Using cloth diapers on your children is a far better choice than using disposables when it comes to the environment. Even after you factor in the energy and water that is used to wash the diapers.
Some quick facts:
- It is said that the energy used to make disposable diapers far surpasses the amount of energy that is used to make, wash and care for cloth diapers.
- Every year millions of trees are cut down to make disposable diapers.
- Approx. one cup of crude oil goes into making EACH dispoable diaper!
- Disposable diapers take up more room in our landfills than fast-food containers.
- Human feces in landfills can seep into the ground and waterways, usually going untreated. The greatest danger is when a baby is vaccinated against diseases such as Hepetitis B and it contaminates the earth. Animals and birds at landfill sites will also pick-up the virus and spread it.
- It is estimated that one disposable diaper will take 500 years to decompose (no one is sure yet since they are all still in landfills!)
Below is some information from Environment Canada regarding disposable diapers and their effects on our earth.
“…While disposable diapers have made some progress in recent years to become less damaging to the environment – including a decrease in the amount of materials used, the introduction of more degradable materials and recent advances in diaper recycling – they still represent a burden to municipal landfills and continue to deplete natural resources. The reusable nature of cloth diapers reduces the solid waste problem…”
“…The waste from the cloth diaper is properly treated as sewage, while disposable diapers in landfills can be a breeding ground for a wide variety of viruses, including Hepatitis B and Polio from vaccines given to newborns. Also, the effluents from the disposable diaper manufacturing process (plastic, pulp and bleached paper) are more damaging to the environment than the cotton and hemp growing and manufacturing process.”
“…Combining diapering methods, with cloth for home and disposable away from home is an alternative for families who want to be environmentally responsible while balancing their other life demands.”
“Even when using disposable diapers, the contents should be emptied into the toilet so that the waste can be properly treated.”This statement is also printed on many disposable diaper packages and their companies websites, yet the average consumer is unaware of this!
“Cloth diapers encourage babies to potty train faster than disposables, because with disposable diapers, the babies seldom feel any wetness or discomfort.”
“Over four million disposable diapers are discarded in Canada per day. “