Cotton Diapers are Preferred Among Environmental Experts

From the Sierra Club to the Environmental Defense Fund, environmental experts and activists agree that cotton diapers are the better environmental diapering choice.

So if you’re skeptical about environmental claims from manufacturers (and even from the diaper service industry), you can believe the environmentalists. They’ve seen all the data and heard all the arguments. They have nothing to gain, yet they clearly support cloth diapers.

For them, and for us, it’s still a basic idea: Reusable products that have a long life span are a better environmental choice than single-use products with a short lifespan. Always have been. Always will.

Supporting Environmental Groups include:

  • Landbank Consultancy
  • The Sierra Club
  • Waste Information Network
  • Women’s Environmental Network, UK
  • Women’s Environmental Network, USA 
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Washington Environmental Council
  • Rhode Island Solid Waste Management Corporation
  • West Michigan Environmental Action Council
  • Connecticut General Assembly — Office of legislative Research
  • Center for Policy Alternatives
  • Environmental Action Foundation
  • King County Nurses Association
  • Ann Arbor Ecology Center
  • Natural Health Magazine
  • New York Public Interest Group
  • Washington Citizens for Recycling

Environmental Facts

On issues such as solid waste, total energy use and water consumption, diaper service cotton diapers are softer on the environment than either home-washed cotton diapers or, more importantly, single-use, disposable diapers.

The comprehensive study from Lehrburger- Mullen-Jones reached this conclusion:

 “Disposable diapers are shown to generate significantly more solid waste, (and) to consume greater quantities of energy and raw materials on a per-diaper-change basis.”

 This study, hailed by environmentalists around the country, analyzed diapers from production to use to disposal.

It indicated that single-use diapers contribute over seven times as much solid waste as reusable cotton diapers. Also, the study found that

Commercially laundered cotton diapers use one-half the energy of home washed and one-third the energy of disposable diapers. Home laundering uses 2.5 times as much net water per diaper change than diaper service.”

ue to efficient equipment use and economies of scale, diaper services have lower resource and environmental impacts than either home-washed or disposable diapers.

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The Landbank Consultancy, an independent organization which conducted — at it’s own expense — an analysis of the two “life-cycle” studies commissioned by Procter & Gamble, and found them both to be severely deficient. The Landbank Consultancy used P&G’s own data to arrive at startling different conclusions:

Disposable diapers
Produce 60 times more energy
Use three times more energy
Consume between 10 and 20 times more raw materials
Consume two times as much water, even when cotton growing is factored in

Reuse is always better than single use! Their own data proves it!