Composting Diapers (?!?!?!)
Ok. Let’s be real for a minute. I love my cloth diapers. Five kids in, and they’ve saved me literally THOUSANDS of dollars. I think that anyone who cloth diapers will be quick to tell you about the pros:
- They save you a lot of money!
- They are better for the environment in a lot of ways!
- There are a lot of different types, so you have a lot of options these days!
- No crazy chemicals/plastics/fragrances on your baby!
But then we kind of *forget* to talk about the dark side. Like the fact that it’s really REALLY hard to find a babysitter that is competent in cloth diapering. Cloth diapering at night is possible, but it’s pretty inconvenient and if you have a super wetter it can get kinda smelly (gross). A if you have more than one kid in cloth and decide you want to take a day trip somewhere, you suddenly need a diaper bag, a bag for bulky cloth diapers AND a bag for used diapers. Boo.
I mean, sure. It’s all possible, but there’s sometimes when the modern convenience of a disposable is really, really nice. There’s already a lot of stress involved in parenting. Diapering shouldn’t be one of them.
But. Disposables are just plain bad for the environment. Takes 1 CUP OF OIL to make ONE diaper. They take more 500 years to break down. Your childrens-childrens-childrens-childrens-childrens-childrens-childrens-childrens-children’s-children will still be dealing with your dirty diapers in their landfills. That’s a lot. And considering that diapers make up 50% of the waste produced by families with babies, I think we need to stop looking the other way. (You can read more about how disposables impact the environment here: realdiapers.org)
So I started looking for better options. I wanted a way to have the convenience of a disposable for babysitters, long trips, and overnights without the waste. It seemed like I was looking for a unicorn.
And that’s how I found DYPER. No I am not an associate or sponsored by this company. I just really like their product!
DYPER produces a disposable diaper made from ethically sourced bamboo. And you can tell it’s different right out of the box. It’s softer. No crazy scents. Doesn’t make an obnoxious crunchy wrapping paper sound when your baby moves around (sorry LUVS, but I’m looking at you). All of the materials used are either bamboo fibers, or other biodegradable products. In fact, EVERY thing used to manufacture the diaper is listed on the DYPER website and ranked by it’s eco-friendliness. And, if you are a city dweller, you can join their RE-DYPER service which collects old diapers and takes them for municipal composting. Nothing goes to the landfill. Even the packaging is biodegrable. Yes. Please.
They are more expensive. I’m not going to lie. If you’re used to spending 9 cents a diaper on a giant mega-box from Costco, it’s going to be a bit of a shock. Pricing depends on quantity and size, but for example, the box I ordered for Isla ran about 28 cents a diaper (after a coupon). You can get a $20 discount by using this link: $20 Off Your Order
But, again. I only want disposables for certain, specific times. And these are 100% ethically sourced, bio-degradable, organic goodness touching my baby’s bottom. I wouldn’t expect raw, locally sourced milk to cost the same as the Great Value Homogenized Red-Capped gallon. But a better product is better for you and better for the environment, and worth the effort to make possible. Same theory here.
So. The big question is: Do they work? YES! Like are they really absorbent? YES! Do they leak at the gussets? NOPE! Do they leak through on the outside without all that plastic that regular diapers have? NOPE! Both JJ (2.5) and Isla (10 months) have worn them overnight for the last 3 weeks and we have not had any leaks or rashes. Nice and absorbent. No crazy chemicals. Wetness is off the bum and not on the sheets!
I have been very pleased over the last 3 weeks. No leak throughs. Good tight fit. It really is JUST like a store-bought disposable. Babysitters wouldn’t even give them a second look. They feel a lot softer, but they look and work just like a normal diaper. They even have a wetness indicator strip.
Here’s the breakdown simply put:
– Looks and works just like a store-bought disposable. Sticky tabs and all.
– Absorbent and wicks wetness away from baby so baby will sleep all night
– No perfumes
– No plastics or crazy chemicals
– Made from biodegradable products
– More expensive than a store-bought disposable
– No plastic outer coating. I’d imagine if you have a super-heavy wetter they could leak through the outer shell of the diaper. We have not had this problem (using for both a 2 year old and an infant).
– Sizing is different. I found deciding what size to buy a little stressful, especially since it was a more expensive purchase.
We are currently building a humanure compatible compost system. This will be able to handle the diapers, our sawdust potty, and ALL of our kitchen waste. Like even meat and oils. It’s a much longer composting process (and more scientific), but after years of traditional composting we are ready to step it up. Taking disposable diapers out of our weekly trash collection will make a BIG difference in our trash output. Even with just night/babysitter/occasional day trip disposable diapering, it was probably close to 1/3 of our output. In our quest to be waste-free this is huge for us! And (the best part) it still allows me to keep the convenience of a disposable from time to time. Win for Mother Nature. Win for Mom at Home. 🙂
The coolest part? Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for their Re-DYPER service where they take your soiled diapers for municipal composting. Not everyone is crazy enough to compost at home…but that doesn’t mean you have to send your diapers to the landfill! Remember: Biodegradable only makes a difference if the right conditions are met. Just tossing something in the landfill does not create the right conditions for it to break down quickly.
I’ll post more information about our humanure compost system as we get it up and running. Keep your eye on our YouTube Channel as well for updates! And if you’re looking for a baby-bottom friendly, eco-friendly diaper option give DYPER a look: DYPER Diapers
Here’s our first update on the project!0