Flora Eerschay wrote:...But now seems like most friends with kids are using single use diapers, because washing cloth diapers is too much work.
My partner and I have been cloth diapering for over a year now and I will admit, it is
a lot of work. We wash a diaper load about once every 4 days.
Flora Eerschay wrote:Some use biodegradable single use diapers, but they cost twice as much so most don't bother spending their monies on that.
Caution when reading the word "biodegradable" in diaper ads. There may be some greenwashing
in some of that marketing, depending on the company and their practices of course. The sun and wind will "biodegrade" plastic... in about 400 years.
What I would like to try for my next child would be truly compostable
diapers. So far, the only ones I've found have some parts that aren't compostable that have to be cut out with scissors before composting. Yeah... I'm not going to be cutting up a big poop-filled diaper to throw away the elastic; sorry. If anyone has links to 100% compostable diapers please share. Thanks.
Flora Eerschay wrote:Seems like really only a few people have a more "environmentally friendly" approach to that. What I hear more often is "with kids you'll create a lot of garbage, it's inevitable". What do you think?
Perhaps. As a pattern-literate permie, I tend to see garbage creation is a matter of individual and societal behavioral patterns
. For example, there are people in my social circles who buy their babies those little single-use plastic squeeze tubes with "food" industry products in them. Lots of garbage created. Our family grows much of our own food and a lot of what our baby eats what comes out of our own garden and our farm. Our baby hardly eats anything that was ever wrapped in single-use plastic, hence less garbage. And I put that pattern down to years of re-adjusting and practicing new patterns of behavior at our homestead.
Flora Eerschay wrote:One example of newborn parents: they have some reusable diapers which they didn't start using, some biodegradable single use diapers and some cheap single use diapers which they use most often. Other friends used the cheap single use diapers only.
Yeah, I get it. Every person and every family is different. For example, I have had more than one single mom tell me that they would love
to cloth diaper their child, they just do not have the time because they are a single mom. IMO, they should not be faulted for their decision to not cloth diaper. Every individual person and family unit has their own unique situation that may - or may not - easily accommodate what their own - or someone else's - opinion of a more environmentally-lived life is. It's up to each of us to do the best that we can when we can while recognizing that the current cultural mainstream is unfortunately not very permacultural and hence, not very accommodating for individuals, families, and communities to be more permacultural. Of course, we are all doing our best to change that: building a better world one backyard at a time
, and adjusting one personal pattern of behavior at a time.
Flora Eerschay wrote:The permie friends mostly used reusable cloth diapers but also moved out of the city first. Seems like the thing is extra hard to do for city people.
What makes it extra hard for city people?
As for water: yes, it takes a lot of water to wash diapers every 4 days. However, if my very primitive understanding of the global water cycle is correct, then the water used for the diapers does eventually go back into the global water cycle. I'm assuming this is true whether the diaper washer is using a gray water laundry-to-garden system or a conventional municipal treatment facility. Last I checked, there was no plastic diaper-to-landfill cycle
. Just a whole bunch of ever-growing landfills.
On electricity: we have solar panels on our house so the electricity is from the sun. Hang drying works well for my climate, but when I bring them inside I do tend to run the diapers in the drier for a short "fluff" cycle so that they cloth is softer on the skin. If one is trying to do this and be "environmental" I highly recommend finding out what the source of one's electricity is, because cloth diapers do use a lot. If you're being supplied with dirty electricity, perhaps look into a bicycle-powered washing machine
Despite all of the work, I'm still very glad we are cloth diapering and inspiring others that it is possible.
PS- With our next child we are looking into trying elimination communication
(aka: infant potty training). Something else to consider if you're looking to be really environmental.