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

August 21, 2010

Greenwashing Alert! Deceptively Disposable Nappies?

What’s 1 aspect of disposable nappies that you find is often ‘green washed’ in the minds of the general public?

“Disposable Nappies” – as we know, they aren’t – they sit around in landfill for decades, and more.

What is greenwashing, and does it get applied to disposable nappies?

In a society that’s increasingly aware of its own negative impact on the natural world, it’s no surprise corporations compete for consumer approval by promoting themselves as environmentally friendly or green. Such promotions might be as simple as sprinkling product packaging with leafy logos or as involved as publicizing investments in emerging technologies. Organizations spend billions of dollars each year in an attempt to convince consumers that their operations have a minimal impact on the environment. But can you believe the claims? How much environmental marketing is simply greenwashing?

For today’s topic we’ve asked our Nappy WAHM’s about the perceptions of the general public when it comes to disposable nappies and the green movement. “Green washing” is alive and well, and the myths quickly permeate general knowledge, but are often just a case of creative advertising and clever marketing, not environmental care at all…

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 KidzCassandra from New Age Nappies, Annette from Iish Fly, Michelle from Issy Bear NappiesAlisha from Baby Safari, Cindy from Ticklefish TotsAshley from Cheeky Creations, Carli from MiniLaLa, Tracey from Flattery, Bec from Baby Chilli,  Julie from Cloth For Comfort, Chris froBaby Bullfrogs, Kate from Nappy DaysMichelle from Sustainable Hemp Products, and Karen from Baby Blossom.

Greenwashing as a term was originally related to a hotel chain that made claims about being eco-friendly in the way their towels were washed, yet it was found to be nothing more than a promotional ploy!  According to Wikipaedia:

The term is generally used when significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being green (that is, operating with consideration for the environment), rather than spending resources on environmentally sound practices.

Let’s see what they have to say:

“What’s 1 aspect of using disposable nappies that you find is often ‘green washed’ in the minds of the general public?”

Emma of Brindabella Baby:

It’s OK because they make biodegradable disposables now.” Green wash – most people don’t use biodegradables. Of those who do, most use the ones readily available in supermarkets that are only 70% biodegradable – so there’s still a large quantity of nappy not breaking down in landfill. And even if you use a 100% biodegradable nappy, it won’t break down in landfill if it’s in a non-biodegradable plastic bag.

Melinda of Avanappy:

The chemical makeup of the absorbency layers.
Mel of Little Para Pants:
I keep hearing about the study that found cloth nappies use more water than disposables.  I think the study was assuming that you’re always washing your full stash at the same time.  I don’t know about anyone else, but the only time that’s ever happened here was before my son was born and he wasn’t wearing any yet!

Eva of Oz Baby Trends:

Eco Disposable brands. They still take a long time break down and only then under the right conditions. No matter how eco-friendly they might be (compared to normal disposables), they are still contributing to our disposable culture.
Inge of Earth Kidz:
That they are breathable. Duh, try putting plastic underwear on yourself!

Cassandra of New Age Nappies:

No worse than cloth re water use etc.

Annette of Iish Fly:

That using disposable saves on water in Australia’s arid environment. I find a baby in nappies tends to add an extra 2 loads a week, which in a front loader is around an extra 40-60 L a week, which is less than 1% of the average households water consumption. Another aspect  it promotes is that “It is ok to send hazardous body waste to landfill!

Michelle of Issy Bear Nappies:

The words ‘eco-friendly‘.’

Cindy from Ticklefish Tots:

Well, no mention of the hundreds of years a disposable nappy takes to break down is certainly one thing …. Do you think companies who thrive from the sale of disposable nappies would stay in business if they publicised the fact that their product was not as eco-friendly as they would have us believe?

Carli from MiniLaLa:

Lots of people argue that cloth nappies use so much water, without realising how much water (amongst other things) goes into the production of disposables.

Tracey from Flattery:

There was a study done into the environmental impact of disposables/cloth (they came out on par with each other) the thing that frustrates me is that this study was carried out when cloth nappies were terry cloth squares – that required soaking in napisan (which is not used for nappies now) and water usage was based on pre-soaking and water guzzling top loaders and electricity usage included drying in a dryer not on the line!

Bec from Baby Chilli:

The amount of water it takes to make disposable nappies, plus of course the crude oil, trees and plastic consumption that goes into each and every disposable nappy.
Julie from Cloth For Comfort:
I have found speaking with hundreds of people in my experience at the markets, one aspect which is ‘green washed’ is the amount of water used in the making of disposable nappies compared to cloth. I can understand this from the point of view of those who have not had any education regarding modern cloth nappies as the clever disposable nappy marketing campaigns can insinuate that less water is used in the making of disposable nappies.
Although this is true for only one nappy, it is much more when you add up the thousands of disposable nappies used for each child compared to the environmentally sustainable crops such as bamboo which is commonly used in modern cloth nappies and also the water it takes to wash and clean the nappies too!
Chris from Baby Bullfrogs:
Just how toxic the chemicals are that are used in them – blerghh!
Kate from Nappy Days:
That disposables are actually really good for the environment and that parents need to be more worried about spending time with their baby instead of doing mountains of washing.
Alisha of Baby Safari:
They think they are saving water by using them, the don’t think of the water that has been used to manufacture the nappies.
Michelle from Sustainable Hemp Products:

Marketing not focusing on the negatives like landfill and pollution problems and chemical usage in manufacture.
Karen from Baby Blossom:
Disposable are biodegradable. Although many parts of a disposable may be, wrap it in plastic and put it in landfill.
It still takes hundreds of years to break down.

Thank you to My Green Nappy’s Sponsoring Partners:

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If you are just visiting for the first time today, and have found something new in this article, be sure to register & receive My Green Nappy Guide, you’ll be both relieved and excited at the things you will discover!

3 Recommended Resources about Greenwashing and reducing the impact of using disposables :

  1. Greenwatch: All you need to know about Greenwashing.
  2. “The Six Sins of Greenwashing.”
  3. Make your eco disposables more environmentally friendly by emptying them.

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June 25, 2010

Green Promise Nappy #19

Green Promise Nappy # 19 is a ‘Watermelon Wishes’ Jax Naps nappy.

Sponsor:

Proudly donated by Tamara from Jax Naps in Queensland.

About Jax Naps:

How Jax Naps was created…

Jax Naps was originally going to be Lil’ Dumplins but after the loss of my son Jackson, Jax Naps was created in his memory.

I was seven months pregnant and working in child care when one of the mums came in with a modern cloth nappy on her little girl Illyria. I fell in love with them instantly, she looked so adorable.

I showed them to my mother who is now my business partner and the wonderful woman who creates our gorgeous nappies. Being a seamstress for as long as I can remember, Mum was quick to tell me that she could make them for me…

But then went on to tell me that cloth nappies are so much work,all that soaking, scrubbing and washing.

She even offered to buy disposable nappies for me just so she didn’t have to wash nappies when Jackson stayed with Granma. She was quick to change her mind once i explained the ins and outs of Modern Cloth Nappies and how easy they are to use. It was even easier once she saw the gorgeous prints and colours they could be made with.

After time and quite a lot of paper, a pattern was created and I made Jackson’s first nappies. I made 26 in total, as I kept on finding more colours I liked and just had to have. My family thought I was mad, all that extra work they’d say. This just made me more determined to prove them all wrong. Mum and I talked about producing them in the New Year but…..

When we lost my beautiful son Jackson in November 2009, I was definately in no rush to go back to work in child care and wanted to spend more time with my eight year old daughter Morgan. It was then that I decided to become a WAHM (work at home mum).

After a few modifications our first nappy was created just before Christmas 2009 – red with white stars, and white frills on the bum. Illyria was more than happy to be our little Jax Naps tester.

Illyria and her mum Robyn liked it so much they quickly told us to hurry up and make some more.

Although I never had the chance to use MCN’s with Jackson, I can’t wait to use them with my next baby…

– Tamara

Visit Jax Naps...

June 24, 2010

Green Promise Nappy #18

Green Promise Nappy #18 is a Knickernappies One Size Fits Most pocket nappy with two microfibre inserts and side snap closure!

Sponsor:

Proudly donated by Alisha from Baby Safari in Victoria.

About Baby Safari:

If you had asked us about cloth nappies at the beginning of 2007 when I was pregnant with my first child I would have only known about terry squares! I soon found the amazing world of the Modern Cloth Nappy and I have now been using cloth exclusively on my son since he was 2 months old and we now also use them on our baby daughter.

I could not get over how fantastic these new nappies were and decided to open an online store to help spread the word about MCN’s, not only are they environmentally friendly they are super cute to boot!! We also decided to stock some of our other favourite products and will be adding to our range all the time!

– Alisha and Ann

Visit Baby Safari...

Green Promise Nappy #17

Green Promise Nappy #17 is an Organic Bugalugs Bamboo Nappy – OSFM (One Size Fits Most).

Sponsor:

Proudly donated by Lorna from Organic Bugalugs in New South Wales.

About Organic Bugalugs:

We are a home business offering parents eco-friendly baby products at reasonable prices! Our range includes beautiful organic cotton baby clothes, super soft and absorbent bamboo and organic cotton nappies, gorgeous accessories and more.

All our organic cotton products are Certified 100% Organic Cotton and are free from pesticides and chemicals, with low-impact dyes. You will find our products are made of very high quality organic cotton and the fabric is very thick and soft.

Our Organic Bugalugs Bamboo Nappies are very thick and soft, and extremely absorbent – very comfortable for bugalugs! Bamboo cloth is eco friendly as bamboo is highly sustainable and doesn’t require pesticides. Bamboo is also known for its antibacterial and mildew resistant properties which makes it perfect for use in nappies.

Visit Organic Bugalugs...

June 23, 2010

Green Promise Nappy #16

Green Promise Nappy # 16 is an Emerald Green Baby BeeHinds Petite AI2 nappy.

Sponsor:

Proudly donated by Kyra from E-Weez in New Zealand.

About E-Weez:

My name is Kyra and as a cloth nappy enthusiast, I use cloth 24/7 on my baby. Even before I became pregnant I always knew that I’d be using Modern Cloth Nappies on my children and the thought of using disposables as an ‘easy’ option never entered my mind.

When I went through buying Modern Cloth Nappies for my own baby I found that there aren’t many opportunities to see the nappies in person. There also are so many different brands and types of nappies that I did some hefty research to find the best ones and I still struggled to make a decision… I eventually did make one but it’s become a bit of an addiction, finding new brands of nappies, all the plush fabrics, seeing how cute they look on my daughter….my husband just doesn’t understand how I get excited over ‘fluffy’ mail!

Now, while out and about with my girl I find that many Mum’s like the thought of using Modern Cloth Nappies but don’t know where to start and still have many old fashioned beliefs about them. I get many comments about how cute my baby’s bum is and I try to promote cloth nappies whenever I can. All this got me thinking and I decided that is a real need for this information to be spread – especially in our smaller rural communities as we don’t have the same variety of goods and stores as our city neighbours.

After trialling many different types of modern cloth nappies my brainchild E-Weez was born.

I am a travelling hostess who will visit you in the comfort of your own home or other location. The idea is that you can enjoy yourself in a relaxed environment with family and friends while learning about Modern Cloth Nappies and seeing how they work. I have chosen the best quality nappies from my own trials (and errors) and am confident that they will provide you with a leak free Modern Cloth Nappy experience.

Visit E-Weez...

Green Promise Nappy #15

Green Promise Nappy # 15 is a Emerald Green Cushie Tushie Basix – OSFA All-In-One

Sponsor:

Proudly donated by Janine from Ninky Bear in Victoria.

About Ninky Bear:

After discovering modern cloth nappies for my second child, and realising they were nothing like the cloth nappies my parents used, I decided I loved them so much, I wanted to spread the word.

And so, Ninky Bear was born!

Home Of Gorgeous Baby Products, Modern Cloth Nappies and Accessories.

Visit Ninky Bear...

June 22, 2010

Green Promise Nappy #14

Green Promise Nappy # 14 is a Medium side snap, mint green dot minky with green caterpillar cotton front panel, matching green snaps.

Sponsor:

Proudly donated by Cindy from Ticklefish Tots in NSW.

About Ticklefish Tots:

I’m Cindy, homeschooling WAHM to 4 gorgeous kids (currently baking a fifth!!), self confessed cloth addict and enabler, and founder / owner / operator of Ticklefish Tots. I converted to cloth shortly after my youngest was born, as he suffered (and still does) from eczema, which disposables simply exacerbated. After realising and researching the cost effectiveness and environmental advantages of cloth, I also converted my then 2 year old.

I was very excited when I received my first lot of fluffy mail, and my second, and my third …. and so on! But it did disappoint me to see that, out of the many different brands of MCN, not alot were actually made in Australia, and I really wanted to make a difference. I also discovered some “fit” issues with both of my boys – I wanted longer tabs, so that they’d not only get more wear out of each nappy, but also to accommodate either more snaps, or more velcro, to alleviate the dreaded “wing droop”! And as they were both tummy sleepers, I wanted a higher rise so that waking after a nap wouldn’t mean a whole new change of clothes due to the seeping wetness up their fronts!

So, within a matter of weeks had designed my own MCN which not only suited the needs of my children, but were also totally handmade in Australia by me!

Visit Ticklefish Tots...

Green Promise Nappy #13

Green Promise Nappy #13 is a Stuff ‘em Silly night time pocket nappy.

Sponsor:

Proudly donated by Nicole from Krap Katchers in Queensland.

About Krap Katchers:

I have one mission .. to keep your baby dry overnight (and mine of course).

Krap Katchers began in 2007 after a heavy wetting baby soaked through a PUL nappy. Rigorous testing began with the one thirsty big weeing baby and not one wet night! Well, there was one wet T-shirt. Note to Daddy, don’t tuck T-shirts into nappies! Soon after 15 Stunt bums were chosen for their talent at wetting bed sheets. The result, still no wet nights with the final Stuff ’em Silly design.

If I can make the world a better place by just keeping one baby dry over night then my life will be complete. *insert cheesy music here*

A little bit more about me… I am married with two daugthers Miss Madeleine 2.5 and Miss Genevieve 1, and they like to keep us on our toes! We have used and loved modern cloth nappies for both girls since birth and I am a proud advocate for the cause. So when the opportunity arose to combine my love of sewing and modern cloth nappies, I couldn’t let it pass me by 🙂

As the proud new owner of Krap Katchers I am very excited about our future plans and hope you will be as well. Keep your eyes peeled for the trim Brazillian Bikini Day nappies being released, and the still in development, yet to be named all-in-two style nappies as well.

Visit Krap Katchers...

June 21, 2010

Green Promise Nappy #12

Green Promise Nappy # 12 is a Magic-Alls All-In-One Nappy. Lush minkee outer, stay dry inner, great absorbency! A reliable workhorse nappy known and loved right around Australia. Great Baby BeeHinds quality guaranteed! Size Medium.

Sponsor:

Proudly donated by Davina from Baby BeeHinds in Queensland.

About Baby BeeHinds:

Davina has a lot to do with the customer service side of Baby BeeHinds.

Davina is the founder of Baby BeeHinds, and is also the creative designer of all Baby BeeHinds branded products, and takes care of marketing.

Let’s look at one of the myths busted in the Advice Hub over at BBH:

Modern Cloth Nappies are expensive!

Not compared to disposables…

Did you know, that based on the ‘average’ cost per disposable nappy, that you will spend approximately $3.50 per day using disposable nappies? (based on 7 changes /24 hrs). Multiply THAT by 2.5 years (average length of time in nappies) and you’re looking at a cost of over $3000.00!

This figure does not even include wipes (a further $800 approx). You can certainly set yourself up with a modern cloth system that will be less than half the cost of disposable nappies, and not only will you be saving money, but you’ll be saving the environment also.

Visit Baby BeeHinds...

Green Promise Nappy #11

Green Promise Nappy # 11 is a Green Pop In Dream Dri Nappy.

Sponsor:

Proudly donated by Jacquie from Cheeky Cherubs in New Zealand.

About Cheeky Cherubs:

On Cheeky Cherubs you will find a range of eco friendly and baby friendly products, most of which have been tried and loved within our own family!

We are a business based in Gisborne and welcome orders from anywhere in the country. If you are within Gisborne city you are welcome to arrange a time to view the products before making your purchase or you can pick your order up if you wish. Alternatively, your order can be delivered free of charge within Gisborne city on Saturday mornings or any other time if arranged.

If you have any questions about any of the products please don’t hesitate to contact us and please take a moment to join the Mailing List to be kept up to date with any new stock arrivals, promotions and competitions!

Visit Cheeky Cherubs...

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