Nappies on the radio

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:
www.modernclothnappies.org


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24 Responses to Nappies on the radio
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emd emd 8:46 pm 10 Apr 07

That’s a great link, and a very interesting comparison. Thanks seepi.

seepi seepi 12:14 pm 07 Apr 07

OK – I have finally found a reference site that compares disposables and cloth nappies and is run by someone reputable – royal women’s hospital.

Lots of interesting info
http://www.rwh.org.au/wellwomens/whic.cfm?doc_id=7691

emd emd 7:59 pm 27 Mar 07

You can buy 70% biodegradeable nappies at Coles, or 100% biodegradeable nappies at the organic f&v shop in Farrer. However, if you put those nappies inside a non-biodegradeable plastic bag that ends up in landfill, they WILL NOT break down at all. Biodegradation requires air and bacteria to get into the waste. Add to that, a lot of people don’t buy biodegradeable disposables because they’re more expensive. And it still takes a fair bit of water and other non-renewable resources to produce those disposables and freight them to the supermarkets.

seepi seepi 2:39 pm 27 Mar 07

I do one load of washing for nappies every four days. So not really a massive amount of water.

There are more biodegradable nappies available, but they are still a bit of a fringe thing – you cna’t get them in woolies etc. I actually think they will be the way of the future, but they’re not there yet.

Part of the 2 ton of waste maybe water, but if it is locked up inside chemicals, inside non decomposing nappies, then it is still contributing to landfill isn’t it?

In Melbourne there is a company that picks up and recycles bags of disposable nappies – maybe they just get the water out. We dont’ have that service in Canberra though.

Kramer Kramer 2:33 pm 27 Mar 07

I would guess that a lot of that 2 tons is water (OK, it’s pee) in disposable nappies. Also I understand that disposable nappies are now much more biodegradable than they used to be. I would be interested to know how much water is used in the washing of cloth nappies? Especially in today’s water saving climate!

seepi seepi 12:16 pm 25 Mar 07

I just read that each baby in disposables makes 2 tonnes of landfill – wow!

emd emd 10:11 pm 24 Mar 07

Some of my nappies are soon to be used on their fourth baby (bought second hand, used on both my kids, third baby arriving later this year). No way would disposables be cheaper, even if I did get them on special.

seepi seepi 9:26 pm 24 Mar 07

It is hard to cost a cloth nappy exactly, but if I bought one for 25.00, and used it 200 times, it would only cost 12 cents a time. If I had another baby and used it again for 200 times it would only cost 6cents a go.

Pandy Pandy 8:29 pm 24 Mar 07

Why use toilet paper?

Use your old singlet to wipe yopur arse, wash it and think how green you have been.

Don’t mind the skid marks on the singo though.

sim_m_o 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 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 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 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 http://www.choice.com.au. 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 seepi 11:32 am 24 Mar 07

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

johnboy johnboy 11:23 am 24 Mar 07

Everything is made of chemicals Seepi.

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 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 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 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 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! 🙂

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