Mother Earth Living

Reusable Diapers Save Money

One disposable diaper can outlive your children’s great-great grandchildren.
By Michelle Madderom
March/April 2002


Content Tools

Related Content

Get Paper Towels Out of Your Life for Good

Replacing paper towels with rags is a super simple step toward sustainable living. Follow these simp...

Wedding Dishware: Biodegradable Cups, Sustainable Disposable Plates

Jessica provides resources for biodegradable cups and sustainable bamboo plates for her green outdoo...

Raising an Eco-Friendly Baby the Thrifty Way

Raising an eco-friendly baby doesn’t have to be expensive. Read about these tips and tricks for goin...

Tuesday Video: How to Avoid Disposable Utensils and Paper Products

These money- and waste-saving alternatives to paper and plastic products eliminate the temptation to...

Every new baby needs more than 5,000 diaper changes. Most of these diapers are disposable and end up buried in the local dump. In fact, 90 percent of American parents cover their children with plastic, non-breathable diapers that may contain toxins. Approximately 18 billion of these—enough to go to the moon and back seven times—are thrown away each year. Up to 12 percent of the total trash in the United States can be attributed to disposable diapers.

The various types of plastic in these diapers are not only toxic to the environment, but are possibly harmful to a baby’s skin. Some diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a super absorbent gel, and polyethylene film, a flexible plastic. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that exposure to these ingredients may lead to problems later in life with the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver—and they also spell trouble for local landfills where the diapers are likely to remain for up to 500 years. Toxic human feces can leak into local water supplies and cause viruses such as Hepatitis A and Rota Virus.

What are the alternatives?

Parents who select reusable cloth diapers save $300 a year in diapering costs. Cloth diapers, which range in price from $17 to $27 for a set of six, can withstand 80 to 100 washings. After that, they can be recycled into household rags. If you still long for the ease and convenience of disposable diapers, or you’re more concerned about the water required to wash cotton diapers than the issue of toxicity, shop around. Some conscientious diaper companies have stopped using so much plastic and have replaced the absorbent gel with a blend of cotton, wood pulp and other natural products.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 50%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.