Friday, July 4, 2008

Something not so new and different

First off, I know it's been ages since CK, Fancy, Farmer John and I have posted anything new on the blog. Things have been crazy busy, I guess!

Anyway, I was talking to a friend the other day about something that is not so new and different. The topic of our conversation debate was...cloth diapers!
(Image from Parenting By Nature via Google Images)

Now, I try to be as green as possible whenever I can. I think Hubby and I do a pretty good job at being environmentally conscious. I was telling a friend that I am seriously thinking of going the route of cloth diapers (as much as I can and when I can) when our little one arrives.

First, the reaction was more like "ICK!" and then a debate ensued. I was merely stating that I didn't want to fill up landfill space with my future baby's disposable diapers. My friend argued that the energy and water used from all the extra laundry would be worse (I think she said "more wasteful") than throwing the diapers in the dump. I see her point and it's sort of a "catch 22" situation. I can see arguments for both.

I was concerned about all that landfill space used for disposable diapers and the volume of trees and plastics used to make disposables. My thinking was that by reusing and recycling (by way of cotton diapers), we wouldn't be using up more of the earth's resources. We would, however be consuming more water and energy to wash the diapers. The question remains, what is worse for the environment?

Whichever diaper practice one opts for, it will no doubt leave a mark on the earth. But if you think of it, even by just existing, we are using up the earth's resources. We can try to reduce our consumption of resources, reuse and recycle. I'm not saying that I'd never use disposables because I probably will (like when traveling or when not at home). I just think that people should do what they feel is best for them and their families, while trying to tread lightly on the earth.

What do you think is more environmentally friendly? Cloth or Disposable? Which would you choose?

15 comments:

fancypansy said...

We are planning to use cloth as well... I have been researching them for a while and will start my stash soon.

CD enthusiasts will tell you that the amount of energy that just goes INTO producing and transporting disposable diapers far surpasses that which goes into washing cloth ones. I am not sure if that is true or not.

Either way, I always wanted to CD with DD but never did, so this time I will be (likely not until the baby is a month old or so though, as I plant to get one-size cloth diapers and they don't fit newborns great...and also in the first month just finding time too pee is touch enough without finding time to do more laundry).

If one does not like cloth, there are better disposable options. 7th generation makes organic diapers, and in many places diapers can be composted...which is better than a landfill.

C said...

Oh! That's awesome about the organic diapers! I'm thinking of doing a combination of CD and DD. I hope I can keep with it! I know some friends who started of with doing CD/DD and then ended up just going with the DD.

I have an old family friend in Ottawa who makes CD. I've ordered some for Dina's baby and I'm still waiting for them to be made and delivered :)

fancypansy said...

I want to make things as easy for me as possible, so I wil be using Mommy's Touch one size AIO. No covers, no inserts, one size fits all from about 10lbs to potty training! They are expensive (about $20 a diaper), but to me it is worth it as I know if I buy a less expensive but more labour intensive system...it will be wasted money as I wont do it!!

I also know people who gave up on CDing, but most of them were messing with inserts, doublers, covers, running out of the size they needed...etc...etc...I have heard when you use a system like the one I want, it is pretty much like DD except a few more loads of laundrey a week!

Rachie-Babe said...

I would choose cloth.

The Super Robertson Supper show said...

OK,

cloth diapers are not as good... they are moist once the baby pee's, and that will cause the skin to become irritated... a major problem. The disposable are excellent i this way... so even if you use cloth put on a disposable at night.

Our first daughter used cloth for the first year and had far more problems with her skin irritations causing discomfort than the twins that came later who used disposable.

I believe in Toronto you can recycle diapers... so my sister tells me.

After 1 year cloth diapers have no use as the child's mobility causes extra problems.

Given the environmental pro's and con's i am weary of cloth diapers, having used them.

I noticed the compostable diapers are gaining ground... this could be good.

fancypansy said...

SRSS,
I just wanted to note for our readers that your cloth diaper experience is NOT universal by any means. I know many people, online and in real life, who have cloth diapered. Though I know one whose son got rashes from it and had to go to disposables, I know many more who actually switched to cloth because of rashes from disposables, and found that the cloth greatly reduced rashes. As well, I know lots of cloth diaper users who have done so well past a year, and found cloth dipaers useful right up to potty traing.

If it did not work for you, that's cool...but I wanted to ensure our reasders know that increased rashes and not being useful after 1 year is not the way cloth diapers always (or even usually, from who I know) are.

As well, I am not sure how old your daughter is...but since you have had twins since I can assume a few years at least...cloth diapers have much improved even in the last few years. They are constantly getting more absorbant and user friendly.

That said, if I was having twins I most certianly would NOT eb coinsidering Cloth. I do have my limits!

Oh, in Toronto diapers can go into the green (compostables) bin. However, it still uses a lot of energy to transport and compost them...and Toronto is having a hard time finding firms to compost our green bin materials and a lot of it is being sent to the States!

http://torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Levy_Sue-Ann/2005/05/15/1040633-sun.html

Cherry said...

I have researched the poop out of more environmentally friendly diaper options (and I haven't even been pregnant!)

I really like the idea of going cloth, but with those compostable or flushable liners... ooohhhh! Not nearly as gross and that means you can re-use the pant part. Sure, this still means more laundry being done which is also not as "friendly".

And yes, its about what is best for your family and situation.

I'd still use disposable for daycare, babysitters, and in the diaper bag (I think), but when at home, I'd like to try cloth.

My hubby was shocked when I showed in the price of some of the diaper systems and he wants me to make them myself. Personally, I'd rather utilize the experience of others on this one.

C said...

Cherry:
Eric wants you to MAKE your own cloth diapers?? LOL! :) I think John would tell me the same if he sees how much the cloth diapers cost!

I've found a few sites on the internet that have patterns on how to make your own cloth diapers, but I hardly feel ambitious enough...and I really suck at sewing!

We have a family friend in Ottawa who makes cloth diapers and I am going to commission him to make some for our baby when he or she arrives.

The Super Robertson Supper show said...

to fancypansy

could be right on that one, as we had only 1 kind of cloth diapers... it was a diaper service and that has it's fair share of transportation issues.

I tried to be all new age the other day and let the twins roam around the house without diapers to give them a break... on took a crap and the other ate it. since that clean up it had been a steady diaper situation.

fancypansy said...

Um yeah, they need the diapers back on LOL!

C said...

SRSS:
Oh my goodness! I was just reading your comment. Too funny! :) I remember when my youngest brother was still in diapers (we're 10 years apart, so I was a lot older than him when he was still in diapers) my Mom let him go "diaper free" to potty train him. LOL...He peed on her wallpaper! Mom wasn't laughing at the time, but it's sort of funny now!

Lindsay said...

Just wanted to leave this link, I've found it really helpful: http://www.thediaperhyena.com/diaper_drama.htm
I like that she actually links to all the studies and what not. Pretty convincing article for cloth.
Also, like a PP said, cloth diapers have come a LONG way - with diapers out there now like bumGenius, Fuzzibunz, etc. (with either micro-fleece or micro-fibre lining), the moisture is wicked right away from baby and their skin stays dry.
The investment seems like a lot but even if you buy the most expensive CD and factor in washing costs, you'll save over DD.
also keep in mind that what seems like the easiest (AIOs) isn't ALWAYS the most effective, although they can be. I know tons of people who swear by prefolds and a good Motherease cover.

Debby said...

I have not been very good at keeping up with post, I lost all my bookmarks and took the summer off. But now I am slowly finding blogs I enjoyed again. Congrats! A baby, how wonderful. Good luck on every new step you will take.

Anonymous said...

Bum Genius has a cloth diaper that is a one size fits all because of how you can adjust it. Google them and see if you like the looks of it. They wick away moisture and are super soft. They can be worn all the way through potty training. Plus, this is a great tool to help with the initial washing away of the poopy in the diaper. http://www.diapers.com/Shop/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=6098&From=Brand

Good luck!
Jill

C said...

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't replied to any of your comments about the cloth vs disposable diapers. I've been away and for a while I was without internet (strict hospital bed rest during pregnancy).

Debby:
Thank you :) Little One arrived 2 months earlier than expected. She is doing great. I haven't been able to try cloth diapers on her yet, but I've got some coming! I was waiting for her to get a bit older since she's a very tiny preemie and her skin is very, very sensitive. I don't even know if they make cloth diapers small enough for her! LOL!