Real Diaper News
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It is NOT a draw
Fall 2009

Recently, the “great diaper debate” has returned to headlines. In April, Jeffrey Hollender, CEO of Seventh Generation, hosted a television program where he claimed that the environmental impact of cloth diapers and disposable diapers was even. WebMD, in their Baby Center (sponsored by Huggies), posted an article saying that both had a bad impact on the environment, so it was up to each person to choose. Either neither one has read the studies carefully, or there was some willful misreading.

In fact, the most comprehensive study to date, done in the UK, makes it clear that cloth diapering has a much lower environmental impact than disposable diapering, if you employ some of these simple steps:

  • Use Energy Star rated washing machines.
  • Wash diapers at 140 degrees.
  • Air dry.
  • Use washable wipes and liners.
  • Use low-impact detergent.
  • Use organic products.
  • Reuse diapers for the next child, then give them away or sell them to another family.

How can we get this information into the hands of the people who need it? One way is through our Real Diaper Circles. Each Circle Leader will soon be receiving a kit full of cloth diaper samples to use in demonstrations. (The kits were donated to RDA by the Real Diaper Industry Association, as part of their Consider Cloth campaign, which is spreading the word about cloth diapers by providing samples and literature to midwives and doulas.) In addition to the kits, leaders will receive digital resources to use in administering their Circles and doing outreach in their communities.

How can YOU help to counter these arguments? Dispute claims that all diapers have an equal environmental impact. Proudly display and talk about your reusable diapers!


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