can still be pulling "phantom" or "vampire" electricity from the wall, costing you money and unnecessarily using up resources.
It's also important to think about how you can lessen your waste. One great way to lessen your waste is by buying in bulk. For example, the larger your shampoo bottle, the lower the plastic-to-shampoo ratio gets, because it takes less plastic to make a big bottle of shampoo than it does to make multiple little bottles. As an added bonus, you'll likely get a better deal as well, since bulk items usually cost less per ounce.
Even if you're not a fan of beards, being smart about shaving can help out the environment. And if you don't mind a little face fuzz, then don't be shy about letting it grow out from time to time. When people compliment you on your new beard, you can tell them you have an environmentally friendly face.
Amanda’s Animal Fact of the Week
The American white pelican can hold about 3 gallons of water in its bill.
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