Disposable Diapers? Those are so last decade . . .

May 3rd, 2010 by Dionna | 1 Comment
Posted in Compassionate Advocacy, Ecological Responsibility and Love of Nature, Environmentalism, Guest Posts, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting

Today I would like to welcome Dancing Rabbit resident and freelance writer Mary Beth Bishop, who has written a guest post about a subject near and dear to my heart: cloth diapers. Mary Beth is currently working with long-running green blog and new eco-friendly products store sustainablog. And be sure to look for my guest post on sustainablog soon – link coming!

Living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, I would not expect to see anything less than the most sustainable solution available. In the case of diapers, this means that I would not expect any less than to see cloth diapers on babies and toddlers here. It goes without saying that many things we do here are not exactly commonplace to the general populous, but in recent years I have been delighted to see this ecologically conscious decision becoming so mainstream that it is on the verge of being trendy.

There is no doubt that disposable diapers are, in almost every way, more convenient to use than cloth diapers. Unfortunately, like so many things in our lives that are quick and easy, disposable diapers are hard on our planet. It is estimated that 21 billion diapers end up in a landfill each year in the U.S. To give you an idea of what that looks like, it is something like a football field 3 miles deep. If that doesn’t terrify you . . . well, then you are nothing like me. :)

Making Cloth Diapering Even More Earth-Friendly

Some more crafty parents I know have made their cloth diapers at home from old shirts and blankets for an impressive interpretation of “reduce, reuse, recycle”. However, if you are not especially skilled at sewing or just want to leave it up to the professionals, have no fear: commercial cloth diapers can be made in a sustainable way. They are also affordable, especially when you consider the cost of disposable diapers and their inability to be used more than once. You can find cloth diapers made from any number of renewable, compostable materials, such as bamboo, hemp, and organic cotton.

Nearly anytime you hear the cloth vs. disposable debate, the environmental impact of washing dirty diapers in the laundry comes up. Yes, this can be a hazard and an expense. Does it compare to the environmental impact of using disposable diapers? No, not really at all. But I still wanted to bring it up and offer some possible solutions:

  • Wash by hand. Hand washing generally uses less water than your machine.
  • Get a more energy and water efficient washing machine.

Consider giving cloth diapers a try and allow your little ones to have a proportionately little impact on the earth.

Photo credit: terren in Virginia (CC BY 2.0)

One Response to:
"Disposable Diapers? Those are so last decade . . ."

  1. Marilyn (A Lot of Loves)   ALotofLoves

    I’m happy that it won’t be too much longer before we’re completely out of the diaper phase here. I hear a lot about cloth diapers but not as much about G-Diapers – they have a disposable compostable insert.

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