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Nappies on the radio

By emd - 23 March 2007 24

If you’re interested in reducing landfill, or want to know more about the environmental issues around cloth nappies, tune into 666 ABC AM at about 2:20pm.

They’ll be talking to Amanda, organiser of Reusable Nappy Week events in Canberra.

To find out more about RNW, read here:

What’s Your opinion?

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24 Responses to
Nappies on the radio
sim_m_o 8:20 pm 24 Mar 07

We bought our huggies disposables in bulk, while they were on special, and we save around 10c per nappy compared to cloth, not to mention it makes an already demanding time of life a little bit simpler.

seepi 7:38 pm 24 Mar 07

Yeah – it seems to be one of those issues that people get really up in arms about. I don’t see why it bothers anyone else if I don’t mind washing a few nappies.

Anyway, cloth nappies are definitely making a comeback now that they are easier to use and made of high tech fabrics that soak up a lot, yet keep the babies dry. Now they are basically shaped like disposables and do up with velcro.

GnT 6:24 pm 24 Mar 07

Didn’t we have this discussion a while back? It seems to keep coming around (and around).

emd 2:00 pm 24 Mar 07

Open wide bonfire, so I can stick this hose in your mouth…

For Vic’s benefit:
Go to Click on the Babies tab, then Nappy Calculator. You can work it out for yourself. I estimate that we save around $1200 per year by using cloth.

miz: I use pocket nappies with hemp inserts. They’re more absorbent than an expensive disposable. You are supposed to flush the solids in disposable nappies too, so there shouldn’t be extra work in that for clothies. I wash nappies every 3-4 days with no soaking or Napisan, and don’t have problems with stains because I use polar fleece liners. Given that two kids in nappies meant an extra 2 loads of washing per week, and I was already doing about 4 loads per week of clothes etc, the washload hasn’t been a problem for me. And I work full time.

As for training them to wee at the sound of a whistle, do a Google for elimination communication or infant potty training – it’s gaining popularity and probably the most environmentally friendly way to deal with baby poo.

seepi 11:32 am 24 Mar 07

I’d explain what I meant if I really thought you didn’t understand.

johnboy 11:23 am 24 Mar 07

Everything is made of chemicals Seepi.

seepi 9:58 am 24 Mar 07

Miz times have changed. Nappies are now made of hemp or bamboo, not cotton, so production is much more environmentally sound. And soaking and napisan are old school too – they go straight in the washing machine now.

Cloth nappies are not for everyone, and that is fine, but I don’t see how they can be worse for the environment than something disposable that is full of chemicals and slow to break down.

Again – if washing is so bad, why do we not have more disposable items – clothes, bedding, plates etc etc.

Vic Bitterman 11:42 pm 23 Mar 07

I don’t believe a word you say ash until you demonstrate the bottom line (pun not intended, but only apparent when I posted this).

Crunch me the numbers, taking into account the ‘environmental factor’ when it comes to you re laundering your cloth nappies, versus buying disposables.

Please note I am not for one moment shit shirring (oh dear, ignore that one). I am genuinely interested in what is best.

I also have a 3rd child, but she’s well out of nappies, and has contributed 11%* to the volume of the land fill at Mugga.

*Official figures according to John Hargreaves – stopped at an RBT unit in Ginninderra Drive, Feb 07

miz 10:58 pm 23 Mar 07

Does the 6c a day cover the Napisan soaker, the cost to the environment (eg water) in producing cotton nappies, the water involved in washing and flushing the solids, the carer’s time (given you change the nappy about twice or thrice as often as a disposable, and have to soak, wash and hang out the nappies) . . .?
Maybe we should train babies to wee at the sound of whistle, like they do in China! That would save lots of nappies!

ash 8:57 pm 23 Mar 07

We’ve got two toddlers, and a third on the way. Re-usable nappies have saved us a hell of a lot of money over the years.

Nothings as convenient as having money in your pocket.

Vic Bitterman 7:43 pm 23 Mar 07

It’s fiction that we’re “running out of landfill”. Hello, have you seen how big this wide, brown land of ours is?

So that only leaves that argument of which is better for the environment. I’ve yet to see, absolute concrete, scientific proof that justifies without a doubt which model is best – disposable versus reusable. Reputable evidence please.

So I’ll stick with what’s convenient at this stage – and I’m willing to go the inconvenient way if it’s *really* good for the environment.

We have 1 newborn and 1 toddler, so nappies are a constant daily source of amusement in this house! 🙂

bonfire 4:56 pm 23 Mar 07

why dont you just stick hoses in the relevant orifices and pipe awy the effluent directly into the sewage system and stop boring peopel with pointless argument about whether disposable or cotton are the best/safest/efficient/ideologically superior choice.


emd 2:57 pm 23 Mar 07

mmmmm red wine dresses as per ABC news last week…

Seriously though, it takes a lot of water to make a disposable nappy that gets used once, then ends up in landfill where it takes 1000 years to break down.

Compare that to the environmentally sustainable hemp or bamboo fibre crops, which produce nappies that can be more absorbent than a disposable, and can be worn for years by many children before breaking down in landfill.

seepi 2:25 pm 23 Mar 07

This argument doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think about it.

For a start it uses a lot of water to manufacture disposable nappies.

And if disposable was really more environmentally sound then people would be recommending disposable clothes and sheets.

neanderthalsis 2:23 pm 23 Mar 07

Being kidletless myself, I have never had to choose between cloth and disposable nappies.

But one would imagine that while there are environmental concerns over disposable nappies going into landfill; surely in this time of drought concerns must be raised over the water used to wash cloth nappies.

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