Cloth Diaper Myth or Truth #4:
Disposables Are Actually Better for the Environment
While there are naysayers out there that claim this to be a truth, it is actually a MYTH! Cloth definitely wins the “more environmentally friendly” award over disposables. Just like how clothes (can you imagine if we all wore disposable clothing?) and dishes (versus throwaway plates, bowls, cups and cutlery) are better for the environment.
Here are some quick figures (cited from one of our top diaper brands in the store, GroVia) for you to look over. Keep these tucked in your back pocket should you decide to debate cloth vs disposables with someone.
- In the United States alone, we throw away over 20 billion disposable diapers a year. That’s enough to circle the globe 90x! You could also fill the Empire State Building 30x with that amount of diapers.
- A typical disposable diaper contains petroleum, plastics, perfumes, wood pulp and dioxins (a byproduct of the bleaching process and a known carcinogen).
- While we don’t know for sure, disposable diapers are estimated to take up to 500 years to decompose in landfills.
- The average amount of disposable diapers one child will use is somewhere between 6000-8000 diapers (in 2.5 years).
- Washing cloth diapers over 2.5 years could use an estimated 15,300 gallons of water.
- It takes approximately 9 gallons of water to produce one disposable diaper. Multiply that by 6,000 diapers and you’ll see that 54,000 gallons of water were used to produce the disposable diapers for one child.
- Irrigating a lawn twice a week for one month uses the same amount of water as all the diaper loads you will wash for one child in 2.5 years!
Honestly, common sense will show anyone that cloth diapers are better for the environment than disposables. For some reason, cloth diapers become a hot debate in this arena but not the fact that you use “cloth” clothes and “ceramic” dishes. Put a stack of styrofoam plates up against a stack or regular washable dishes and anyone can tell you that the styrofoam is a less environmentally friendly option. Why do people get so combative about cloth diapers? Remember, you have no responsibility to justify your decision to cloth diaper to friends and family, period.
Enjoy less smelly trash at your house with your choice to cloth diaper,