View Full Version : Disposable / reusable diapers ??

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Oct 20th, 2004, 12:34 AM
Hi everyone. Wanted to ask a quick question to parents/parents-to-be. Generally speaking, vegans are often concerned with the environment, and I was wondering how the diaper situation was handled in your homes. Disposable diapers are a huge problem in landfills and cloth diapers create some issues in air/water pollution (this article looks pretty comprehensive: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5503.html).

So do you use cloth diapers, disposable diapers, or what? For those of you who don't have children, which choice do you think you'll make?

Oct 20th, 2004, 04:53 AM
i think my parents used cloth diapers when i was a baby. or maybe they used a combo of both. according to them, i was not a fan of diapers (or any sort of underwear)--->which led to my early potty training. if i ever have kids, i will use disposable b/c i would rather nap than clean cloth diapers all day (i know, it's selfish).

Oct 20th, 2004, 04:58 AM
Fortunately, there are diaper cleaning services. No idea about the cost, though. Disposable diapers definitely win in convenience; you're right.

Oct 20th, 2004, 10:02 AM
Fortunately, there are diaper cleaning services. No idea about the cost, though. It's not that expensive, I/we used diaper cleaning services when I was a student living on loans...

Oct 20th, 2004, 10:04 AM
According to Brisbane Nappy Service, they are cheaper than disposables. I was in charge of nappy washing for my kids and it wasn't hard. Much easier now as we used a wringer machine and hung them on the line.
Disposables are an abomination.

Oct 20th, 2004, 10:58 AM
you can also get compostable inserts which you just use a cover over, they are a little more expensive than disposables. Here in Melbourne there is a disposable recyclying service for only a couple of dollars a week my planet (http://www.myplanet.com.au/)

Oct 20th, 2004, 12:08 PM
Coincidentally, on ABC TVs 'The Inventors' tonight there was a nappy made of wood pulp and some sort of natural gel which is totally compostable and will sell for the same price as current diposables. :)

Oct 20th, 2004, 12:28 PM
I just got my sample of these, they are great. My girls have both just come out of nappies now during the day though, but i might give them a try for nights

Oct 20th, 2004, 07:44 PM
My sister (who has now had 5 kids) used/uses cloth diapers on all of them. As far as convenience goes, it's not as difficult as you'd think (or at least as I thought it would be) once you get a system going. I don't plan on having kids, but if I did, I'd use cloth diapers. I did enough diaper changes ages 10-16 (having 3 older sisters who all had kids just as I was entering the convenient 'hey, let her take care of the kids while we all go out to the bar' teenage years). :(

Oct 20th, 2004, 08:06 PM
[QUOTE=julieruble] Disposable diapers are a huge problem in landfills and cloth diapers create some issues in air/water pollution (this article looks pretty comprehensive: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5503.html).

Ditto on the disposable tampon and pads issue. I started a thread called "Glad Rags & Diva Cups vs Landfills" ;)

Oct 20th, 2004, 08:17 PM
Interesting; thanks CC. Didn't even think of that also being an issue.

For those of you who use(d) cloth diapers (looks like most, interesting!) can you tell a little more about how they work? And... how gross/ungross it is to change?

May 1st, 2005, 02:40 PM
Co-ordinated by WEN and the Real Nappy Campaign and funded by WRAP, Real Nappy Week is the annual focus of the nappy waste prevention campaign.

See HERE (http://www.wen.org.uk/rnw/index.htm) for more info. ;)

May 1st, 2005, 02:48 PM
Does anyone know where you can buy disposable nappy/diaper bags (or dog poop bags) in the UK? I thought I'd ask here instead of starting a new thread.

They're just for cleaning out my cat's litter box and we might also be getting a dog.

May 16th, 2005, 07:06 PM
Does anyone know where you can buy disposable nappy/diaper bags (or dog poop bags) in the UK? I thought I'd ask here instead of starting a new thread.

They're just for cleaning out my cat's litter box and we might also be getting a dog.
Can't help you but I find it hysterical that you posted the question on this thread, I guess it just be changed to the Poo Thread :p .

Sep 12th, 2005, 11:11 AM
whats your take on reusable diapers?

i think theyre great. (not that ive used them as i dont have children) but i do think theyre a great option and such a great way to save the environment.

Sep 12th, 2005, 11:26 AM
when we were little my mum used terry nappies- u just wash them every time...

so much better for the environemnt, i just think how many babies are there on the planet and how many times a day does each one poop = lots of nappies! and they take long time to biodegrade!

defo reusable nappies!

Sep 12th, 2005, 11:38 AM
I don't have children either, but I did read the Union Of Concerned Scientists stance on this. Basically, unless the diapers are made of organic cotton and your area has a good water supply and the energy used to wash/dry them isn't burning up lots of trees/coal/petroleum and the waste water is treated so the human waste doesn't hurt your streams then disposables are fine. The disposables today are supposedly made with less material (more absorbable) so don't take up as much room in landfills - granted you need to live in an area where you have local landfills so the diapers aren't travelling hundres of miles on a truck burning up fossil fuels.

Easy choice, huh? I think it's the same as the paper or plastic dilemna (they say either, again). So you don't have to feel too guilty either way. Diapers are a way of life - I like knowing that there is no right or wrong. Please don't anyone ask about adult diapers. :)

Sep 12th, 2005, 11:43 AM
whats your take on reusable diapers?

i think theyre great. (not that ive used them as i dont have children) but i do think theyre a great option and such a great way to save the environment.

They are brilliant Foxytina :0)

I used them with my son and will use the same ones 7 years later with this next baby!! I feel proud to use them and my concience is eased about the environment. When they aren't convient (which can sometimes be the case) I will use the biodegradable disposable nappies which you can compost and take little time to rot.

Here's a piece I wrote for another forum a little while back (I run a natural parenting section on it now, so gunna cut and paste it as it's easier) Just thought I would share it with you :0) especially those thinking about having children .. it's a long piece and based on British stats but still useful reading (I hope!!)

Hope it is of some use,
Love and light
Xxxx Stormy xxxX


Britain throws away nearly eight million nappies a day. of which 7.5 million end up in landfill sites. With a disposal cost to individual local authorities in hundreds of thousands of pounds per year (Nottinghamshire estimates £1 million per year).

Each one takes 200-500 years to decompose in a landfill site! Disposable nappies consisit of 10% plastic, which is the part that causes the most problems.

Studies suggest that parts of disposable nappies may take up to five hundred years to break down. With landfill sites that are filling up rapidly and each baby getting through approximately 5000 nappies before potty training those interested in waste management and reducing home waste costs are choosing Real nappies .

Disposable nappies have only been around for around 30 years so we are probably sharing our planet with part of every disposable nappy ever put into a landfill site.

Up to 500,000 nappies a day are burnt as clinical waste from hospitals and nurseries, costing the NHS from £250 to £350 per tonne. Not to mention the cost to the earths atmosphere.

Approximately 94% of disposable nappies end up in landfill sites. The remaining 6% are incinerated as clinical waste, or end up as litter :0(

Modern disposables contain super absorber granules as well as a whole heap of chemicals, wherea reuseables don't and are more natural against the skin.

In an independant study on infants with 'very bad' or 'exstremely bad' nappy rash "the type of nappy worn did not emerge as a significant factor. Therefore, and contary to widespread belief, disposable nappies seem to have little protective effect" (Research conducted by Professor Jean Golding of Bristol University).

Real nappies can be used many times, but there is an environmental impact in washing nappies - the additional use of detergents, water and electricity. But studies show that the energy used in making and washing re-usable cotton nappies is modest in comparison to the fossil fuels, water and wood used in the production, transportation and packaging of disposable nappies; and if real nappies are used again on second or subsequent children, their impact is even less.

There is an initial cost for buying reusable nappies of a couple of hundred pounds but these can be use for any other children you have in the future. And by using environmentally friendly washing powders etc and energy efficient washing you can minimise the impact on the environment even more.

Links for websites selling reusable nappies :0)

http://www.babykind.co.uk (http://www.babykind.co.uk/)

http://www.totsbots.com/ (http://www.totsbots.com/) (http://www.earthlets.co.uk/default.asp)


http://www.bambinomio.com (http://www.bambinomio.com/)

There are other sites selling these nappies - just do a search!!!



From experience I know that using reusable nappies isn't always convienient, so when I didn't use them, I tried to use more environmentally friendly disposable nappies. They are brilliant, but I didn't realise you could compost them too (otherwise I would have) which is even better :0)

The following is from a website I have found called ...

http://www.naturebotts.co.uk/ (http://www.naturebotts.co.uk/)

But there are other retailers that sell them too ...

Anyway instead of rewriting it all I just cut and paste from their website to give you an idea of what they are about and the cost of them for those who are interested ......


Kinder to our babies

Soft and gentle unbleached cotton-feel inner for extra comfort
More elasticity around the legs and a stretchier waistband for an improved fit and better movement
Gentle enough for babies with eczema and other skin problems
Less likely to irritate skin, cause nappy rash or an allergic reaction - no deodorants, dyes, lotions, antioxidants or unnecessary nasty chemicals
No toxic residues from bleaching agents that could harm your baby’s skin
Tea Extract in the core - a purely natural product to help with odour control and protect against yeast, i.e. nappy rash
Kinder to our environment

Less pollution - no chlorine or bleaching agents in manufacturing process
Biodegradable - proven to biodegrade within 8 weeks in a wormery - tests carried out by ecobaby in Ireland, visit www.ecobaby.ie (http://www.ecobaby.ie/) for further information
Eco-friendly - the only nappy recommended in Europe as being eco-friendly
Contains recycled materials - reduces the amount of resources & water used to produce the nappy
100% degradable packaging which opens along the top for re-use as a compost or bin bag
Convenient and easy for you

All the features of leading conventional disposables
Maximum absorbency/ultra powerful core - minimal use of gel, tucked well away from your baby’s skin
Soft velcro fastening - easy to fit, reclose and adjust
Cotton-feel inner layer gives extra comfort for a happy baby!

The Manufacture of Moltex Öko

The manufacture of traditional disposables results in chemical waste polluting water, directly harming wildlife and entering the food chain. Moltex Öko nappies do not contain these unnecessary products and are therefore significantly reducing damage to the environment.

The nappies are manufactured in Germany (“Öko” means “Eco” in German) with no antioxidants, lotions, dyes or perfumes - all of which are unnecessary and can be harmful to your baby's sensitive skin.

Moltex Öko are the only disposable nappies available in the UK with an unbleached cellulose core. Conventional chlorine bleaching is purely to make a nappy “nice and white”, as are unnecessary brighteners. Bleaching has been proven to create a known human carcinogen - dioxin - which you wouldn't want next to your baby's delicate and absorbent skin. Moltex Öko nappies are not bleached which dramatically reduces any risk of cancer. That is why they are beige - do nappies really need to be white? Dioxin pollution is one of the world's most serious environmental problems.

Take a look at the range of Natracare Feminine Hygiene products that are non-chlorine bleached.

Conventional disposables generally have polyethylene for the plastic outer waterproof layer and polypropylene for the inner liner. As a disposable product this is a waste of environmental resources. Moltex Öko disposables use a special polyethylene film that is very thin and contains recycled plastic yet is just as effective.

Any questions? Click here to go to our FAQ page...

The Disposal of Moltex Öko

The most environmentally friendly way of disposing of Moltex Öko nappies is to compost them, earthworm composting (“vermicomposting”) being the most efficient method. Earthworms rapidly penetrate and breakdown the nappy, excreting it as worm castings, which in turn are broken down by microbes. The resulting vermicompost can be used in your garden to great effect.

For further and more detailed information about vermicomposting and how to build your own wormery click here to go to www.ecobaby.ie (http://www.ecobaby.ie/).

If you need nappy sacks, click here for more information about Naturebotts very own degradable nappy sacks.

Moltex Öko nappies are available in 4 standard sizes

Value Packs Economy Box
Mini 3-6kg / 6.5-13lbs 52 nappies £9.99 208 nappies £33.75
Midi 4-9kg / 8.5-20lbs 48 nappies £10.99 144 nappies £29.75
Maxi 7-18kg / 17-39lbs 44 nappies £10.99 132 nappies £29.75
Junior 11-25kg / 26-55lbs 38 nappies £10.99 114 nappies £29.75
MIXED BOX of 3 value packs - see below £29.75

LINKS FOR OTHER WEBSITES SELLING MORE ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY DISPOSABLES (there are other sites so don't hesitate to do a web search):

http://www.naturalbabycompany.com/ (http://www.naturalbabycompany.com/)

http://www.earthlets.co.uk/default.asp (http://www.earthlets.co.uk/default.asp)

Sep 12th, 2005, 11:52 AM
Thanks for those links, Stormypagan. My sister is pregnant and lives in a desert area that suffers from water scarcity (along with overpopulation and cattle farming, but that's a whole other discussion) so she will definitely be interested in the newest disposables. I haven't seen anything quite as nice as those available in the UK but I will look further into it here (for her, as this house is well out of its baby years).

Sep 12th, 2005, 11:58 AM
You are very welcome Dianecrna :0) I am sure if you do a search on the web you will find them, good luck with that, and if I find anything I will pass sit it on :0)

I just feel it's our duty as defenders of mother earth and all that live on her, to do the best by her, and I believe it starts with our children. Therefore, environmentally/natural parenting seems the inevitable choice :0) I know you cant be 100% perfect all the time but you can try to do as much as you can!!

Love and light
Xxxx Stormy xxxX

Oct 25th, 2005, 01:18 PM
Cloth strictly. I believe it is a myth that diposables ever come close in earth freindliness etc. to reusables (if so we would all use disposable clothes and not wash those either!). But cloth nappies could certainly be better if they were organic hemp etc., cotton isnt the freindliest thing on the planet. you can buy these Hemp nappies and organic cotton though and not everyone lives in a desert (I have plenty of tank water that goes into a greywater system, I dont wash my nappies in anything other than a biodegradable laundry liquid)

Even if you are in a desert the water to water the trees to make the diposables comes from somewhere and will be more per nappy than to wash each cotton nappy. But that said we all make comprimises, there are plenty of things I would like to do better, I use plenty of petrol in my car and generator. You do what you can. I need a nap too! but my freind has been a single mum since the beginning and I think that can be a pretty good reason to use disposables! I couldn't have done ANYTHING the first few months after having a baby and his father washed ALL of them (THEN!)

Jul 24th, 2006, 08:23 AM
Definitely reusables. We've been using cloth nappies/diapers full time with our daughter since she was around 3 months old.There are all types of cloth nappies on the market now not just terry squares.i buy many nappies second hand now and havent had any trouble with them so far. in the long term they are so much cheaper than buying disposables. i wouldnt care if i never saw another disposable nappy again and if we have any more kids will use cloth from birth.

Oct 9th, 2006, 10:27 PM
thank you for posting this!! its SOOO IMPORTANT to sue cloth diapers!! we have a bunch of organic ones by many different brands. i prefer to support the work at home moms and any small business though ;)

Mar 18th, 2007, 04:10 AM
I tried cloth diapers for about 3 months w/ my first but they were just so huge and bulky and every time she needed a diaper change I would also have to change her entire outfit ( usually just a "onesie" and jammies ) because it would always leak through. BUT...I do wish I had stuck it out just a little longer and stayed w/ cloth. I sure don't feel so great about throwing away all those disposables and now that my little boy is almost out of diapers, it would be silly to invest the $$ in cloth now. :( *sigh*

Apr 18th, 2008, 09:51 AM
I Love wearing cloth diapers and plastic pants.