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"Green Baby" Diaper Practices  
No matter what kind of diapers you choose, you can reduce their environmental impact


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"Green Baby" Diaper Practices
No matter what kind of diapers you choose, you can reduce their environmental impact

Gerber Life Family Times Archive

FunYou want the best for baby—organic products that are both good for your baby and good for the planet. When it comes to diapers, however, what may seem like a "green baby" practice may not be so green after all, and what may seem like the opposite of a green baby practice can be adjusted so that you're helping the planet.

Cloth or disposable diapers?

For many eco-friendly parents, cloth diapers are the only way to go. It's true that cloth diapers don't result in sewage making its way to the landfill because, unlike with disposables, their contents are flushed rather than bagged and put into the trash. However, simply using cloth diapers doesn't make you "green."

Joy Hatch and Rebecca Kelley, authors of "The Eco nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet" (, offer advice for figuring out if you're helping the planet by using cloth diapers:

  • First, determine how much water you're using to launder your diapers. Multiply the gallons of water that your washing machine uses by the number of loads you do per year. If you aren't sure, say Hatch and Kelley, use 40 gallons for a top-loading washer and 12 gallons for a front loader.
  • If the total is less than 4,000 gallons, congratulations—you're helping the environment.
  • If the total is 4,000 gallons or more, there are several easy ways to reduce your environmental impact, Hatch and Kelley note. "Try washing fuller loads less often and eliminating extra rinse cycles," they suggest, "or think of ways to reduce the overall amount of laundry you do to 'offset' the diaper loads."

The bottom line, says Kelley, is that "using cloth diapers can keep one ton of garbage out of a landfill. Plus, you can use the cloth diapers on a second child or even resell your cloth diaper supplies once your children have outgrown them."

A green practice for disposables

If you've decided to stick with disposable diapers, there's a way to use them more responsibly.

Users of disposable diapers "can reduce their impact by flushing solid waste down the toilet" just as users of cloth diapers do, says Kelley. "This prevents human waste from going into the landfills and polluting our water supply. "All packages of disposables instruct users to flush waste before tossing."

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.

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