Cloth Diaper Choices at Home Matters
The products you choose to use and how you choose to launder those cloth diapers continues to make waves in the environmental impact of diapering choices.
For many parents, cloth diapering starts with their first baby and continues on with each child. It is through this that the numbers around the ecological impact of the production of cloth diapers stretch even thinner.
Even if you choose to cloth diaper one child, the potential to purchase diapers second hand, or pass them on to another family continues to decrease the impact.
Reduce Cloth Diaper Impact At Home
Wash on Warm/Cool
Hot water might be all the talk, but for many families they can get an adequate wash using warm/cool settings on their washing machine. This reduces overall energy consumption for laundering
Hang to Dry
Using the dryer is super easy, but it's also one of the biggest energy consumers in the laundry process. Skip the dryer and hang it all to dry. It's going to take longer but it saves money and helps the environment.
Build the Right Stash
Your stash does matter when thinking about the environmental impacts of cloth diapering. It starts simply with choosing natural fibres over synthetics like microfibre inserts.
Other considerations include the size of your stash, the versatility of your stash, and more.
Pass It Down
When your done cloth diapering, pass them on to another child or family to continue using until they've reached their end cycle.
You could even be the domino to star the cloth revolution and get your entire community on board with cloth diapering.
Cloth diapers do have a life span, but there are made with pieces like inserts that do have the live on longer. Elastics and PUL will break down with use, but prefolds and inserts can continue to be passed down or repurposed until they fall apart in your hands. This might take a while but it eludes to an uncalculated potential to reduce environmental impacts.
Diaper Manufacturing Matters
All we see is the visual representation of garbage. The article eludes that the disposable manufacturing process is where much of the environmental troubles lay.
I would be naive to suggest cloth diapering is not also plagued by poor manufacturing processes.
There is great potential in the manufacturing process of both disposable and cloth diapers to make some noise as consumers and ask the questions and find the answers to understanding the environmental impact.
For both diapers, there is potential for consumer based pressure on brands and government legislation to support and refine the process. This could potentially influence better life cycles for disposable diapers, while encouraging cloth diaper manufacturers to clean up their facilities and processes to represent consumer needs.
The choice that feels right for you.
Articles like this one, and the original CBC editorial, ignite passion, rage, and frustration. We all feel slightly judged at some level and we want to be champions for the choices that we make and the reasons we choose them.
Every year it feels another study or editorial comes out to tell us why cloth diapering is bad on the environment, but it’s more complex that we can even put into words. As cloth diaper advocates we can just push to support better manufacturing of all products and the continuation of innovative design.
For many of us cloth diapering is more than the environment, it’s about the cost of disposable diapers, the health of our babies, and community that comes with cloth diapering.
There is no perfect diapering method.