Are Reusable Diapers for Babies Best for Environment
Reusable diapers for babies were once a mainstream option. Not so long ago, they were the only option for infants! However, when disposable diapers arrived in the 1950s, convenience began to take precedence over tradition. Parents wanted a quicker, easier option than using pins, learning complicated folds, and dealing with plastic pants. Therefore, it wasn’t too surprising that disposables looked like the way of the future. That was the status quo for decades. Then, the world started to learn more about climate change, and a new shift back towards reusables began.
Modern parents are naturally concerned about the environment and the world they’re leaving for their children. So, it’s no wonder that interest in reusables has begun to surge again. However, are reusables really the best eco-friendly option?
Misconceptions About The Environmental Impact Of Reusables
Misconceptions abound about the potential negative environmental impact of reusable diapers. Reports dating back to the early 2000s explored the benefits and drawbacks of reusables and disposables. Their findings were that reusables were just as damaging to the environment as disposables. The reasoning behind this was due to high washing temperatures and the use of tumble dryers to launder cotton prefold reusables.
That all made sense at the time of the reports’ release, but it’s no longer the case. Many parents still don’t realize that modern cloth diapers are very different from their older counterparts. Most manufacturers today use quick-dry fabrics that are eco-friendly. Organic cotton and bamboo are two popular materials for modern reusables with a low environmental impact. Modern appliances are also far more energy-efficient than those from two decades ago. Added into the equation is the fact that modern style pocket diapers are made out of high performance, stay dry materials which wash clean in warm water, and tumble dry low, or can air dry in no time at all. Also, these old reports didn’t account for the positive environmental impact of reusing reusable diapers for subsequent babies.
Disposables And The Environmental Issues They Cause
Evidence shows that disposable diapers represent more than 4% of landfill waste. The materials manufacturers use when producing disposables emit a considerable amount of carbon. As the third-largest landfill waste contributor, disposable diapers significantly contribute to global warming.
Let’s take a look at the statistics.
- On average, a baby uses around 9000 diapers in the first three years of its life.
- Each diaper uses half a jar of petroleum oil as part of its manufacturing process, not to mention other toxic chemicals and chlorine.
- Disposables take as long as five centuries to break down.
- Their manufacturing processes use limited resources that contribute to global warming. Disposable diapers utilize 20 times more wood pulp, crude oil, and other raw materials than reusable ones.
- North American landfills receive around 90,000 tons of polypropylene from disposable diapers each year.
- Disposable manufacturing involves other plastic materials that come from non-renewable fossil fuels. When these materials slowly degrade in landfills, toxic chemicals leach into the soil, water, and air, harming local wildlife.
- The dyes, adhesives, bleaches, and the other components in disposable diapers contain potentially carcinogenic and neurotoxic chemicals. While wood pulp isn’t toxic, treating the pulp often involves problematic chemicals that create carcinogenic and toxic by-products during manufacturing.
- It takes nine gallons of water just to manufacture a single disposable diaper. That is significantly more water wastage than that involved in washing reusables. Manufacturing and using disposable diapers require more than twice as much water as manufacturing and using reusables.
- It isn’t only the diapers themselves that cause environmental issues. The average baby produces around a ton of waste each year. When this organic matter decomposes, pollution of the soil and groundwater occurs. The decomposing waste also produces carbon dioxide and methane, two potentially toxic greenhouse gases that impact climate change.
The numbers don’t lie. It’s easy to see how families choosing reusables over disposables can reduce the amount of waste they create by around 99%.
How Can Reusable Diapers Be Even More Eco-Friendly?
Although reusable diapers are more eco-friendly than disposables by nature, there are ways for parents to make them even greener.
- Washing your reusables with a phosphate-free detergent (make sure all detergents are brand approved, not all detergents are safe for diapers that contain elastic and waterproof laminate)
- Washing reusable diapers on a low-temperature setting.
- Drying cotton-only cloth diapers (prefold/flats) outdoors on a washing line.
- Drying modern cloth diapers (elastic/waterproof laminate.)
- Using the same reusable diapers on multiple children.
- Choosing a reputable diaper brand that uses eco-friendly manufacturing materials and processes. Organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo are environmentally sound choices.
- Using the most energy-efficient appliances to launder reusable diapers.
Are Rumparooz An Environmentally-Friendly Choice?
If you’re trying to decide between disposables and Rumparooz, you can rest assured that reusables are far more eco-friendly. They are a reliable choice because manufacturers make them from eco-friendly materials through environmentally-sound processes. Suitable for use by multiple siblings year after year. Cost-effective, high quality, and impressively absorbent, With the Rumparooz, you also get the exclusive patented leak prevention technology of the double inner gussets, and keep that mess where it belongs. Rumparooz reusables are a far greener option for your baby than disposable diapers. Even better, they’re far cuter, far more comfortable, and just as convenient. Therefore, you can be confident that you’re trying your hardest, not only for your little one but for the planet too.