As a soon to be mom, and an eco-concerned adult a great big question mark in my future has been 'What diapers am I supposed to use?' You have the convenience of disposables ('sposies) vs the "eco-friendly" cloth diaper. So I turn to Dr. Greene (his real name as I understand it) and "Raising Baby Green" to help me decide what is best. Well the research is in, they tested all kinds of traditional 'sposies as well as cloth to see which were the more environmentally friendly option...the results... they both SUCK, they just suck for different reasons.
Aside from the fact that 'sposies sit in landfills for 500+years, the manufacturing of them is a very non-eco friendly process involving lots of chlorine, nasty chemicals and plastic, not to mention shipping them all over in planes, trains and automobiles. Cloth diapers on the other hand have the problem of actually having to be washed on a very regular basis and thus wasting gallons upon gallons of fresh water. I should also mention that neither one is a great option for baby's sensitive skin. Cloth diapers often have problems with diaper rash because the absorbency isn't as good as 'sposies, but 'sposies are made with tons of chemicals that are yucky to put next to baby's skin and rumored to have negative side effects on male reproductive health (although I can't find any solid evidence of this).
So what is an eco-mom to do? Well, there is always elimination communication which essentially means I potty train a 3 month old and thus eliminate the whole need for diapers, but I'm a little skeptical of this process. What happens when your at the grocery store and you notice that lil nugget has to use the potty but you can't communicate with him to hold it? So I'm not sure that's a viable option right now. Although I'm willing to hear what people think of it.
For me cloth would be a nightmare, I already have to battle the smell of a litter box. I really don't want to battle the smell of dirty cloth diapers sitting around until I can either wash them or have a service to pick them up.
So whats the plan? A new little diaper is on the move folks! It's a hybrid, so to speak, of cloth and disposable. They are called gDiapers and they are like cloth on the outside, but on the inside they have snap in liners and flushable inserts. When baby soils, you just flush the insert, and put in a new one or for major soilage remove and wash the liner. The outside needs only be washed occasionally (as often as babies normal clothes) and therefore reduces laundry. So I'm very enthusiastic about the whole thing and can't wait to try them out. As an added bonus they are super cute! Way cuter than either cloth or disposable.
For occasions when a 'spoise would be much more convenient (i.e. childcare, and travel) Seventh Generation makes a low chemical, more enviro-friendly 'spoise (as well as great chlorine-free wipes) that I plan to have on hand as well.
So that's the plan!! Now you know!