In the U.S alone, 18 billion pounds of dirty diapers are sent to landfills on a weekly basis, and each diaper takes up to 500 years to biodegrade. In an effort to minimize the impact that disposable diaper products make on the environment, diaper companies are trying to create greener products that biodegrade more quickly, and that don’t contain harsh chemicals that leach into the earth.
We recently told you about baby wipes options that will help reduce your child’s bumprint, and in this post we’re taking a look at two hybrid diapering systems that are a cross between cloth and disposable diapers. These systems are an answer to the cloth diaper vs. disposable diaper debate, which is rife with questions.
The vast majority of parents want to stick with the convenience of disposables, while a growing number of eco-conscious consumers want to minimize their crappy contributions to the demise of the planet by opting for cloth diapers. (But some environmentalists blast the use of water to launder said cloth diapers). gDiapers and Charlie Banana are two diaper companies that are trying to find a happy medium: cloth diapers with the convenience of disposable diapers. Each diapering system features a disposable insert that is 100 percent biodegradable, and is designed to use in tandem with a cloth diaper.
gDiapers pioneered the hybrid diaper effort with their “no landfill required” tagline and their innovative design in which parents can “flush” the soiled insert component of their baby’s diapers. (But it’s important to note that some plumbing systems can’t tolerate the dissolve and flush aspect of the flushable inserts, and could cause damage). gRefills simply slide into the outer gPants diaper covers. The gRefills are made of sustainably farmed wood fluff pulp, with sodium polyacrylate (SAP) for absorbency, and cellulose rayon. They are plastic-free, biodegradable, and they contain no elemental chlorine or perfumes. Additionally, the wet (not poopy) gRefills inserts may be composted or simply tossed out after waste is flushed, where they will break down in 50-150 days.
If you’d like to make your diapering regimen an even deeper shade of green, gDiapers also offers gCloth inserts which are made of two layers of soft 100 percent polyester microfleece, and are washable, reusable, and require no folding since they are specially designed to fit right into the gPants.
This video demonstrates how quickly gDiapers biodegradable inserts dissolve into the earth, in comparison to their disposable counterparts.
gDiapers “New Baby Bundle” starter kit is $149.99
Poised to make their debut on the diapering scene, Charlie Banana boasts a 2-in-1 reusable diaper that also offers the option of choosing between a reusable or a disposable insert, secured inside a cloth diaper cover. When I asked a representative for Charlie Banana about the flushable aspect of their 100 percent biodegradable disposable inserts, here is the reply she gave:
“Charlie Banana recommends the biodegradable insert (made of wood pulp) be thrown in the trash. They recommend you shake the solid first and then trash it. You do have the option of flushing it, but they recommend you tear the insert into a few pieces and then flush… however flushing it may do more harm to the pipe/plumbing and the sewer plant than it does good.”
Charlie Banana cloth diaper covers come in a wide range of colors and prints which may be seen here. The collection is expected to hit the market next month. For up to date news on their launch and availability, check the Charlie Banana website.
Charlie Banana also donates one percent of all sales worldwide to Operation Smile, so you can feel good knowing that you’re not only helping to lessen your diapering impact on the planet, you’re also contributing to another worthy cause!