"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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8 Comments

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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