Written By: Jacqueline Damen
The drastic need for the world to reduce human impact on the environment has never been more topical than right now: with millions of people marching in the streets demanding climate action. Although your reasons for using cloth might have been budget related (or cute prints related), you must have noticed the reduced amount of waste going into your household bin, and you can rightly consider yourself some sort of eco-warrior.
However, it can sometimes feel that sections of the media providing commentary on whether disposables or cloth nappies are better for the world, like to give props to the single use throw away kind. Their arguments may include: that cloth nappies take as long to break down as a disposable; that it takes as much energy and resources to produce them; and that the water usage to clean them is comparable to the landfill burden that single use nappies create.
In our modern world, most people would agree that there is a place for disposable nappies. (And we must acknowledge that with drought affecting many regions of the country, some cloth nappy users are finding it hard to keep their stash going when significant water shortages abound.) Yes, modern cloth will take a long time to break down – but you might be adding thirty to landfill, rather than three thousand. Using your nappies on a subsequent child and line drying rather than machine drying are easy ways to ensure that you are choosing the road of minimal impact. Washing according to our guidelines will also help you get the most out of your modern cloth, and overall you can rest assured that you’ve made the more environmentally beneficial choice by putting cloth on your baby’s bottom – made once and used countless times, rather than a single use disposable nappy – made, used once, and thrown away.