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3 Alternatives to Disposable Diapers

Learn three alternatives to disposable diapers in this Howcast video featuring Alegre of Green and Greener.


Hi. Alegra from Ember Living, talking today about alternatives to disposable diapers. There are really three alternatives, and when we say "disposable diapers," we mean traditional, plastic diapers that are really hard on the planet and hard on resources, because they use a lot of resources to be made. The obvious alternative is cloth diapers, which I was cloth-diapered when I was a child. And there are so many better cloth diaper alternatives now than the traditional flat diaper that we probably all know and love. You know, this is what most people think of.

This is called a pre-fold diaper. I love pre-folds for a lot of reasons. I can't go into the details here, but I have a pamphlet on my website and lots and lots of videos on cloth-diapering. But let me just say to you the best thing about these diapers is they create what I call the "poop pocket." You will never have a poop issue, a poop accident when you use a flat diaper. And unlike the old days where they had to use safety pins, we have these wonderful products called Snappies, and literally all you do is pull on it like this, and it holds the diaper in place. So Snappies are super easy to use, make cloth diapering really fun. There are also alternatives like this, where it looks like, in a lot ways, a traditional diaper. It's easy to put on. If you want to use cloth diapers, but maybe you have daycare or grandparents who don't know how to use them, this is a really easy alternative. It just goes on kind of like a traditional diaper. It has these liners that you can snap in and out. So lots of great cloth alternatives. Another alternative to disposable diapers is what's called elimination communication.

It's basically infant potty training, responding to your child's needs. Diapering is actually not done in all of the world. It's most common in Europe and America, but there are many countries where they actually don't diaper. They just teach the child how to use little buckets to peepee and poo when they're really young. I did this with my daughter. It's surprisingly effective. By the time she was 10 months old, I was catching 100 percent of her poops and about 75 percent of her pee. So it's really inexpensive to do, easy to do. Start early. The third alternative is earth-friendly, biodegradable diapers. These are the least good alternative in my mind, because they give you a sense of peace, but they're really not that much better, because the sad reality is once something is in the landfill, even if it could biodegrade in theory, it's not getting the air and sunlight that it needs to biodegrade.

So it's still not going to really biodegrade. One of the reasons I'd love to encourage you to consider cloth diapering and elimination communication is also the crazy amount of money and waste that you can save. When you cloth diaper, you'll actually save about $1,000 or more a year per child and per year that you're diapering. So some kids are diapered for six years.

So think about that. You could save over $6,000 on that child. Also, in terms of waste, about a ton or 2,000 pounds of waste is generated for every year that you are using disposable diapers. So again, every year that you save that, you're saving a ton of waste from the landfill. I could really go on and on about cloth diapering. I teach an hour-long class on it. So check out my website. I have tons of videos where I talk about all the different technologies and how to mix and match and what's easiest to use and how to use it. So don't be overwhelmed by cloth diapering. It's a really, really great alternative.

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