By using cloth diapers you will help make a positive impact on the environment. While single-use disposable diapers are thrown out after one use, cloth diapers can be reused as many as 200 times before being retired for use as cleaning rags. Our washing process uses minimal water while ensuring diapers are clean and sanitized. By choosing cloth for just one child, you’ll save over 6,500 single use, disposable diapers from going to the landfill. That is a great impact each one of us can effect on our world.
Other facts you should know about single use, disposable diapers:
According to Liz Armstrong and Adrienne Scott's "Whitewash: Exposing the Health and Environmental Dangers of Women's Sanitary Products and Disposable Diapers" disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste. Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp. The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to over 2 times more water wasted than cloth. Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby each year!
We at The Diaper Wagon hear a lot about compostable, single-use diapers. After looking into these we found they were not what we thought. We could find nowhere to actually compost them, none of the dumps or composting facilities would accept them into their composting material. So the only place they can go is into the landfill! There they stay, taking up space regardless of their state of deterioration. As landfills are designed to be anaerobic and non-leaching, the rate of deterioration is slow and they never make it back to the earth as compost.
When weighing the environmental impacts detailed above against reusing the same cloth diapers, cleaning them with safe, effective cleaning agents in a high efficiency washer and repurposing them when diapers are not needed anymore, there’s just no comparison. Choosing cloth makes a real difference.