Wearing disposables is the environmental choice...?

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PyjamaBaby

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Of course the environmentally friendly alternative is not to wear diapers at all.

Oh well, no choice there sorry.

I try to be extra environmentally friendly in other areas of my life instead (for instance our family do not own any cars)
 

MandyBear

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Wow, Interesting read and very informative.

I think I will be sticking with my disposables. :)

Hate to say it, but even if cloth was better, I am so not up for the washing of them, no thanks. lol
 

Lestat

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Well area like California Cloth diapers are not Greener.
 

HappyNappin

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The environmental aspect of cloth all comes down to washing and drying, babys need changing far more than an adult would, so less washing, and hang them out to dry, don't get americas obsession with tumble drying.

Disposables need a lot of resources and water to, their main ingredient is wood pulp, the petrochemical pollution from the nonwovens, plastics, elastic, sap and glue, energy for manufacturing and if you're buying imported diapers from Europe or Asia there's transport to take into account.

Then there's landfill ...
 
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Tumble drying is easy and not everybody has a line to dry from (my neighbor has a line but theres no friendly words to describe her). We're wasting water in plenty of other ways and disposables pile up quick and can cost more financially in the long run.
 

Lestat

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The environmental aspect of cloth all comes down to washing and drying, babys need changing far more than an adult would, so less washing, and hang them out to dry, don't get americas obsession with tumble drying.

Disposables need a lot of resources and water to, their main ingredient is wood pulp, the petrochemical pollution from the nonwovens, plastics, elastic, sap and glue, energy for manufacturing and if you're buying imported diapers from Europe or Asia there's transport to take into account.

Then there's landfill ...
Have you read the Article? To me it seems you just skimmed it and pass the Important info.
 

HappyNappin

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pretty much, my opinions are all that would apply to me, all the stuff about cotton production is largely irrelevant to me, the world needs clothes and some countries pay a price for that,
Then the manufacturing jobs, huggies shut down there factory here when there is a high demand for semi skilled manufacturing jobs, while cloth nappies are keeping seamstress in work as the clothes manufacturing industry here collapses.
 

BitterGrey

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Of course the environmentally friendly alternative is not to wear diapers at all.

There is a quantum difference between wearing diapers less and not wearing them at all. We can reduce our environmental impact by resolving to enjoy every diaper, or at least try too. There are more detailed discussions of the economics, but wearing less often increases the enjoyment of each diaper much of the time.

Shouldn't every diaper have a right to be either needed or loved?
 

PearlPinkFloydJam

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I heard about this article, but this is my first time reading it. It does make sense since disposables are becoming cheaper-made and the processes for producing them are more automated. Disposable diapers were the enemy 20-30 years ago because they were made of thicker plastic and loaded with polymers, chemicals, etc. I bet there are still plenty in abandoned landfills that look just like they did the day they were buried. Modern diapers are much better at decomposition though and landfills are better at minimizing waste than they were in the past. Thanks for sharing!

- - - Updated - - -

Shouldn't every diaper have a right to be either needed or loved?

Cue the sad music, close-up imagery, and Sarah McLachlan in a commercial supporting the full-use of disposable diapers. :)
 

Luckyfish

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I feel no guilt over wearing diapers.I use 60% less water then any other human, i wear a dry diaper one night and use it the next time.So i use 1 diaper in 2 weeks.The cloth backed Molicares re-tape the best!With my incon issues i use a small pad.Proudly a disposable diaper lover!
 

dlinu

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An enviornmental science college class would rip that article apart. First off the water cycle means the water is returned and treated as effluent, which is then filtered through evaporation before coming down as clear rain water. It doesn't just disappear. Then the plants do something called cellular respiration, yes plants sweat. Plus the detergents we use had phosphorous and nitrate ingredients banned.
Then you also take into account the fertilizers they are talking about are controlled in most countries and are also used in growing food.
Then oil being safer than cotton. I have never heard of a cotton line blowing up or leaking causing the death of everything around it. Just look at the Koch brother's record. Then how do you think we get the oil? Just like cotton it is shipped.
Also the landfill situation is that plastic does not biodegrade, ever. So the diaper may get ground into small plastic pellets over time, but we have found plactic bunched together forming a rock like structure in the ocean and antarctic. It never goes away. With a cloth you also flush or wash the expelled substances away to be treated at a plant making them safe for the enviornment. With disposables you just chuck them. Cotton biodegrades.
Fun fact. Salmonella occours when a chicken eats human waste. That's right. You cook the bacteria made from human poop out of chicken. When treated effluent is released it is safe.
I could keep going, but I think you see the point.

Just double checked. It is an opinion piece in the Washington Post and not based on any science or evidence.
 

WildRoseBaby

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I bet there are still plenty in abandoned landfills that look just like they did the day they were buried. Modern diapers are much better at decomposition though and landfills are better at minimizing waste than they were in the past.

There are newspapers and food scraps that have been been buried in landfills for decades that look pretty much like when they were buried. Nothing really breaks down without being exposed to air and water.
 

blablafreckenlover

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That certianly was an interesting article. Don't know if I agree with it 100% (I hate it when ppl use transportation emissions in environmental arguments) but now I don't feel as bad for using disposables. Though I do think cloth needs to be more available.
 

ade

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Have you read the Article? To me it seems you just skimmed it and pass the Important info.

i did, and i'd say that it was largely bollocks.
not that i'm disagreeing with the points within, but the fact that it was all out of context and therefore giving a false impression.

by their nature, dispies need a large economy of scale of petroleum distilliation; in short, dispies only exist because of all the cars on the road.
 

Eclectic

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Completely biased article and a good example of how you can pick and choose statistics to support just about any opinion. I've use disposables and cloth diapers regularly for most of my 47 years. Even if I had been out of diapers by the age of 3 (like most people), to say that re-useable diapers are not more environmentally friendly than disposables is just plain wrong. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.
 

chuck

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I'll use my cloth diapers at night just because they are more comfortable and they work. Disposables are fine in the daytime and when I am out and about because they are convenient and I can carry one or two with me if I need to change. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. I guess the marketing people spin the pluses and minuses and try to get you to agree with their opinion. Eventually everyone has to make their own decision on what type/brand to use based on availability, comfort, suitability, price, and environmental friendliness. I guess that is why so many types and brands are available.
 
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GoldDragonAurkarm

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the article said:
And if “better for the planet” includes notions of what’s better for its inhabitants, there is a social dimension of cotton diapers that is unequivocally more harmful than disposables.
It doesn't. Or rather, the article is attempting to suggest that disposables are "greener" than cloth. Whether we exploit the fuck out of third world workers, while a huge moral concern, has no bearing on the environmental impacts. Living wages, while again a moral concern, do not affect the environmental impacts of the diapers. This opinion piece author seems to have genuine difficulty with not conflating moral concerns with actual environmental impacts.

I'd like to actually see some data, here, too. They say disposable manufacturing has improved in various measures to stated degrees. However, they handwave away cloth diapers. Perhaps they couldn't find the data, but the UK Environment Agency apparently managed to find those data back in the late 2000s. They looked at the life cycle for disposable and cloth diapers available at the time of the study, from manufacturing to transportation to disposal/laundering.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...achment_data/file/291130/scho0808boir-e-e.pdf

In that study, they concluded that the manner in which the cloth diapers were laundered determined which had the greater impact. Laundering at 60 C instead of 90 C and line-drying made cloth the better choice from a CO2 perspective, and of course the cloth diapers have far less impact from a landfill perspective.

Now, I am willing to accept that improvements in manufacturing processes have made disposables less environmentally damaging than they were 5-10 years ago. That still doesn't negate the landfill issues, the petroleum usage for disposable manufacturing, and the massive transportation issues associated with disposables (from plant to store to home to landfill). But, on balance perhaps disposables are less harmful.

Trouble is, I can't take this opinion piece seriously when they conflate moral issues with environmental issues and selectively cite data like they do. But then, it makes sense when one catches the blurb about the author: "Kendyl Salcito is the executive director of NomoGaia, a think tank dedicated to helping multinational corporations respect human rights in their global operations." So, when cotton growers are being exploited, that is obviously coloring her perspective on the issue.

Honestly, this piece reads like someone either with an axe to grine or justifying her use of disposables. I'm happy to consider other sources, and I'm willing to admit the conclusion might be correct. I just can't bring myself to trust the source enough to call it at this time.
 
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They could of used more stats and proven facts in this. It's really just a disposable fanboy trying to say what they like with one or two statistics in between.
 
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