Okabashi LOVE

If you haven’t discovered Okabashi shoes yet, you NEED to. Go HERE now. They are made in the USA, anti-microbial, recyclable, and crazy durable. They make lots of styles but we are particularly in love with the flip-flops. Best. EVER.

This last weekend we went in search for a replacement pair for Don because he LOST his extra pair. (*GASP* They were completely new too! We kept hoping they would turn up but no such luck. 😦 ) His first pair below was bought in June 2011. They are in relatively good shape still but he did manage to rip one, just a little bit.

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We can buy them online but sometimes we just want instant gratification. So, we headed out to scour the town. I found my first pair in the summer of 2010 at a CVS drugstore so we headed out, hopeful. Honestly, I was skeptical we would find anything because I looked a couple of weeks ago and didn’t see any. But the summer stock clearly has come in and the CVS and Walgreens stores do have them again! (Why they are at drug stores, I couldn’t tell you. LOL)

We scored a replacement pair for Don (Surf style) and he talked me into buying two new pair for me – a black in my usual style (Maui) and a black with pink straps in a new style (Ocean). Yay!

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Apparently it is past time to retire my original pink pair from 2010. 😉 In my defense, I thought they were only 3 years old, not 4 and I didn’t realize how faded and dirty they are until I held them next to a new pink pair in the store.

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This is how they looked at 1 year

Pink flops


(I still have an older white pair I won in a giveaway that I’m not ready to give up yet. LOL)

But I’m shipping off my old pink ones and Don’s black torn pair for Okabashi’s recycling program. It will be the first time we’ve done so. Their site says that they will email a discount for new shoes in exchange for the recycling return. Bonus. More shoes later. 🙂

There is no such thing as “away”. When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere. 
~ Annie Leonard

**Please note, I have not been compensated in any way for this post; I simply like to share my product experiences with others in the hopes of exposing people to new ideas and products.

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Still Loving Our Safety Razors

It’s been almost a year since we switched from conventional, disposable razors to the old school shaving method with safety razors. It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We’ve saved a ton of waste in the form of disposable blades and shavers over the past year and I’m certain we’ve saved money through the entire venture too.

For those new to my blog, this is what safety razors look like:


We bought both shavers, the stand, bowl, brush, 3 soaps, and extra blades, all for $160 last May. Don has barely scratched the surface of his soap supply (see below), even though he shaves every day, and we have TONS of extra blades left (top of photo below.)


Soaps and brush from Seattle Sundries –

$160 might seem like a lot of money towards shaving but look at the average prices for just a couple of conventional razors and the blades:

$9 Schick Hydro 5 razor for men (this is one of the few that has less expensive blades than some)
$27 for 12 blade refills (not recyclable BTW)
$2.50-$3 per can of shave gel/cream (also full of chemicals and synthetic compounds) [double that if you’re buying women’s shave cream as well]
$9 Schick Intuition for women
$42 for 12 blade refills (also not recyclable)

These numbers can add up fairly quickly. Depending on how quickly you go through your blades and shave cream(s), you might be upwards of $100/yr for the disposable method. We often found ourselves replacing the shaver itself after a year or so too for one reason or another – and all of that stuff goes right in the landfill. 😦

Our stainless steel safety razors are longer lasting and the blades are recyclable (check your local rules). The soaps from Seattle Sundries are all natural and Don highly recommends them for shaving for men. I use natural-made soaps as well: Grandma’s Lye Soap, all natural soaps by Kreationzbyme on Etsy, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Castille Liquid Soaps, to name a few that have worked for me.

Yes, it took us both a little bit of time to adjust to the new razors. We both had to re-learn how to shave, just a little bit. But now that it’s commonplace for us both, we whip through our shaving routine just as quickly as we did before and our safety razors give us a much closer shave than any other. As a women, I’m able to shave all the necessary areas without any problems. I’ve had a couple of nicks but that’s no different from when I used disposables. Truly, I recommend it to everyone out there.

Check out my original post for more links on how to shave old school and I’ve included a few new links below. There are also tons of how-tos on YouTube as well. Just search ‘safety razor’ or ‘safety razor shaving’ to get started. 😉

People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.
~ John Porter

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Flip Flop Fun

So, last night Don tells me his flip flops are about done and he needs a new pair. I’m thinking, are you kidding me? Every time I turn around this guy needs something replaced, or wants something new. I don’t have enough shirts, I want more shorts like this one particular pair that we bought at Ross randomly one day and we can’t possibly seem to find anywhere else, we need this new gun to add to our arsenal because it’s got these qualities that our many other firearms don’t offer, I want more free weights for strength training, I need this new scope for such and such rifle because I don’t have this magnification level (ok, I made that last one up but you get the idea)…I need new flip flops.

Did I mention he’s got two or three other pairs that are still good? But see, the ones that need replacing are plastic, not fabric or leather, great for getting wet, taking kayaking or to the beach. His other flip flops are “dressier” and not meant for the everyday beating this pair gets. Ok. I can relate to that.

So we hop in the car in search for flip flops that are hardy, but not cheap, plastic but durable. Good luck.

And then it hits me. He needs to get a pair like mine! I found them by accident one day last summer at a CVS Pharmacy. They are made by Okabashi. And they kick ass.

They are 100% recyclable, made in the USA, contain 25% recycled material, are anti-microbial, dishwasher safe, and guaranteed for two years.

They had me at “recyclable”. Wash them in the dishwasher? Heck yeah! Done it. Works like a charm. Anti-microbial? You betcha. I’ve had many a stinky flip flop made of cloth or leather and I’m in heaven with my odorless Okabashi. Made in the USA! Halleluiah! Made with recycled materials? Are you kidding me? It just gets better and better.

AND, they are ridiculously reasonably priced – $9.99 – $17.99 depending on style or sale.

These are my awesome Maui Okabashi. On top of everything else, the plastic is incredibly soft but firm, and unbelievably comfortable on my footsies.

Let’s take another look at Don’s dilapidated flip flops. We bought the two vastly different pairs at about the same time last summer. My Okabashi look like they did the day I bought them; Don’s are separating.

See how the band is tearing away from the sole of the shoe? It’s barely hanging on at this point.

Notice that on mine, it’s all one solid piece?

I really don’t think there’s any chance of that tearing away or breaking without straight up cutting it with scissors. (Not that I care to test that theory.)

Think about this too. When we find Don’s replacements, his old pair will sadly go in the trash bin to join the hundreds of thousands of other shoes in our landfills. Ugh. When my Okabashi finally wear out or I tire of wearing them (I can’t imagine it but I guess it’s possible), I can mail them back to the Okabashi factory in Buford, GA for recycling – and receive a discount for my next purchase! (They can also be recycled at local recycling centers but you have to check with your local area to be sure they accept them and I’m fairly certain that since Lake Charles is still in the dark ages of recycling that I’d be better off just sending them to the factory.)

Last night’s search for flip flops was unfortunately unsuccessful. We stopped by the closest CVS and I was pleased to see they still carried Okabashi, but they did not have flip flops for men, only slides. We tried Ross too since, despite the randomness of the store, it is one of our favorite places to shop. It was disappointing, but not surprising, that all the flip flops styles had cloth components. Boo.

I stopped by another CVS this afternoon and still no luck. They only seem to carry the slide style for men currently.

But…I scored this great new style, called Aspire, for ME!

I like the little heel. It’s fun.

And we just ordered the Surf style for Don on their website. Yay!

Now I’ve got to run because we are headed out the door to see Kung Fu Panda 2. 🙂

*I’ve not been asked to promote this product. As with the ThermaCELL, it’s simply something we’ve encountered on our journey that I’m excited about and wanted to share with others.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

**Update 1/14/2012 – check out this great video on Okabashi!