Are Cloth Diapers a Gateway to Waste Reduction?

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I don’t think that anyone can effectively argue the fact that cloth diapers produce less waste in our landfills than their disposable counterparts. I remember using disposables for the first 6 months of K’s life and the amount of trash that we were bringing outside every few days was staggering! I knew that something had to give. Little did I know how that one decision would be the gateway to eliminating other waste in our house.

Since we started using cloth diapers, we now also use:

  • Cloth wipes
  • Biodegradable soap nuts
  • Wool dryer balls
  • More rags and less paper towels
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • A clothesline in nice weather (for regular laundry, not just cloth)
  • Menstrual cups (this actually happened prior to cloth diapers)

I don’t plan on stopping there! I would eventually like to start using reusable sandwich bags, further reduce my dependency on napkins and paper towels, and maybe use family cloth (for #1 only).

While some sources still want to argue about the environmental impact of cloth vs. disposables, there is no denying that while you may be using more electricity and water than if you used disposables, there are many other ways that cloth diapering helps the environment whether it’s directly related to cloth diapering itself or not. Cloth diapers make you more crunchy in other aspects of your life even if it was never your original intention.


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  1. I think it is a gateway. Unfortunately I am having a hard time convincing my husband 🙁

    We use Cloth diapers, re-usable shopping bags, wool dryer balls and I have added flour sack towels to my kitchen. I would like to completely switch to unpaper towels but for some reason he is against it. Weird. I have already started picking out/buying cute snack size wetbags for when my daughter is old enough to go to school and take a lunch. Right now we use them for snacks in the diaper bag

    1. I started at 6 months and just bought cloth diapers and started using them. I was the one who was buying the disposables and I just stopped and figured if he wanted to use disposables then that was fine but he would have to but them for himself. He never bought any diapers so he had no choice but to use the cloth.

  2. Definitely a gateway, and people are morons if they actually think that water and power usage even comes close to something that takes 500 years to break down in a landfill. Not to mention cloth babies tend to potty train earlier (not always, but definitely seems to be a trend, maybe more of that crunchy gateway).

    I do not get it when people don’t get into cloth wipes along with diapers. I feel like they work so well, we’d use cloth wipes even if we used disposable diapers!

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