When it comes time to decided whether or not to use disposable diapers verses cloth diapers, parents are faced with a difficult decision. For some, it is not possible to use cloth so disposable is the obvious choice. For others, cloth diapers are readily available, practical, and cost efficient. When faced with the choice, one thing comes to mind, how will I affect the environment?
The number of diapers disposed of each year, 18 billion according to a study done but The Union of Concerned Scientists, are thrown into landfills each year. Now this was is 2005, imagine the increase in the past 11 years with population growth. When one thinks about a pile of 18 billion diapers, that seems outrageous. When in actuality, diapers only make up 1.5 to 2 percents of garbage in landfills, 14% is food waste. Wow.
On the other side of environmental toll, a parent must take into account the energy use of having to clean reusable diapers. What will your water bill be, how much resources are you using? One thing noted are diaper services. If we could all afford that, it tends to be the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to go. Diaper services consume less water and energy because of their industrial washers and ability to get the water to the proper water temperature for sanitation.
There are a couple questions one must ask themselves when choosing between disposable diapers and cloth diapers:
- Do you care about the amount of waste you are putting into landfills and your carbon footprint?
- Do you have time and the resources to clean cloth diapers?
- What is best for you and your child?
In the end, both have an affect on the environment in different ways. As one parent stated, “The difficulties of raising a baby are enough without the added pressure of being told you are environmentally unfriendly," she wrote. "We just have to pick and choose when and where to do our bit.”
What will your choice be?