How Eco-Friendly are Your Diapers?

We all know that diapers aren’t REALLY eco-friendly. Cloth or disposable diapers both use resources and create waste. But, diapering is a necessary evil in our culture (we’re not getting into elimination communication here). Believe it or not, I am a big fan of cloth diapers. But this article will focus on the eco-friendly disposable diapers. What’s in your diaper, what isn’t in your diaper and what makes them eco-friendly.

“Eco-friendly”, as we all know, is not a well-defined term. It can mean so many things, or nothing at all. There is no “standard” when it comes to what is in (or isn’t in) a diaper, or what qualifies one to be “eco-friendly”.

Here at Diaper Dabbler we carry a range of eco-friendly diapers. We like to have a wide selection of diapers that parents want to try. Some are the more “premium” eco-friendly diapers, and others are more “mainstream”. Like those terms? I totally made them up. But they help convey the point, which is that the eco-friendliness of a diaper is a matter of degrees.

How Eco-friendly are your Diapers Pinterest

So which is the “best” eco-friendly diaper?

I’ll answer you truthfully, the best eco-friendly diaper (or any diaper, for that matter) is the one that works for your baby and your family. The diaper has to fit your baby well (so as not to leak), it has to absorb well, and it has to fit your family’s lifestyle and your priorities. You may love one specific diaper for its eco-friendly ideals, but the reality of it might not be quite as perfect.

The solution is to do your research and learn about all the brands of diapers (I’ll give you the resources below). Then, you can narrow down your search to a few favorites and a few backup options. Try sample-size packages of all of them to see what works and fits your baby. Once you KNOW what works, you can go ahead and buy in bulk with confidence!

The best diaper quote

What are you looking for in a diaper?

These are some of the categories that can make a diaper eco-friendly or not. For information on each brand and what it contains, see our Research and Information Page, or contact the diaper manufacturer yourself.

No chlorine bleach

Chlorine bleach produces a nasty chemical byproduct (dioxin) when used to bleach diapers. Many brands are using chlorine-free purifying practices, while others are going completely bleach-free.

What’s in the fluff?

Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) is the gel-like stuff that soaks up all that urine. It’s magical how much it can hold. The safety of SAP has been questioned, but never fully decided. Some brands of diapers use lower amounts of SAP and add other absorbents. Many are sustainably-sourced or FSC certified.

No fragrance

Many of the eco-friendly diaper brands do not contain fragrance.

Low-chemical

The fewer chemicals involved, the more eco-friendly a diaper is. Plain and simple. I find in my research, the more things they can say they don’t have, the more eco-friendly it is.

Biodegradable

Some diapers promote that they are biodegradable (or partially biodegradable). That sounds really great, but once they are tossed in a landfill (inside a plastic garbage bag), I don’t know that they actually degrade any quicker than a traditional diaper.

Where is it made?

Surprisingly, most of the name-brand or mainstream diapers are made in the USA, while the more eco-friendly diaper brands are made abroad. Where a diaper is manufactured and where its components are sourced from is something many parents are interested in when researching diapers.

So which diapers are REALLY eco-friendly?

Of the brands that Diaper Dabbler carries (and granted, it’s not all of them), these are the brands we choose for our eco-friendly Mother Earth Diaper Variety Package: Aleva Naturals, Bambo Nature, Earth’s Best, Eco by Naty, Babyganics and Seventh Generation.

Pampers Pure Protection diapers profess to be more eco-friendly than their other Pampers brand diapers…and they’re right. But I don’t think they quite rise to the level of being called “eco-friendly”, at least by me.

Want to order an eco-friendly diaper sampler package? It's a simple and convenient way to try and compare a variety of eco-friendly diaper brands. Our Mother Earth Diaper Variety Package is available in size 1 or size 3. What a thoughtful gift to give to expectant parents!

Resources to learn about your diapers:

Diaper Brand Research and Information Page-here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of each diaper and where to go for more information. Easy to see and compare brands.

Diaper Brand Spotlight Series-our blog series going in-depth into each brand of diapers to learn more.

Each specific diaper brand has information on their website. If you are interested in a brand not listed here, you can generally find information on their website.

 

Chemicals, absorbent fluff and sustainability might not be lively topics for most dinner parties, but in the circle of new parents, they often come up. Happy researching!

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Where do Parents Buy Eco-friendly Diapers?  When Garbage Isn't Garbage: How Diaper Dabbler is using Eco-friendly Packaging