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Being a Greener Diaper User

cloth diaperIn an ideal world, everyone would use cloth diapers and these cloth diapers would be self-washing!  There are many reasons why an eco-friendly parent might opt not to use cloth diapers - poor laundry facilities, a daycare that doesn't accept cloth diapers, a low threshold for cleaning poop, whatever.   There can be many different reasons why.

That said, even for parents who aren't willing to make the commitment to cloth diaper, there are many ways to make your diaper usage a little greener.

Compromise

Buy a few cloth diapers.  For a low-maintence type, go for a one-size or all-in-one diaper, like a Rumparooz or Easy Fit.   Commit to using one cloth diaper a day instead of a disposable.  It's totally doable and it will keep 365 diapers out of the landfill a year.   

For an even easier compromise, try out a hybrid diaper.  Hybrid diapers have a cloth shell and a disposable insert.  GroVia is a popular brand. 

You may find it's easier than you think.  Then you can up your commitment.  Move up to three cloth diapers a day.  Take the Change 3 Things pledge!    And hey - maybe you'll decide that cloth diapering isn't so bad after all and become a full-fledged cloth diaperer!  

Find more eco-friendly brands

There are a lot of greener disposable diaper options these days.  By far, the greenest are by Broody Chick.  They're composable and biodegradable!   They're pricey, but even if you buy them every now and then, that's keeping diapers out of the landfill.  You can compost the pee diapers.  

Avoid the Diaper Genie

Most disposable diapers (aside from the Broody Chick, mentioned above) contain plastic, meaning they may never break down in a landfill.  Diaper Genies make matters worse -- they wrap already unbiodegradable diapers in plastic.  For when I use disposables, I just have a plain garbage can in my son's room which I empty out regularly.  For solid poop, I do the same as when I use a cloth diaper - drop it in the toilet which keeps the inside smell to a minimum.  If it's really stinky, I immediately take it out to the outside garbage can. 

Cloth wipes

I find that cloth wipes can actually do a better job than disposable.  If you're going to try to transition to cloth diapers part-time, try to transition to cloth wipes, too.  It's effortless!

Don't use more baby wipes than you need

If you're using disposable wipes, try to only use as many as you need.  Sometimes it's tempting to just take a big wad of baby wipes and go to town, but avoid this.  Also, unless there are no other options, don't use baby wipes to wash your (our your baby's) hands and face if there is a sink available.