Disposable nappies create a huge amount of waste in the world not to mention cost you a lot of money. Which is why I’ve always been a cloth loving crazy lady. But I have had to eat my words recently as Gabriel had a skin infection and now has eczema and so we’ve been using disposable nappies (plus some cloth too but mostly disposables).
Yep the Ecochick is using a disposable item! In the beginning I hated it and I cried when I bought my first packet of disposables. So I thought why not treat this as an experiment and see how green disposables can be. So the first way to green your disposables is to buy a greener disposable nappy. To choose the greenist disposable you need one that has no petrochemicals in it (read the labels very carefully as some companies will try to trick you and say no petrochemicals in the liner but they will often be in the gel inside). The greenist disposables are ones with plant based cores, liners and outers and are chlorine bleach and latex free. The green disposable companies I’m aware of are Moltex nappies, the Honest Co, and Naty but there may be others out there.
Then there is dealing with the soiled disposable. All number twos need to be flushed down the toilet regardless of what you do with the nappy after this. I find using some toilet paper to scrap the nappy out gets rid of most of the waste and bad smells.
Then there is the waste to deal with. If you live in Wellington, Christchurch (New Zealand) or Rochester (England) you can now get your nappies composted by Envirocomp. It’ll cost you a little money (about NZ$6 a bag but will hold about 2 weeks worth of nappies) but all your nappies will be composted and not go into the landfill. Envirocomp will compost all varieties of nappies, baby wipes, sanitary and incontinence products. The service is so easy to use and I feel much less guilty about using disposable nappies.
I keep my used disposable nappies in a large metal rubbish bin with a lid until my Envirocomp bag is full. This is about two to two and a half weeks. I find by getting rid of all the poop and putting the lid on my bin actually the nappies don’t smell too bad. Then I simply tie up my bag and take my nappies to my nearest drop off point and swipe my card and pop my full bag of nappies into the bin to be composted.
To further green your disposables you can use cloth wipes and a home made wipes solution rather than buying and using store bought wipes. This will also save you lots of money. Also instead of using individual nappy bags you can use a cloth wet bag to bring your used nappies home with you to be composted.
You can go one step further to reduce your environmental impact and pledge to use just one cloth nappy a day. If every parent in New Zealand used just one cloth nappy per day one million nappies could be prevented from going to landfill per week.
I like that I am able to make the disposables I use are as green as possible. I still use several cloth nappies a day (and Gabriel is using the potty as well) but I have to admit disposables are super easy to use and have reduced my washing dramatically. I now understand why mums use disposables (something I didn’t get at all until I started using them).
So do you use cloth nappies or disposable? I hope I have helped your disposable nappy use be a little greener for your baby and for the Earth.