Parents concerned about the environmental impact of diaper usage in their household have sought eco-friendly alternatives. So just how green are eco-friendly diapers and how well do they work?
Unlike mainstream disposable diapers, most eco-friendly diapers aren't bleached with chlorine and they're made from renewable resources such as corn, wood pulp and wheat. Since many eco-friendly diapers are latex-free, they're a great option for those with latex allergies. Don't make the assumption that all eco-friendly diapers are biodegradable, however. Even if a product is specifically labeled as biodegradable, critics question the legitimacy of this claim. According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, biodegradable products require light and air to break down and those two conditions aren't present in landfills.
Although we found a good number of reviews for eco-diapers, we did not find any reviews that compare eco-friendly diapers versus disposable diapers in terms of effectiveness. Here are some eco-friendly diapers that do well in reviews:
Seventh Generation Chlorine Free diapers (*Est. 30 cents each) get extremely positive reviews from parents at Amazon.com, where they earn an average rating of four stars out of five The diapers are made from chlorine-free wood pulp and non-toxic absorbent, and have a back gather to prevent up-the-back leaks (which are quite common with infants). Many parents praise the design, saying these diapers rarely leak.
In a test conducted by Parenting.com, participating parents/testers say they would switch from their current brand of diaper to Earth's Best TenderCare disposable diapers (*Est. 30 cents each). TheGreenGuide.com deems Earth's Best TenderCare to be the best value amongst eco-friendly diapers. There are over 80 reviews on Diapers.com, and the majority of parents say Earth's Best Tender Care diapers are soft, comfortable, and non-irritating. Parents report very few leaks -- even during nighttime use.
Huggies Pure and Natural diapers (*Est. 40 cents each) are also well-received at consumer opinion sites. These diapers are fragrance-free and made with natural ingredients like aloe, vitamin E and organic cotton. Parents at Amazon.com say Huggies Pure and Natural are soft, absorbent and leak-resistant.
While eco-friendly diapers may only be marginally green, they still offer some peace of mind to environmentally-conscious consumers. What's more, certain manufacturers -- like Seventh Generation for example -- donate a percentage of their earnings to non-profit organizations, so your purchase could go towards a greater cause.
For more information on disposable diapers and other eco-friendly alternatives, check out our recently updated report on diapers.