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Green Easy #3: Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable

Gosh, I haven’t done one of these Green Easy posts in a while. It was supposed to be monthly and then I got sidetracked. Going to try to get back on it!

Anyway, this month’s post is about cloth diapers vs disposable. Cloth diapers require more of a commitment and are a way for you to really cut down on the amount of waste that you are producing compared to disposables, but if you’re going to use disposable diapers, there are some brands to look at that are better for the environment than others. Either way this is one of the earliest decisions you’ll make as a new Mom or Dad, and one you’ll probably stick with for a while. It affects your finances, your baby’s health, and your eco-friendly factor as a parent.

I admit that we do use disposable diapers with Zachary. We started out using seventh generation diapersSeventh Generation Diapers, thanks to a gift certificate I received from Amazon when I had my baby registry with them (one of the best baby perks I ever got!), and I did feel a LOT better knowing that my disposable diapers weren’t going to be contributing quite as badly to the ecosystem as other brands.

However, as any parent knows, diapers are expensive. After my gift certificate ran out, I continued to buy Seventh Generation, but they are pricey (but wonderful). Eventually, I started purchasing Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers and later moved on to just the regular old Huggies Little Movers. Environmentally, I wish I could still continue to buy the organics, but both of them are just not cost-effective enough, plus my son is already close to 2 years old and getting interested in potty training. It won’t be much longer before we’re done with diapers completely…. at least for him. I make myself feel better by recycling the packaging that my current diapers come in!

I never in my life imagined using cloth diapers either before I got pregnant or during my pregnancy. Sure the little diaper covers are adorable, but.. no… it was disposable all the way! I always thought cloth diapers were totally disgusting, and my husband was grossed out by the thought of washing diapers and dealing that closely with baby poop. But, after nearly two full years of being parents, our child’s body fluids don’t faze us as much anymore, and even though my husband protests, I think he isn’t bothered as much by it a as much as he says!

It’s crazy to think how much I’ve spent on diapers, not to mention thinking about them sitting in a landfill! I buy a giant box of regular diapers every two weeks or so (sometimes sooner), plus we go through 1 pack of night-time diapers each month. Now that Zachary is in pre-school, I also have to provide a box of diapers to the school, so that’s even more diapers that I’m spending money on.

When I have my next child I will seriously consider cloth diapering or at least a combination of cloth with an environmentally friendly diaper like Seventh Gen, Natural Babycare, Huggies Naturals, or Earth’s Best. Since I’ll only have 1 child in diapers at that point I feel that it’s worth it to try it out and see if it’s the right decision for our family – hopefully we’ll find an easy system to use, too. I know that there are systems like gDiapers (with flushable inserts!!) and Bum Genius that make cloth diapering much easier and no-nonsense these days, which is especially good for parents who are not 100% sold on the idea. I think I owe it to myself, my child, and my planet to try it out though, and wouldn’t it be great to take all the money that we save from not using disposables to put in our children’s college funds?

AMAZON TIP!!!!!!! Amazon is currently offering a HUGE discount through their Subscribe n’ Save program!  If you’re using disposables, purchase your diapers with Amazon’s subscribe n’ save program. You’ll receive a total of 30% off your order (normally 15%)! Also, your diapers will be shipped via free 2-day shipping! CLICK HERE to access this awesome sale!

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AdrianAugust 13, 2010 - 10:29 pm

Ewww, gross. Plumbing, hot water, refrigeration, soap… we’ve moved on.

Cloth diapers are so medieval.

karen lisaAugust 13, 2010 - 10:33 pm

My husband sure knows how to put things! :)

amberAugust 15, 2010 - 1:41 am

We are using cloth diaper service…its a great alternative to disposables, as it lets you have all the benefits of cloth without poop in the washing machine (my hubs primary concern)…you have to make sure they have an environmentally friendly washing process, but otherwise the price and effort are comparable to disposable. amber :)

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