All the washing - environmentally sound?

Emma - posted on 02/19/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi moms!

I've been cloth diapering my Cynthia since she was born (5 months ago) and am very pleased with my ImseVimse diapers (a Swedish brand). We chose cloth first and foremost for environmental reasons, and secondly for econmomic reasons. Now I'm wondering if the two extra loads of laundry a week (granted, not too hot, and not too much detergent) are worse than the carbon emitted by the garbage trucks taking away a bag of disposables. I live in Sweden, and we sort everything very well here. All kitchen garbage (into which disposables would go) is burned to create heat energy. Any ideas?

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Meghan - posted on 03/16/2009

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I am using Earth-Baby ( http://www.earth-baby.com) a compostable diaper service. The diapers and wipes are compostable and get turned into top soil in 14 weeks. The soil is never used for anything agricultural. I feel this is a great solution for disposable diapers. You get the ease of disposable's AND it's good for the environment. I thought about using cloth but felt with all the washing that it wasn't as good for the environment as Earth-Baby's service.

Emma - posted on 02/25/2009

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Thanks, Gillian! Good suggestions. I'm going to continue with cloth, but will look into what sort of eco-diapers are available here in Sweden for occasional use. Interesting making your own detergent! I'll have to check that out too. :)

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If you use eco-friendly disposables, they are better then regular disposables which I hear can take up to 250 years to break down and when they do/ as they do they emit toxins into the air. So, eco-friendly are better, but, they still have to be manufactured so that uses up enegery as well. And if you are looking for a great eco-friendly diaper I have a preference for "Nature Babycare Diapers" disposables.



That said, the two loads you do extra will begin to go down as baby gets bigger. My daugther is now 14 months and she uses only 4 - 5 cloth diapers a day and then we use the disposable at night. This means we now do one load of cloth diapers a week or two small loads. We also make our own detergent so taht cuts on cost and we use only eco-friendly ingredients including tea tree oil as thisis helpful for antibacterial purposes and I like the fragrance.

Emma - posted on 02/21/2009

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umm, I guess no one has any comments. Well, I did a bit of research, and liked this page: http://iere.org/ILEA/lcas/franklin1992.h... (Institute for Lifecycle Environmental Assessment). Conclusion is that it depends on where you live (having local drought problems, or air pollution, or landfills, affects whether disposable or cotton diaps are best). Because I air-dry mine, rather than machine-drying, it's always better with cloth, energy-wise. So I'll happily keep wrapping my baby-butt in cloth :)

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