Bonsai: This Water-Saving Device May be the Future of Shaving
How much water do you waste while shaving? You’d be surprised to know just how many people can’t answer this question. Depending on your habits, you probably use somewhere between 1-10 gallons. We realize that of the many ways water is wasted in the home each day, shaving isn’t the biggest culprit. But it is a part of the problem, so we’ve built a solution that reduces water waste by up to 99 percent.
The Bonsai—our shaving device for men and women—uses just 2.5 ounces of water to produce a high-powered spray for rinsing your razor during shaving. It addresses the full spectrum of shaving’s nagging realities, maximizes razor performance and life, and minimizes the impact of shaving on the environment.
We originally set out to create a device that saved water, something that would flush your razor completely clean and then filter and recycle a small amount of water. It wasn’t until we tested our second prototype that we discovered several additional benefits: the Bonsai was outperforming the sink faucet and showerhead, addressing a wide range of other issues like razor burn, dirty sinks, clogged razors and drains, and short blade life, to name a few.
As you shave, the Bonsai’s filter traps hair clippings and blends your shaving cream with the water to create a slick rinse solution. After each rinse the razor is oiled and cleaned, providing a smoother, less irritating shave.
Oxidation caused by storing blades wet and clogged with hair is the primary cause of dull razor blades. The Bonsai extends the life of your blades by leaving them clean and oiled during and after each shave, slowing the oxidation process. Think of all the spent razor blades we could keep out of landfills.
The Bonsai is portable, so women are no longer confined to shaving in a slippery shower while the water runs. A number of women tested our prototype and actually turned off the shower and shaved while sitting on the edge of the tub. You can shave anywhere with the Bonsai; if you don’t believe me, watch this video.
I grew up in Las Vegas where water conservation is a very serious issue. I can remember driving over Hoover Dam with my family on the way to Arizona and seeing the "bathtub ring" of Lake Mead grow and grow. It was very alarming. As a working professional, I had to be clean-shaven every day, and I was constantly bothered by how much water I wasted while shaving. That was when the light bulb went on.
The first iteration of this idea was a hacked-together bathroom appliance, and the second was built with household items housed in a Tupperware container. I then teamed up with a team of engineers at Tomorrow Lab to develop a much more advanced prototype to prove out the concept for us to refine our high-pressure spray system and filtration technology. We continued to push with our “build-test-iterate” approach, working to strip away the non-essential features until we arrived at what we felt was the minimum viable product.
I founded this company as a vehicle for eradicating old habits at the core of wasteful behavior. We think it’s possible to change a deep-rooted behavior using simple technology and great design. The Bonsai provides consumers with a better daily experience and allows them to conserve water without even thinking about it. The bathroom of the future will be full of highly efficient, functional tools. This is just the first piece.
If we’re moving toward a sustainable future, much has to change, and shaving is no exception. Sustainability should not be ‘optional’ or a ‘luxury’; it should be the ‘default.’ There’s simply no room in our future for unnecessary waste, and that vision is at the core of the Bonsai.
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Images courtesy Teresa Herrmann