To all of those out there that are wondering how to deal with diapers in an eco-friendly yet mentally sustainable way, you are not alone. The cloth vs. disposable debate dates back to the creation of the first disposable diaper. All of a sudden something that had been really inconvenient since the history of pooping babies suddenly became convenient. Then, virtually overnight, disposable diapers started contributing 3.4 million tons of waste per year to U.S. landfills. In Canada, with only 10% the population of the U.S., we contribute 4,000,000 diapers per day to our landfills.
My friends, Christine and Jason, are having a baby this summer. I don't know why my brain decided to "go there", but one day, I was sitting around, thinking about babies, and wondered to myself what they were going to do about diapers? Cloth or disposable? Close on the heels of those two questions was the question that always makes me get off my butt and do some research: which would I use if were to have a child? It's always such a nice thought to say that I would use cloth, but would I? Really?
So I started looking around and found a solution which (I am hoping), would be even better than the positives of either cloth or disposable: gDiapers. These diapers are essentially a colourful outer shell with a replaceable inner liner. The external shell and the liners are made from ecologically beneficial materials (mostly hemp). The best part is that there are two options: cloth liners and disposable (biodegradable) liners, and they both fit into the same shells. The disposable ones are FLUSHABLE! Amazing. They are actually intended to be flushed, because you technically don't want anything to have to biodegrade in a landfill, they would biodegrade far quicker in a sewage treatment plant. So in my opinion, the flushable aspect automatically makes the benefits outweigh those of normal disposables, because being able to flush the liner just makes them so convenient. It's so much better than having to throw "away" a poopy diaper.
The cloth version is of course almost exactly what you would imagine a cloth diaper to be like in terms of benefits and detriments. While I must tip my hat to those parents who managed to get their children through their infancy and toddlerhood using the old-fashioned cloth diapers, I don't think I would have been able to do it. If you are interested and would like to learn more, please visit the gDiaper website, as there is a tonne of information. Also, something that surprised me, is that gDiapers are actually available at "normal" retailers like London Drugs.
If you or someone you know has used these diapers and have any feedback, I would love to hear about actual user's experiences!