My Green Nappy Discovering Modern Cloth Nappies and Eco-Friendly Disposable Nappies

April 28, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Which of the 3 ‘Enviro ‘R’s’ have you done this week?

Reduce, reuse and recycle are the three well-known aspects of the ‘Waste Hierarchy’, urging us all to consider how we can reduce waste, re-use what we have and recycle what we can’t find another use for.

These three concepts have been expanded to include terms such as repair, renew, replace or  remove. All these concepts allow us to reduce our environmental impact in those small ways that add up, that we can gradually add to as we have the time and resources.

Using Modern Cloth Nappies of course means  you will be reusing nappies every time your baby wears a nappy, and thus reducing both your household costs each week, your waste load and you’ll probably feel quite good about this simple way to earn some ‘eco-karma’!

Taking it a step further, you can get nappies made from recycled or repurposed fabrics, such as those available from Tricia at Flannel Fings, the girls at Sewy Joeys,  and Allison at Green Bums. You’ll also discover that many businesses are using recycled packaging, stationery and biodegradable packaging as well as perhaps offering digital receipts and ultimately, your nappy can biodegrade into your own or someone else’s garden compost…For today’s topic we’ve asked our Nappy WAHM’s how they reduced, reused or recycled something this week.

I’m pleased to have contributions from many friends of My Green Nappy included in this article. We have Emma from Brindabella Baby, Melinda from Avanappy, Mel from Little Para PantsLouise from Scamps BoutiqueEva from Oz Baby Trends, Inge from Earth KidzKyra of Bubbalooba, Cassandra from New Age Nappies, Annette from Iish Fly, Michelle from Issy Bear NappiesAlisha from Baby Safari, Ashley from Cheeky Creations, Carli from MiniLaLa, Tracey from Flattery, Bec from Baby Chilli, Kelleigh from Miracle Baby, Julie from Cloth For Comfort, Chris froBaby Bullfrogs, Peggy from Fluffy Bubs and Kate from Nappy DaysSasha from Green KidsMichelle from Sustainable Hemp Products, Karen from Baby Blossom.

Let’s see what your nappy doulas have to say:

“The ‘Three R’s’- tell us about one you did this week…”

Emma of Brindabella Baby:

One of my favourite fitted nappies finally fell apart at the leg elastic seams. It was bought second-hand and then used for all three of my kids, so it had a good life. But I kept the separate lay-in booster – handy for laying in cloth undies during toilet training when they sometimes don’t quite make it in time.

Melinda of Avanappy:

Adding vegetable scraps to the compost and giving boxes and newspaper to the kids to play with (they are imaginative play kids)
Mel of Little Para Pants:
This week’s a bad example, we’ve been holidaying and threw away more than we usually do!  My husband put the recycle bin out tonight, though.

Louise of Scamps Boutique, NZ:

Reused nappies from my eldest which don’t fit her anymore on my youngest (clean of course!).
Eva of Oz Baby Trends:
My daughter and I reused an old pizza box to make a cardboard mobile for a cousin.

Kyra of Bubbalooba:

This week I made shampoo from Soap Nuts – I was so excited when I got my Soap Nuts in the post, I have been googling for all sorts of things I can do with them. I’m loving the fact that they are grey water safe so I can reuse my washing water for the garden.

Inge of Earth Kidz:
It’s something in our system. We try to recycle everything, meaning getting it on the right piles.

Cassandra of New Age Nappies:

I managed to downsize my garbage bin to the smallest size as we now recycle almost everything.

Annette of Iish Fly:

Reduce- timed our showers to reduce water consumption.

Re-use- We have a tub in the shower I use to bath Ella. We use it to catch water while waiting for the water to warm & mix correctly and catch some run off– we then re-use the water on the veggie garden, along with the the compested veggie scraps from the kitchen.

Recycle- In my “other day job” working with socially disadvantaged people, I often rescue household items from vacant properties and household clean ups to give them a new lease of life in a needly home to prevent them ending up as landfill.

Reduce- timed our showers to reduce water consumption.

Michelle of Issy Bear Nappies:

I always try and use my reusable bags, but I always reuse any plastic bags over and over.

Pop over to the shop fronts of our Nappy Doulas to see each of their personal commitments to environmental sustainability!

Ashley of Cheeky Creations:

This week I reckon I have done all three! I’m always reusing. Instead of store bought baby wipes I use cut up cloths. I just wash these with the nappies.

Carli from MiniLaLa:

One that I did this week, is take a trip to the Baby & Kids Markets to sell some of the kids old things. Recycling!

Tracey from Flattery:

I’m a serial recycler – we don’t chuck out ANYTHING usable – if i can’t scavenge parts or reuse it for something else – I always give unwanted stuff away on freecycle – beats sending it off for landfill!!

Bec from Baby Chilli:

I always recycle, its a big thing in our house, of course reuse our modern cloth nappies and reduce our carbon footprint by turning off lights, the aircon and having short showers.
Kelleigh from Miracle Baby:
We have put all plastics for the week into our plastic recycling bin.
We have washed and reused our cloth nappies.
We have used leftovers for lunches.
We have reused our grocery shopping bags.
Julie from Cloth For Comfort:
Recycle – I sent the nappies my daughter has grown out of to my sister for her to use with her daughters.
Peggy from Fluffy Bubs:
Reuse – I used my bamboo fleece off cuts to absorb cooking oil, rather than using paper towel.
Kate from Nappy Days:
I started making my own bread because I hate having to buy it in a plastic bag!
Alisha of Baby Safari:

We’ve reused some timber from the old deck we had to make up some stables in the shed rather than go out and buy new timber for them.

Sasha of Green Kids:
The three R’s are often cited in our house, as we want our kids to grow up conscious of the impact their individual actions can have, both positive and negative. If I had to pick one for this week, I will go with reduce. We always use reusable containers for sandwiches and lunches, and rarely ever use plastic wrap. We do a lot of things in our household to reduce our overall footprint, including recycling, composting, using cloth nappies, brewing our own beer to save bottle waste, growing our own vegies, among many others!
I made breastpads out of fabric scraps.
In our home (which we call ‘Fair Haven’ after the Star Trek: Voyager episode) we have a recycle bin, use modern cloth training pants and night nappies, my oldest son has a recycling box in the shed where he collects plastic bottles and cans for recycling, and we take boxes and whatnot to Kindy for the making table. I turn foam meat trays into a construction toy and we play with bottle caps in all sorts of sorting games with my baby boy!
Thank you to all our nappy doula’s for their contributions,

P.S There is a question at the bottom of each of these features. Join in the conversation and share your own experiences and stories with us…

– Your Nappy Doulas –

This is part of a regular series of articles that offer you an insight into the beliefs, concerns, knowledge and wisdom of mums making and selling modern cloth nappies in Australia and New Zealand.
Discover More from Your Nappy Doulas…

3 Recommended Resources about Helping You to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle:

  1. Visit My Nappy Style Window with supplies to help you make your own DIY Nappies...
  2. Where to buy secondhand nappies in Australia and New Zealand
  3. Freecycle – an online community for sharing free stuff around your community!

A Question to You About Reducing, Reusing and Recycling:

“The ‘Three R’s’- tell us about one your family did this week…”

1 Comment »

  1. I have been using the extra cloth flannel wipes I made round the house as cleaning cloths – it’s great as I know they are clean to start with & they just go straight into the wash!

    Comment by Gabrielle — May 4, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

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