Green diapers: Love at first flush
Eco-friendly, flushable gDiapers let parents dodge the landfill without going cloth.
Sat, May 09 2009 at 5:54 AM
BABES IN PARADISE: gDiapers are flushable, and break down naturally in 50 to 150 days. (Photo courtesy gDiapers)
From a mother's perspective, there are many ways I've been afraid to go green, but diapers turned out to be one of my greatest fears. When I was pregnant I promised myself I'd use cloth, but the first poop my daughter took forced me to look into cheap, plentiful alternatives that could be thrown away as quickly as possible.
When I first read about the company gDiapers, I was intrigued. The "G" stands for "Green," and the company was started by a husband and wife who were horrified by the sheer number of diapers piling up in landfills around the country — each one of which can take up to 500 years to break down in a landfill.
Founders Jason and Kim Graham-Nye needed to find an alternative, and understood that some people simply couldn't handle the old-fashioned inconvenience of cloth diapers. They found a company in Tasmania that made flushable diapers and brought the concept to their native Australia, where it became a huge hit. Now people around the world are benefiting from this unique, innovative way to reduce the amount of garbage in landfills, while keeping their kids dressed in healthy alternatives to disposables.
The "little g" pant is a diaper cover that's machine washable and comes in a variety of colors, all featuring that reassuring "G." The covers are waterproof and feature easy-snap closures as well as enough stretch that your toddler won't get that pesky rash many disposals can cause if they're too tight.
GDiapers are simply the liners that fit into the diaper covers, and that's what makes the product so green — you can keep the covers and flush the liners, which break down naturally in 50 to 150 days. They're made with biodegradable, Earth-friendly materials like chlorine-free tree-farmed fluff pulp and sodium polyacrylate, which helps keep diaper itself absorbent. Check out this promotional video made by gDiapers, which demonstrates how they break down in the environment.
The diapers are fitted for children of any size, from a newborn to a potty-trainer in progress, and can be worn overnight. Another plus is that you can compost the wet ones if you don't feel comfortable flushing them. If you're wary of using them with a septic system (I was, but I've had no troubles) you can simply flush the poo, and compost the wet diaper, which can help your garden thrive since urine is a good source of nitrogen and potassium. Urine is also sterile, so you don't need to fear infecting your plants, and flushables are easily composted within months.
The gDiaper starter kit is great for parents who are skeptical about the process. It includes two diaper covers and 10 diaper refills that can be flushed or composted. Flushable diapers normally come in packs of 32, 40, 128 or 160, depending on size. GDiapers offers a delivery service, and although the prices may seem steep — $27 for the starter kit, $14-$19 for diaper covers, $14 for packages of flushable refills, and $52 for a case — you can feel good about the benefits for your baby's skin and the environment. GDiaper offers free shipping on large orders, and the founders have even branched out to make T-shirts and baby-shower gifts.
(MNN homepage photo: http://www.gdiapers.com/)