Tag Archives: Sustainability

DE Head Shaving

I’ve been sporting a bald head for a couple of months. To prepare for it, I had been going progressively shorter and shorter with some electric clippers much to wifey’s chagrin. On the day Timmy was born, I shaved my head for the 1st time. I had reassured wifey she would be too preoccupied with the newborn to want to bother with how I looked. I was right – partly.

I have been doing the deed with a Gillette Fusion, each cartridge lasting me a week or two each time. Let’s face it. With the cost of these things ($18.50 for 4 cartridges), you’d want to make them last. To lubricate, I have a can of Gillette foam. From what I found on the net, I’ve also been experimenting with regular bar soap (Cussons Imperial Leather) and baby oil. Aftershave is accomplished with Nivea Creme from a tub – love that smell.

The Gillette cartridge let me be as ham-fisted as I wanted, and to get used to the sensation and angles. In the spirit of wanting to play with new toys, and not spend too much money on my new look, I decided I wanted to try a double edge (DE) safety razor. I purchased a Merkur long handled safety razor (Model 180), a tub of Proraso shaving soap and a Tweezerman boar brush from Amazon. The razor never arrived, but Amazon was very good with processing the refund.

Looking for alternatives, I visited Mustafa and bought a Shogun (China-made) safety razor for $2.60, and a pack of whatever razors they had. I ended up with some Gillete Super Thin, Gillette 7 o’Clock, and Super-Max razors. Skipped on the Shogun blades. About $0.80 for a pack of 5 blades.

This was what I used for my 1st DE shave.

The ritual of lathering the brush was an interesting one, filling the bathroom with new smells, and a tingly feeling from the eucalyptus oils on my head.

I must say the overall first results weren’t especially encouraging. Although the shave was clean, I suffered burn and irritation. No cuts, fortunately. The brush wasn’t broken in and was prickly. Also, the Shogun piece started to show rust the next morning.

Read some more from the net that proper technique must be learned, and no downward pressure can be applied, that the tools used do play a part in comfort. Couldn’t wait to start shaving again that evening – even if it was day-old stubble.

That night, same setup, fresh blade. Paid attention to technique – no pressure, short strokes. Much better. There was still some burning. Instead of the Nivea, I took some of wifey’s facial toner to my head. Immediate relief. Starting to like this Gillette blade.

Third night, with a fresh Super-Max blade this time. Burning on the back of my head that wasn’t immediately relieved by toner water. I can only conclude that the Super Max is more aggressive than the Gillettes.

I’m taking a break from shaving tonight – and to write this. I’ve just ordered a Edwin Jagger DE89LBL from Amazon. I decided on this one over the mainstay Merkur HD that many people recommend because the Edwin Jagger is apparently very well made. It will come with some Derby razors and is expected to come in a week or two. I guess I’ll have some time to try the 7 o’clock’s.

I’m hoping that blades I can source locally will suit me. If these failed, I’ll probably try a sampler pack of blades, then buy the ones I like best in better quantities. I know, a blade every shave or 2 sounds decadent but these are metal and are completely recyclable. And 29x cheaper than the cartridges.

Can’t wait!

Green Spring Cleaning

So the Spring Festival is coming – we call it Lunar New Year. And part of the tradition is spring cleaning.

Our new best friends:

About $4 for the vinegar and $5 for the baking soda

And I’m not sure about you, I think… nah, these is stuff meant for cooking, not for cleaning! This sexily packaged product in a bottle says it’ll do this and that, without scrubbing. I’ll be out on the couch chugging a beer in no time! Vinegar will stink up my home, and baking soda is an antacid. What’s the use in that?!

In the last 2 weeks, I’ve heard from 3 people who either swear by them, or have heard of this. So I did a little research.

There are plenty of sites out there that extol the concept of green cleaning products. Here and here are some examples.

Also, I’ve never seen, and didn’t know vinegar came in a 5l bottle, nor Sodium Bicarbonate coming in a 4lb box. So when I saw the vinegar at “SingSong”, and the bicarb at “AuntieLucy”, we snapped them up.

Uber, Uber, Uberwootness.

Sodium Bicarbonate is odourless, and an all-round fantastic degreaser, descaler, deodoriser, abrasive (when dry or in a paste). Not too good on glass though, in which case you use vinegar, which is also good degreaser and descaler.

And if you get bored, you combine the 2 and get a nice fizzing effect, and a great drain cleaner.

So far, we’ve done the bathroom and mirrors, the taps look chromed like the day we moved in, the stove, countertop, microwave and sink.

All in all, a good weekend’s work!

Kuala Lumpur’s Express Trains. Green.

Although the KLIA Ekspres (Express) has been operational for 7 years, I’ve only taken it a handful of times. It operates from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the city center, and is a fantastic improvement on having to hire a taxi for (what used to be) the 1 hour journey.

From KLIAEkspres.com: Cruising at a top speed of 160 km/h, the journey takes just 28 minutes… operating at 15-minute intervals during peak hours and 20 minutes during off-peak. Costs MYR35 per one-way trip.

Inside of the carriage

Inside of the carriage

They have just gone on a campaign to thank us for being part of a system that saves 3.5 million cars and taxis from making the trip – and the corresponding amount of carbon. Given the traffic situation in the rapidly growing city, it’s brilliant.

Thank you pamphlet from KLIA

Thank you pamphlet from KLIA

And they are doing this by issuing a pamphlet, printed in full-colour, on both sides, on good quality paper, for every ticket sold. Mmmmm. Sustainable.

Updated Feb 2010:

Apparently there is a recycle box in the corner after they give you the pamphlet.

Malaysia. Go Green! Go Lo-CO2!

The National Geographic Singapore Store

Chanced on National Geographic’s Singapore Store today at Vivocity. It’s a “Experience” Store concept, very arty-farty. I didn’t really notice exactly what they sell, but I was definitely sold on the “experience” part.

There’s apparently only 2 of these in the world now, one in London, and the other one here.

The sales members were patient and attentive. They described their causes and informed us of their upcoming events. Fantastic.

N36696_Weather Station#150Q.inddThey are hosting a “dance performance” (as was described to me) on Friday and Saturday performed by Arts Fission. Tix at $35. Facebook event here.

Green School, Bali Indonesia

We were lucky enough to be invited as guests to view the Green School campus while in Bali. You can get the posh pictures from the website, but here are some of mine…

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*Almost* everything is made of bamboo and sustainable materials…

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Relief cutting (is this the proper term?) and pins to hold everything together. Notice the quality of the roof thatching. Good for 10-15 years, I should think…

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I am told that bamboo and this construction method is traditionally Balinese, but the architecture isn’t. Looks amazing.

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Cool on the inside too, given the high ceilings…

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On to the technology… Pee and Poo management. All in-house. If I remember correctly, pee goes to watering plants, poo to the compost heap.

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Water vortex power plant, under construction

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Reverse osmosis of water from an underground river feeds all their needs.

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Sports hall. Wait a minute, no thatched roof here. In all fairness, this was built in 3 weeks. I wonder what the cow does… We saw a bigger one under a shelter. They call him bu-le (Bahasa Indonesia for Foreigner) because he’s got blonde hairs…

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Celebrities galor. Guess who was here? ;-)

Thanks again to Niki and Risa who showed us around.