Disposable diapers: the invention of the century for busy moms. They come folded up neatly in plastic packaging, they do their job, then they are tossed in the trash to never be seen again. With a market of nearly seven billion dollars a year, you can bet that Huggies isn't going out of business soon. But those commercials with happy babies crawling around in their Pampers don't tell you the real truth: what's best for your baby and the earth is to never use them.
Disposable diapers don't biodegrade, so they sit in landfills - about 25 billion of them in the US a year. They're the third largest consumer product in landfills at this very moment, taped shut with babies' solid waste trapped inside. Gah. (For the record, disposable diaper companies instruct diaper users to put all fecal matter in the toilet before discarding the diaper, but no one does.)
Some other amazing facts about disposables?
"Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S.
Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis." - Real Diaper Association
So if you're not using disposable diapers, what do you use?
Moms swear by them. No diaper rashes, no irritation, no stinky trash, no problem. Sure, you've got to do a little extra work by spraying some poop into the toilet but it protects your baby, saves you money, and has little impact on the environment (unlike disposables).
Also check out Etsy if you're interested in supporting other moms who have small cloth diaper businesses.