Baby Steps: And the Most Eco-Friendly Diaper Choice Is …

May 20, 2016
by Thrive Market

The average kid will go through 8,000 diapers in a lifetime. If you go with disposables—as 95 percent of all American households do—that adds up to about 3.5 million tons of waste in U.S. landfills each year.

Yikes! Cloth diapers—which seem like the obvious solution—aren’t exactly guilt-free, either. Laundering them uses a ton of water, energy, and detergent, not to mention precious time.

So, there are pros and cons to each, and really, you have to consider whatever best fits your lifestyle. Whichever you go with, you can make smarter choices. In this video, health coach and expert mom Sara Snow shares her best tips.

For starters, if you’re all about the convenience of disposable diapers, look for gel-free, unbleached ones. Most conventional diapers harbor a chemical called absorbent gel material (AGM), which has been linked to asthma.

Prefer cloth? Using a service that picks up dirty diapers and drops off clean ones is actually the more eco-friendly way to go—it saves water, energy, and detergent overall. If you’d rather do your own laundry, wash with cold water and use a nontoxic, fragrance-free detergent in order to conserve energy and keep irritants and chemicals away from baby’s skin (and out of waterways).

There is a third option: use a combination of disposable and cloth, depending on the scenario. As Snow says, “Whatever works, works.” It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Press play to get all of Snow’s tips!

Read more about Sara Snow here and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Leslie Valverde Ayers

    Hi - These are not the best natural disposable options. Take a look at Babyganics, Naty by Nature and AndyPandy... just to name a few that are better than Bamboo and 7thGeneration. Would be great if Thrive Market offered these options.

  • Elizabeth Galan

    Good luck FINDING a cloth diaper service near you. There aren't many companies left when 95% of consumers are using disposables. Washing in cold water... Will that get them really clean and germ free?