"Eco"-disposable diapers demystified | Queen of Green | David Suzuki Foundation
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Which one of these disposable diapers is the "greenest"? (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

It's true. I don't love cloth diapers every day. I dabble in the planet-hating, landfill-loving practice of disposable diapering.

I'm not proud of my son's nighttime eco-disposable diaper. But after talking to other "green" mom's — into things like elimination communication (EC), and DIY finger paints and playdough — it appears I'm not alone.

Wait. Did I say "eco-disposable"?

Could it be? An eco-friendlier disposable diaper that's lightweight, made from renewable materials, contains no added dyes, fragrance or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and never leaks?

Also true!

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An eco-disposable diaper brand comparison chart

I've researched the eco-claims of a dozen brands sold online and at stores like Walmart, London Drugs and Whole Foods.

This is not permission to ditch cloth diapering. Disposables can actually foil your EC journey — to get your money's worth you may keep your baby in them too long and ignore the signs!

All disposables should go to the landfill, which is why they should be used sparingly, if ever. The exception is Delora Eco Diapers (made in Germany) — two-thirds biodegradable/compostable, or what they call "earth neutral" — which can be home composted after solid waste, tabs and elastic leg cuffs are removed. And B.C.-made Broody Chick claims to be from sustainable resources and fully compostable. I haven't tried either.

My chart doesn't endorse brands (listed alphabetically). And I haven't tested, ranked, rated or verified the eco-claims. Read product reviews in Ecoholic Body by Adria Vasil, Canadian Family, Keen for Green, Grist and Maman Loups' Den.

The chart should help you:

  • Understand existing types of eco-claims
  • Decide on a "greener" option

For example, if you're passionate about avoiding GMOs, you have three choices!

Three other share-worthy points:

  1. Seventh Generation adds brown pigment to their diapers (so don't always assume brown is better)!
  2. Most disposables (including conventional brands) are chlorine-free
  3. "Renewable sources" is tricky because brands vary when it comes to certifying content; for example, it's uncertain who certifies the wood pulp used in PC® G.R.E.E.N Diapers but the cellulose in the core of the Delora Eco Diaper is from certified renewable forestry (FSC)

Other eco-disposables you'll learn about include: ATTITUDE, Earth's Best, Honest Diapers, Huggies® pure & natural, MAMA ZONE, Naty® by NATURE BABYCARE, Nurtured by Nature® and Whole Foods 365™.

Do you use feel better using eco-friendlier disposables?

Which brand do you prefer and why?

Sincerely,
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

January 28, 2014
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/queen-of-green/2014/01/eco-disposable-diapers-demystified/

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15 Comments

Jul 28, 2015
12:13 PM

Recently, we’ve switched from cloth to disposables. This is due for a few reasons, one being the care center my daughter (2 yrs old) attends does not support cloth diaper use past the age of 18 months.

I started buying Huggies Pure and Natural because I thought, based on the packaging, they were a good, natural choice.

It wasn’t until I did a bit of research and reading online reviews and the enormous amount of information the good people at http://baby-monitor-reviews.com/ gathered — who do a great job at testing all types of baby products

Apr 16, 2015
1:42 PM

Justine can you please let me know if you try the Delora brand from costco.ca, I use cloth but order the Bambo Nature ones from the states for night time or ocassional use when camping or away from home. I love the Bambo nature brand but it is inconvenient / expensive ordering from the states especially with the dollar right now. Amazon.ca does carry Bambo Nature now too but pricier than what I can order direct.

Apr 02, 2015
10:35 AM

I’ve just purchased some Delora diapers and noticed that the package says “Nappy does not contain any natural latex”…key words being “natural latex”. Could these diapers potentially contain synthetic latex??

Mar 02, 2015
7:18 PM

Bambo Natural diapers are also biodegradable and compostable. We are thinking of trying the Delora Eco ones though because they are available at costco.ca!

Feb 17, 2015
7:24 AM

Baby gear labs tests disposable Diapers and puts out a list annually (?) some brands on the list not available in Canada, but it had most that are available here. Eco and regular, ranks leaks, ease of use, materials etc. You can select individual types for a side by side comparison and choose your diaper based on the qualities important to you.

http://m.babygearlab.com/Disposable-Diaper-Reviews

Based on the info we chose Naty and they work as good as the pampers they gave us at the hospital, actually better.

Jan 05, 2015
11:19 AM

Ayaka what a wonderfull ideal! I will definitely try it out. Which liners do you recommend. …….At the moment im using delora diapers bc they seem to be the better choice at a decent price as well as broody chick sometimes.

Dec 07, 2014
1:28 PM

Everybody is thinking with cloth diapers you safe the planet…did you ever think about how bad washing/laundry soap is for the environment? it’s one on worst! research before jumping on the”green” train.Think about how often and how hot you have to wash a cloth diaper. Just need to throw it out there. Do what you think.it’s best, but fact is you don’t favour the environment by using cloth diapers.

Sep 24, 2014
5:24 PM

If you look into Broody Chick diapers from BC you will find out they are sourced and manufactured in China. That’s okay if you know and are able to research the company in China, but, Broody Chick does not indicate they are manufactured in China on any of their packaging. Although a canadian company there is constant lack of availability of diapers in canadian markets. Something we all love is when our favorite babies diaper goes off the shelf for 2 or 3 months. Between the empty shelves and the lack of transparency about China I have no faith in Broody Chick and suggest you do your research before you switch your babies diapers.

Feb 25, 2014
8:29 AM

I cloth diaper my baby, however we started using disposables at night to save her bottom from wetness so we wouldn’t have to change her at night. We were mostly using NATY and seventh generation, but after seeing your list and noticing that PC green is so much cheaper, I emailed PC to find out about lotions, latex and PVC’s as my daughter has very sensitive skin. I got a reply stating their green diapers do not contain petroleum based lotions, latex OR PVC’s! Hooray!

Jan 29, 2014
9:13 AM

We love our cloth diapers! One of the reasons we opened our store was because there weren’t many options in our area! I agree that researching your options is super important especially because every choice influences our environment. There are also options that work for overnight in cloth diapering which keep baby dry at night as well — such as wool and fitted diapers, where the wool can absorb more than twice it’s weight in moisture and it pulls moisture away from baby! www.naturebumz.com’s cloth diapering 101 page really goes through some overnight options which I love and use for our 2 little heavy wetters. Thanks for this article!

Jan 29, 2014
5:54 AM

Did you look into G diapers at all? They offer both a cloth and disposable/compostable insert.

Jan 29, 2014
2:23 AM

Have you looked into gDiapers? They are a combination diaper…cloth outer with an option to use a fully compostable insert. We love them!

Jan 28, 2014
9:08 PM

I really like the G-diaper refills in combination with Bummis ‘whisper wrap’ covers… The best of both worlds. G-diaper refills are disposable, flushable, or compostable, and the Bummis ‘whisper wrap’ cloth diaper covers are comfy, rarely leak and are quick to wash and dry. The only downfall is the price.

Jan 28, 2014
5:33 PM

I use cloth diapers and eco-diapers for night time and when I go out and about. I use Naty by naturecare and those work great! No leaks at all! They are a little bit expensive tough but Is worth it. I’ve tried earth best, nature and gdiapers. All worked well! I just felt that naturecare is a little bit more Eco.

Jan 28, 2014
4:32 PM

Hi

There are both pro and con for disposable and reusable nappies — for example, disposable is wasteful but leakfree, reusable is economical and eco-freiendly but leak, constantly dealing with washing and nappy rash…

I used “hybrid” with my daughter and it was great!!!

I simply place tick cloth liner/s in disposable nappy and I can only change/wash liners every few hours and you will only need one or few disposable nappy a day.

Hope this idea might help those who wonderfully consider material consumption and environmental impact !!

best wishes!!

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