15 reasons modern cloth nappies kick ass

As a mum, we all make choices based on convenience and ease of use – but what if one of your biggest choices was harming your baby and the environment?

Australians use around 5.6 million nappies per day. This means that over 2 billion used nappies go into landfill sites in Australia each year. Yikes!

If you use just one modern cloth nappy each day, instead of a disposable nappy, over three years you will stop around 1,000 nappies ending-up in landfill. That’s a huge impact from just one small change.

15 reasons to introduce cloth nappies into your home

  1. 95% of mums will use disposable nappies for their children. This means that most mums will throw out between 4,000 and 6,000 nappies per child. That’s a staggering 180kg worth of waste sent to landfill, per child. Say what?!
  2. In America alone, 27.4 billion disposable nappies are used each year, which is enough waste to stretch to the moon and back 9 times. Imagine what the entire world’s use of nappies looks like.
  3. Mainstream disposable nappies take around 500 years to break down. At the time of writing this, the next nappy you throw out will be fully decomposed in 2,517! Is that the kind of legacy we want to leave behind?
  4. And, while decomposing, the nappy could pollute the groundwater with human waste, while producing high quantities of methane, a gas that contributes to global warming.
  5. Using modern reusable nappies can save up to 40% in carbon emissions compared to disposable ones. That’s a huge impact.
  6. Mainstream disposable nappies use 3 times more energy, 20 times more raw materials and 2 times more water than reusable nappies during the manufacturing process. That’s not good!
  7. Home-washed, reusable nappies use less non-renewable and total energy over their life cycle than any other nappy system.
  8. The cost of using only disposable nappies is about $3,500 to $4,500 per child. The total cost for cloth nappies that can be reused, including liner, accessories and laundering, is around $1,000. That’s a serious saving. Bring it on!
  9. Mainstream disposable nappies contain highly toxic chemicals such as dioxins, which are known to be carcinogenic. Exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function; as well as having lasting impacts on the immune, nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems.
  10. Newborns are more susceptible to the effects of dioxins due to their rapidly developing organ systems. Let’s keep this nasty stuff away from them!
  11. Mainstream disposable nappies also contain xylene and ethyl benzene, which are suspected endocrine, neurological and respiratory toxins.
  12. Mainstream disposable nappies may also cause or worsen childhood asthma and respiratory problems; as well as causing rashes and allergic reactions due to the chemicals found in them. Ouch!
  13. Modern cloth nappies come in a rainbow of colours, styles and fabrics which are super easy to use and clean. Not only do they look great, they are having a huge impact on our global environment, and our purse strings.
  14. Unlike old fashioned cloth nappies, modern cloth nappies do not require soaking, bleaching or ironing. They can be washed in cold or warm water and we can easily harness the sun’s energy to dry them. How easy is that?
  15. When you use modern cloth nappies, you are making the conscious choice to eliminate the greenhouse gases associated with the production, transportation and distribution of disposable nappies.

It’s not always easy to use cloth nappies 100% of the time which is where eco disposable nappies can come to the rescue. They’re up to 80% biodegradable which means there’s an option to compost wet nappies at home; they’re toxin-free, meaning they won’t leach chemicals into landfill; and their manufacturers have increased the sustainability of their supply chain. They’re the perfect companions for eco-chic cloth nappies.

World Health OrganisationGreen NappyRecycle RightAustralian Nappy NetworkCushy TushiesAustralian Science
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Blair Badenhop

Blair is a wellness copywriter and the host of the Brand Yourself podcast. She’s passionate about living a healthy and conscious lifestyle - taking care of her body, mind and heart; practicing kindness and compassion; and being mindful of her impact on people’s lives and the planet.

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