It has been almost thirty years since the birth of my last baby so I have not had to think much about diapers lately, although I do have a granddaughter in diapers. In a month, someone that I care deeply about is going to have a baby girl and she asked me about a compostable diaper called gdiaper.
Gdiapers consist of an outer pant that is reused and an inner refill part that is disposable. The wet refill can be composted, whereas, the poopy diaper can be flushed or thrown away. It takes 50-150 days to completely break down and leaves no waste in the environment. These diapers were the first product to earn the cradle to cradle certification. If you want to know what consumers think of these diapers click here.
50 million disposable diapers go into landfills everyday! Five percent of the population wears diapers. That is a lot of waste. “Regular” disposable diapers have a plastic component that is a petroleum product, and we know that plastic does not degrade. All those diapers are just accumulating in the landfills. They are the 3rd largest source of solid waste in landfills.
Cloth diapers are another option. Disposable diapers are much more popular than cloth, so much so that it can be hard to find cloth diapers. They can be found and they have been modernized. Cloth diapers are prefolded to fit as an insert into a diaper cover that is waterproof. This cover can be wool or other materials besides plastic plus diaper pins are not used.
You can expect to spend $1,500 to $2,000 on disposable diapers during your child’s diaper wearing career. You may spend $700 on cloth diapers plus you can use them on the next child. Gdiapers are 10 to 15% more expensive than regular disposables and they leave NO waste material behind.
Other things have to be considered also. Sometimes babysitters and day care will not deal with cloth diapers, which can be a problem for many people. Washing cloth diapers is a pain if you do not have a washer and dryer available. Regular disposable diapers are the easiest to find at stores. Gdiapers are sold at stores like Whole Foods and a few mass market stores like Wegmans. It is a big decision for each family to make but hopefully you are in a situation where you can consider the environment and your baby.